As the emergency manager for Anderson County, Kansas I know first hand how important
having accurate, timely information is when an emergency or disaster strikes. From the first time
I met with John from FirstFile, I knew this was a product I needed to have in my county.
The concept is simple, yet effective. There is no fancy apps to download or websites you have to
log on to to get the vital information a first responder needs during an emergency. The process of
filling out the information and placing the file is easy which is great for our target audience, the
senior citizens of my county. The design and color of FirstFile is easy to recognize and utilize.
On a medical call I responded to with the fire department in January, I asked the patient some
questions about her medical history, she replies “I have one of those blue files in the kitchen with
all that information”. She had the composure to remember where her FirstFile was before I even
thought about her having one. This was extremely valuable due to her respiratory issues and
difficulty in speaking. We were quickly able to determine what medications she was on and her
medical history. Once EMS arrived, they were given the FirstFile to take with them to the
emergency room. This was a perfect example of why I not only feel the program is important but
my agency elected to be a sponsor on the file also.
I am extremely excited about the vehicle version that is now available. As an emergency
responder for 19 years there’s been several occasions where the occupants of a vehicle are unable
to communicate vital information. Having FirstFile in their vehicle and the ability to quickly
identify that they have one in their vehicle via the window decal has the potential to save many
J.D. Mersman KCEM
Anderson County, KS Emergency Management