4-H service club offers Vials of Life

Matt Williams, teen leader of the new Wallowa County 4-H Leadership and Community Service Club, holds up a Vial of Life. Photo by Elane Dickenson

The new Wallowa County 4-H Leadership and Community Service Club has adopted a program called Vial of Life as its first project.

Members of the club will launch the project during the Red Cross blood drive scheduled Tuesday, Jan. 28, at Cloverleaf Hall.

"Vial of Life is a national program to help emergency personnel get important medical information when someone can't speak for themselves," according to Matt Williams, the club's teen leader.

It involves disseminating as many medical information forms and vials (actually large plastic medicine containers) to as many as people as possible. The idea is that medical information on each member of the family is placed inside the vial and put inside the refrigerator in the home and in the glove box in the car. A magnet with an emblem for the refrigerator or a sticker for the glove box will alert the EMT a Vial of Life is inside.

With this information immediately available for, say an EMT who arrives in an emergency medical situation, response time can be shortened and lives can be saved. The vials would include such things as allergies to medication, the family doctor, who to notify in emergencies, current medical conditions, past medical history and so forth.

Service club members plan to give away Vials of Life for refrigerators and request that people purchase the vials for their cars for $2 each to cover expenses.

Charter members of the new leadership club are all also active in other 4-H projects. They include Tricia Kunkle, Jacinda Mitchell, Rayanna Mitchell, Maggie Norman, Brady Norman, Kyle Bollman, Relissa Wortman, Riley Wortman, Lelia Wortman, Celeste Hillock and Katrina Anderson.

According to Williams, an interview with a state committee last summer for a trip to the National 4-H Congress made him aware that the kind of service projects the average local 4-Her participates in was not what the committee was looking for.

So after consulting his parents and 4-H agent Debi Schrieber he decided to start the new community service 4-H club for older 4-H members.

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