First responders hope to implement Yellow Dot program in MarchBy Emily Etheredge Published 5:13pm Tuesday, February 12, 2013
Providing a voice for the injured is a goal first responders in Chilton County are hoping to have with the implementation of the Alabama “Yellow Dot” Program in March.
Jemison Police Chief Shane Fulmer organized a meeting of local police departments, volunteers with senior citizens in the county as well as Chilton County Department of Human Resources (DHR) Tuesday afternoon to discuss ways to get the yellow dot program started within the county.
Fulmer told those in attendance there is a strong need for the program after he worked a deadly wreck that occurred recently in Thorsby.
“The events of that night really made it clear to me that we need this program in the county,” Fulmer said. “There was so much going on during that wreck and the first responders were trying to locate information about those involved in the wreck and it was about one hour after the wreck occurred that we actually knew who the people were involved in the wreck.”
Fulmer said he first learned about the “yellow dot” after hearing a presentation given about the program with Clanton Police Chief Brian Stilwell more than a year ago.
“We both thought it would be great for this county and something we would like to start but we weren’t able to get everything started then,” Fulmer said. “Now, we are wanting to get the ball rolling and get this program established.”
Northeast Alabama Traffic Safety office program coordinator for yellow dot Lora Weaver explained the program is the first of its kind in the state of Alabama and 51 counties currently participate in the program.
Weaver explained the program is designed to assist Alabama citizens and first responders in the event of an automobile accident or other medical emergency involving the participant’s vehicle. The program provides detailed medical information, as well as a “yellow dot folder” with an information form showing the individuals name, information, medical conditions, recent surgeries, allergies and medications being used. Those who participate in the program are asked to place a “yellow dot” decal on the driver’s side rear window of a vehicle alerting first responders to check in the glove compartment for corresponding information that is often crucial following a crash.
“Having this information helps those who respond to an accident know information about the individuals quickly,” Weaver said. “If no one in the accident is able to communicate with the first responders this establishes communication for those needing to help the people that have been injured.”
Fulmer said he envisioned each police department in Maplesville, Thorsby, Jemison and Clanton to have forms for people interested in signing up for the program as well as a station at Chilton County DHR.
Weaver said as the program gained momentum more people could step up to be enrollment sites.
“Our goal is to help people,” Weaver said. “The more people that know about the program the better.”
Weaver said a common misconception with the program is it is only for senior citizens.
“I often try to encourage those interested in signing up that this is for all ages,” Weaver said. “We are really trying to get more young people interested in signing up for the program as well.”
The meeting Tuesday concluded with a tentative plan to establish the program throughout the county by the middle of March.
A meeting to establish meeting sites was set for March 8 at 10 a.m. at the Jemison Municipal Complex.