Yellow Dot Program Aiding Accident Response
February 19, 2014
Every day across the country, emergency personnel respond to car accidents where the victims are left unconscious or unable to communicate with responders. Valuable medical information about the victim is simply unavailable, and responders are left to do the best they can to stabilize and transport the victim to the nearest medical facility, where they also often must work despite a lack of medical history.
The Yellow Dot program hopes to fix that problem. Participants of the program place a yellow dot in the rear window of their car, which alerts first responders that a corresponding envelope containing passengers’ medical information and a picture is in the glove box. Within seconds, responders can have a list of prescriptions and a medical history of injured passengers, which can then be passed on to the hospital.
The program is especially valuable for older Americans, particularly those with many medical issues, according to an article in USA Today article. From a first responder point of view, however, the program is valuable for any victim.
A new law signed by Governor Chris Christie in January allows counties and municipalities in New Jersey to establish a Yellow Dot program, according to an article in Governing. The local programs may very, but the core elements would be the same. The article notes the first state to establish a yellow dot program was Connecticut in 2002.
People can request packets from the national Yellow Dot program web site for a small fee. Many states have their own site where residents can request free packets. Search online for “Yellow Dot” and the name of your state to find your state’s information.