Yellow Dots Offer Aid When You Can't
A new free program for Moore County residents aims to save lives in the event of a vehicle crash or other roadside emergency.
The Yellow Dot program offers participants an easy way to provide vital information to emergency workers when victims are unable to speak for themselves.
The program, named for the brightly colored decal participants put in their car window, stores vital medical and personal information and a photo of the individual in a small yellow folder stored in the glove box of vehicles. Participants have the yellow decal placed on the driver’s side of the rear window to alert first responders to look for the folder.
“This is a program that first reponders can use to better help the citizens if they will help us first,” said Richard Allred, Aberdeen’s deputy fire chief.
Allred said he supports the program after a recent incident involving his parents, who live in Moore County. Two years ago, they were involved in a traffic accident outside Moore County near the Randolph and Chatham county lines, and the first responders didn’t know them. Nor did they know that Allred’s father was taking heart medication.
“They (first responders) didn’t know those little things,” Allred said. “And those little things can be big things when you are responding to an emergency situation.”
The Yellow Dot program will kick off from 1 to 4 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 11, at five local fire departments. Residents can sign up and receive their Yellow Dot materials. Sign-ups will continue weekly on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, from 1 to 4 p.m.
Participants will have their picture taken at the fire department and complete an information form with medical and emergency contact information that will go in the glove compartment in a Yellow Dot folder. They also will receive a Yellow Dot decal for the rear window of their vehicle.
All family members, regardless of age, can benefit from the program, and all are encouraged to fill out information sheets. Each folder can hold up to four information sheets.
“The key is to take a picture,” said Dave Fusco, Yellow Dot project leader for the Rotary Club of the Sandhills. “The most resounding response we have gotten from first responders is that a good photo is key for them to be able to quickly and accurately identify and assess the patient.”
The Yellow Dot program can saves lives by providing accurate information in stressful situations.
“The biggest thing is that we have instant information about a person,” said Allred. “It allows us to know right away what we can and cannot do to treat you, depending on your medical history.”
The launch date was chosen by Moore County firefighters and other first responders in remembrance of those first responders who lost their lives in the 9/11 attacks.
The Moore County Yellow Dot program is a public service made possible through several local organizations, including the Rotary Club of the Sandhills, FirstHealth of the Carolinas, the Moore County Fire Chief’s Association, Department of Public Safety, Sheriff’s Department, Police Chief’s Association, and the Moore County Leadership Institute.
“We are grateful to our benefactors and partners for their contributions,” Fusco said. “The project is under way because of their generosity and support.”
Fusco also thanked the project team members for their hard work and commitment.
The Yellow Dot program is expanding across the nation and is now in 36 states. Moore County is one of the first three counties in North Carolina to introduce it.
The fire department locations for signing up, starting Sept. 11, are Aberdeen, Carthage, Pinehurst, Seven Lakes and Southern Pines. Additional fire stations are planned as sign-up locations as the program grows.
Volunteers are needed to help with sign-ups. They will be trained and are asked to commit their time for two three-hour segments.
Residents wishing to volunteer can register their name via email at YDvolunteer @yahoo.com.
The program also needs local organizations to host their own sign-up events starting in October. The Yellow Dot program will provide equipment, supplies and training, as needed.
Those organizations interested in hosting sign-up events should email YDhost @yahoo.com.
Contact Tom Embrey at (910) 693-2484 or tembrey @thepilot. com.
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