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San Francisco Life Line Project

Providing a communication tool that bridges language barriers between paramedics and patients

San Francisco Life Line is a resource for first responders to allow for timely access to important healthcare information. The resource includes a plastic case holder with magnetic mounts to be placed on the patient's refrigerator. The plastic case holder contains a document containing pertinent identification and healthcare information, a useful info-graphic for identifying the reason for the call for medical aid, and a place to insert advanced health directives (DPOA, DNR, POLST, etc.). The last part of San Francisco Life Line is a four inch by four inch sticker that will be placed on the top right hand corner of the person’s front door.


Information provided on the San Francisco Life Line document will allow first responders to have timely access to healthcare information and medical documentation. Access to this information is crucial in circumstances in which there are barriers to care, including a language barrier or mental incapacity. The ability to obtain this information quickly is crucial for life saving decisions, such as which interventions are needed or which hospital the patient should be taken to in order to receive the most comprehensive care. 




Chinatown Community Development Center Partnership

Life Line has recently partnered with Chinatown Community Development Center. The Chinatown Community Development Center is a community organization that has 36 properties in San Francisco neighborhoods, providing affordable housing to over 4,500 low-income families, adults, and seniors. CCDC has given us the authorization to place a Life Line in every single CCDC household with at-risk persons. 


San Francisco Life Line:
Built for the linguistically isolated

San Francisco is home to a large population of elderly citizens who speak little to no English. Studies have shown that language barriers result in health disparities due to limited access to culturally competent providers, inability to understand medication instructions, and general mistrust in a health system ill-equipped to accommodate non-English speakers.

The majority of Chinese speakers in the City speak Cantonese, but the chance of a Cantonese patient calling 911 and having a Cantonese-speaking paramedic respond is close to zero. San Francisco Life Line was created by minority and Chinese-American paramedics who saw a gap in care and designed a resource to help.

We are prehospital care providers working for the San Francisco Fire Department and private ambulance services within San Francisco. We respond to all types of medical aid and traumatic injury calls throughout San Francisco County. Our mission is to provide efficient and equitable care to all those we serve.

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