52 sign up for Yellow Dot

Published 8:28 pm Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Demopolis Police Chief Tommie Reese, Linden Police Chief Scott McClure and Marengo County Sheriff Richard Bates held a joint press conference with the Northeast Alabama Traffic Safety Office Tuesday, announcing Marengo as the 31st county in the state to employ the Yellow Dot program.

“It has been a great program in other counties and we’re glad to have it here for the first time,” Reese said in leading off the session at the Demopolis Civic Center. “It’s going to be a good thing for our senior citizens and others.”

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The Yellow Dot program began in Connecticut in 2002 as a means of enabling enrolled motorists to have their pertinent medical information available to first responders in the event of an accident.

“If you’re in a car accident, it will speak for you,” Reese said of the program.

Participants who register for the program receive a Yellow Dot decal to place on their vehicle’s rear window, alerting first responders to look for the corresponding Yellow Dot folder in the glove compartment. The information provided in the folder will allow the first responders to positively identify the person, get in touch with family or emergency contacts and ensures that the person’s current medications, allergies and preexisting medical conditions are considered when treatment is administered for injuries.

“The purpose of the Yellow Dot program is to save lives,” Laurie Weaver of NATSO said. “It can e your voice when you cannot speak for yourself. It will allow the first responders to have all of your pertinent medical information as soon as they arrive on scene.”

While the program figures to be a major plus for senior citizens, Weaver explained that it is a useful tool for all motorists.

“It is a great program for anyone of any age,” Weaver said. “If you are perfectly healthy, this is still a program for you.”

Yellow Dot registration opened at the Civic Center where 23 people registered Tuesday. Registration will be permanently open at the Demopolis Police Department, Marengo County Sheriff’s Department and Linden Police Department. Bates said the sheriff’s office will seek to hold more convenient registration sessions in Sweet Water, Putnam and other locations around the county.

“If you have loved ones in another county, bring them over and we’ll sign them up,” McClure, who spent nearly two years working alongside Reese, NATSO and the sheriff’s department to obtain the program, said. “If it saves one life, it is worth all the time we spent on it.”

A total of 52 Demopolis citizens registered for the program Tuesday. Registration is completely free due to funding provided by DPD, LPD, Marengo County Sheriff’s Office and a grant provided by the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs/Law Enforcement and Traffic Safety Division.