Getting the right help in the moments after a car crash can mean the difference between life and death. Officials call it the "golden hour," and now there's a new program in our area to make sure those critical minutes count. Our Lori Chung explains.
NEW YORK -- Sheriffs from all over the state are teaming up to roll out an initiative that they hope will help save lives during road emergencies. It's called the Yellow Dot program.
The title refers to a decal that you will soon be able to get from the sheriff's office to place in your car's rear window. During an accident or other emergency, that yellow dot will let first responders know that they'll find critical medical information in the glove compartment.
Officials say that will help save time and avoid confusion during what they call the "golden hour," in which medical care can mean the difference between life and death.
"Even with crashes, to get to that hospital within that hour, many lives have been saved as a result, and if they have information going into it about treating physicians, medications, that's every important to help push that hour along," said Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple.
“Another big teaching point especially for the public is for them to keep that up to date, especially if you have an elderly mother or somebody's who's ill, you have to keep these up to date because these people's medications change every week, every month,” said North Greenbush Ambulance Asst. Chief. Ben Bornhorst.
Officials say the program will be especially useful for elderly patients who may be taking several medications. The yellow dot decals and other materials are free to anyone who wants to participate.
Albany/HV: Sheriffs team up for Yellow Dot program
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New York State Sheriffs’ Association Launches Life-Saving Yellow Dot Program Statewide
Albany, NY (June 13, 2012) – At a press conference at the Albany County Courthouse today, the New York State Sheriffs’ Association and a group of sheriffs from the capital district launched the Yellow Dot program. Yellow Dot is a free program designed to help first responders provide life-saving medical attention during the first “golden hour” after a crash or other emergency.
Representatives from seven county sheriff offices attended the press conference, including: New York State Sheriffs’ Association President and Putnam County Sheriff Don Smith, Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple, Schenectady County Sheriff Dominic Dagastino, Greene County Sheriff Greg Seeley, Fulton County Undersheriff Kevin Lenahan, Columbia County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Jim Andrews, Rensselaer County Sheriff’s Office Captain Derek Pyle, and Schoharie County Sheriff’s Deputy Zachary Reinhart. New York State Sheriffs’ Association Executive Director Peter Kehoe moderated the press conference.
“The program really has one goal in mind: to keep the citizens of our county safe, to keep the residents of New York State safe,” said Sheriffs’ Association President Don Smith. “That’s really what law enforcement is all about, that’s what the office of sheriff is all about.”
Sheriffs around New York State will distribute Yellow Dot kits to the public. Individuals can visit www.nysheriffs.org/yellowdot to request a free kit.
The Yellow Dot kit contains a medical information card and a Yellow Dot decal. Participants complete the card, attach a recent photo, place it in the glove compartment of their vehicle, and place the Yellow Dot decal on the rear driver’s side window.
First responders arriving at the scene of an emergency will be alerted by the Yellow Dot decal to look for the medical information card in the glove compartment.
The Yellow Dot kit also works at home, where participants can place a Yellow Dot decal near the front door and place a completed card in the freezer compartment of the refrigerator.
Funded by the New York State Sheriffs’ Association, the Yellow Dot Program is a free service available to individuals of all ages.
Yellow Dot was started in Connecticut in 2002 by People’s United Bank. Originally developed for senior citizens, the program can be used by anyone of any age.
The New York State Sheriffs’ Association, Inc. (NYSSA) is a not-for-profit corporation, formed in 1934, for the purpose of assisting sheriffs in the efficient and effective delivery of sheriffs’ services to the public. It comprises all of the elected and appointed sheriffs of New York State.