Murrells Inlet-Garden City fire department starts ‘Vial of Life’ project for residents

cbyun@thesunnews.comDecember 3, 2013 

The Murrells Inlet and surrounding community is invited to make their selves, and homes, easier to treat by firefighters and EMS.

The Murrells Inlet-Garden City Fire District has started the “Vial of Life” project, a tool for the community to give firefighters and first responders more information about all people in a residence.

The district is holding a project presentation tomorrow at 7 p.m. at station headquarters, 3641 U.S. 17 Business, Murrells Inlet. Officials will be on hand to help residents fill out the forms and explain all necessary information.

Kits, which are free to the public, include a form that lists personal information, including birthdays, social security numbers and names, as well as medical information, such as allergies, current medications and past health issues.

The form is then marked with a “Vial of Life” decal and hung on resident refrigerator doors, with a matching decal stuck on an outer window. This allows the fire department to treat patients as quickly and safely as possible, said Captain Jerry Howerton, EMS supervisor and the supervisor of the project.

“What happens is, we get on scene and whether they’re unconscious or not able to respond to us, it hinders the ability for EMS to properly treat what’s going on,” Howerton said. “If we don’t have all that info, we’re trying to track it down.”

The station bought about 200 heavy-duty plastic sleeves with magnets on the back to hang on refrigerators.

Howerton expects the program to flourish and hopes to spread the kits around the community.

“As we get established, we’re going to start putting additional kits on our ambulances and fire trucks,” Howerton said.

For more information, call 651-5143 (non-emergency number) or email

Contact CLAIRE BYUN at 626-0377 or follow her on Twitter @NeckNews.

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