Angie Jeffrey photo
Boy Scout Steve Colman talks with Jeanette Mayer about File of Life, a nationally recognized program that assists emergency medical personnel when they respond to 911 calls.
About two months ago, 17-year-old Steve Colman was searching for a 100-hour community-service project that would not only help him reach the rank of Eagle Scout, but would be truly beneficial to others.
File of Life, a nationally recognized program that assists emergency medical personnel when they respond to 911 calls, was the answer.
"My brother Rob is an EMT and had mentioned this to me before. I also wanted to do something to help the elderly, so I thought this would be a good way to serve both," Colman said of his project.
The two-sided file holds such valuable information as a person's name and emergency contacts; medical information such as blood type, allergies, current medications, medical conditions or recent surgery; and the names of the patient's doctors.
It comes in a bright red plastic envelope with a magnet on the back so that it can be stuck to one's refrigerator and easily accessed by EMTs if necessary. It should be filled in pencil and updated on a regular basis,
Colman ordered 2,000 File of Life cards and 1,000 magnetic folders to hand out. Brookfield Volunteer Fire department agreed to pay for them in hope the file's use will continue to grow.
Colman gave a presentation on the file last Thursday for 15 senior citizens who live at the Village at Brookfield Commons. Afterward he passed out copies and answered questions.
Colman's brother, Rob, 21, a Brookfield EMT, and his fellow EMT Bob Appleby were also present and spoke to the crowd. Both of them have responded to 911 calls in the Village, and they said the file can truly be a lifesaving tool.
"A lot of times we'll come to a house and the person can't tell us anything," Colman said. "They are unresponsive and it's harder for us to know how to treat them.
"If we have the record in front of us, though, and we know what medications they are on or any medical conditions they have, then we know how to treat their symptoms."
Steve's mother, Pam Colman, and younger brother, Tyler, were also in the audience. Colman's father, Charlie, is a retired Brookfield police officer.
Steve Colman also gave his presentation at the Brookfield Senior Center last week. The Village, however, holds a special place in his heart, because he sees many of its residents during his six-hour-a-week job there waiting tables and cleaning up at meal time.
"I've worked here since the end of May and I definitely enjoy it. They're very nice people," said Colman. ".Ÿ.Ÿ. Even if they are having a bad day, it's nice when you can cheer them up."
Jeanette Mayer, 83, who has lived at the Village for almost four years, said, "I've heard about the File of Life before, but I have never had it until now. I think it's a great idea. This was very informative."
Colman also plans to give his presentation to residents at Brookfield Quarry. "I am also leaving some with the Brookfield Library and the Brookfield Senior center so that other people can still pick them up if they want," he said.
Colman, a Brookfield High School senior joined Cub Scouts when he was about 7 and has been involved in scouting ever since.
"My brother Rob was very involved in Troop 135 first, and he also became an Eagle Scout," he said.
"When you're younger it's more of a social activity – it's fun," he added. "Once you get to Boy Scouts, it becomes more about the adventure, like hiking and camping. I enjoy the campouts a lot and we have those once a month."
He also attends weekly Scout meetings, and plays on the Brookfield High School football and lacrosse teams. He is an avid skier and a member of the 79th New York Cameron Highlanders, a Civil War reenacting group.
His community-service project is one of the final steps toward reaching the highest rank in scouts. Another is to serve as assistant to the troop's chaplain, and Colman aided chaplain Sue Latourette of the Congregational Church in Brookfield until her recent departure.
Colman is the only member of Troop 135 who is eligible to become an Eagle Scout this year. He will be honored at a ceremony sometime in April.
"I've known Steve since even before he joined our troop, when his older brother was involved," Scoutmaster Ray Pflomm said. "He's just an all-around good kid."
Meanwhile, Colman also needs to decide where to attend college next fall. He hopes to study business at Clemson University, Virginia Tech or the University of South Carolina – and to remain involved with the Boy Scouts when he comes home on breaks