By Kim West
Limestone County is poised to join 60 of the state’s 67 counties that participate in an emergency assistance program known as Yellow Dot.
A bright yellow decal placed on the rear windshield of a vehicle alerts first responders that an accident victim is participating in the program.
Participants also store a folder in their vehicle’s glove box with medical information and contact information in case of an emergency.
The Law Enforcement Traffic Safety Division within the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs funds the program, said Yellow Dot spokeswoman Lora Weaver.
She said the program, which only tracks the number of participants, does not collect private information for a database or require data that could be used for identify theft, such as a Social Security number or birth date.
“It’s free and open to everyone, not just seniors,” Weaver said. “Yellow Dot provides emergency responders with all the pertinent medical history of the individual, as well as emergency contact information as soon as they arrive on scene.
“As I travel across the state, I have seen where someone’s loved one was in an accident and didn’t find out for several hours. This allows first responders to contact their families immediately.”
Weaver, who made a presentation to the County Commission during its Oct. 16 work session, said the LETS Division provides all Yellow Dot materials, including printers and cameras to take photos for the front of the medical folders.
She said the only expense incurred by the county would involve the labor needed to administer the program and printer ink and paper for photos once initial supplies diminish. The county could choose to use a free Yellow Dot brochure or print its own materials with county-specific information.
She said there is no charge to the public to participate in the program, and it typically takes about 5 minutes to pose for a photograph.
The next step is for Limestone’s first responders to have the opportunity to learn about the program.
Weaver, who plans to return to the county to conduct a briefing for emergency agencies, said county officials would determine the schedule and sites for Yellow Dot signups within Limestone’s four districts.
Yellow Dot, which began in 2002 in Etowah County, has 150,000 to 200,000 participants statewide.
For more information, visit the Yellow Dot page on Facebook or www.adeca.alabama.gov/yellowdot.