By CRA News Service
First responders in Palm Beach County have another tool to help them provide the best possible care in the critical “golden hour.”
West Boca Community Council and The Alliance of Delray Residential Associations have banded together to present the National Yellow Dot Program. This free program helps first responders provide life-saving medical attention during the first hour after a car crash or other emergency when speed can make the difference between life and death.
“That would be so helpful,” said Sheri A. Scarborough, president of the West Boca Community Council. “When you can’t speak for yourself, Yellow Dot can speak for you. If someone is unconscious and can’t tell you, their vital medical information would be right there.”
The program, which is supported by the Palm Beach County Sheriff Office and Palm Beach County Fire-Rescue, is provided to people of all ages, with emphasis on senior citizens, said Steve Sherman, a member of the West Boca Community Council Board of Directors.
The West Boca Community Council has ordered 50,000 “Yellow Dot’s” because of the response from residents, he said. Council members will distribute them on Dec. 2 at the South County Fire Fest at South County Regional Park, 12551 Glades Road West.
Participants place the yellow decal on their vehicle’s rear driver’s-side window. This sticker alerts emergency responders to check a vehicle’s glove compartment for a folder, helping emergency responders provide specific care to participants after a crash.
That folder contains a recent photograph, the person’s medical conditions, prescriptions and other vital information concerning an allergy to medicine, diabetes, a heart condition, and other vital information, Sherman said.
The information will not be entered into a database, and won’t go beyond the glove compartment, he added.
Sherman said the medical information can include as much or as little as the person chooses. However, participants are not required to list any information such as birth dates or Social Security numbers that could be used for identity theft.
“The program can help save lives by improving communication at a time when accident victims may not be able to communicate for themselves,” he said.
Also, he said, the forms will not ask for information about pain medication, stimulants or depressants – only life-saving drugs.
“That way, people are not targets for criminal activity,” said Sherman, who also is a law enforcement officer.
Yellow Dot started in Connecticut in 2002 by an organization called People’s United Bank. It was originally developed for senior citizens but has expanded to serve all ages.
Sherman and Scarborough couldn’t say how often the program could save lives, but said the total number isn’t important to him.
“If this program saves even one life, I don’t care how much energy we put into it,” he said. “It should be worth it to every one of us.”
For more information about the Yellow Dot program and how to enroll, visit http://www.Westbocacc.com.