Yellow Dot Program could save lives

Published 12:44 pm Friday, July 22, 2011

Joe Myers, Ron Howard, John Krupsky and Margaret Greller are ready to help you get signed up for the Yellow Dot Program. (Special/Sandra Thames)

By SANDRA THAMES / Community Columnist

Have you heard of the Yellow Dot Program? As we know, car accidents happen every day no matter how carefully we all drive. Let’s use me for an example to better understand this potentially life-saving program. I am scooting around in our local area and am involved in an accident, or have a heart attack or seizure. Unfortunately, when our first responders arrive, I am unconscious and cannot furnish any medical history, pertinent information or contact sources.

In my particular case, I have a dozen diagnosis, 16 meds and three allergies. Unable to tolerate some very common drugs, there is the possibility I could actually have an adverse reaction or go into a coma within that golden hour of treatment. I know and admire most of our fireman and paramedics, but they don’t know my medical problems (except for Scottie Burke, maybe), so if this scenario should happen, all they would have to do is spot the “Yellow Dot” decal on the left side of my rear window, open my glove compartment and retrieve my own mini-medical history. A picture identifies me; there is a list of all my medications, dosage and what condition the medication treats. There are relatives, contact and emergency numbers, my primary doctor and phone number, my hospital preference, allergies and any recent surgeries or problems. The Yellow Dot Program is the first of its kind in the state of Alabama. The program is a cooperative effort between sheriff’s deputies, local police officers, state troopers, fire departments and paramedics to assist citizens in a time of need when they might not be able to help themselves.

Shelby County RSVP, which can be reached at 669-3837, can give you more information and provide you with an extensive list of places to sign up or to set up your organization or church with a come-to-you staff to handle all the details right then and there.

Recently, four members of the Hero RSVP station did their presentation and signed up a group at First Presbyterian. John Krupsky, Ron Howard, Joe Myers and Margaret Greller did a great job, patiently answered all of our questions and put everyone at ease.

Alabama Power, RSVP, the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office, the Shelby County Commission, the Mayors’ Association, State Farm agents, fireman and EMS Associations, the Police Chiefs’ Association, the Middle Alabama Area on Aging and ADECA are all proud sponsors and contributors.

Think about it from your personal viewpoint. This could be a true lifesaver — it’s free and it only takes about 10 minutes of your time. It is my personal hope that this program will save lots of lives and provide better communication in a time of crisis.

Community columnist Sandra Thames can be reached by email at