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Yellow dot marks the spot

Representatives from the New York State Sheriffs’ Association and local Capital District sheriffs introduced the Yellow Dot program on Wednesday, June 13. The program distributes free medical information kits that drivers can place in the glove compartment of their vehicle to help first responders determine appropriate treatment in the event of an accident or emergency. Pictured left to right: Greene County Sheriff Greg Seeley, New York State Sheriffs’ Association President and Putnam County Sheriff Don Smith, Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple, Schenectady County Sheriff Dominic Dagastino.

Representatives from the New York State Sheriffs’ Association and local Capital District sheriffs introduced the Yellow Dot program on Wednesday, June 13. The program distributes free medical information kits that drivers can place in the glove compartment of their vehicle to help first responders determine appropriate treatment in the event of an accident or emergency. Pictured left to right: Greene County Sheriff Greg Seeley, New York State Sheriffs’ Association President and Putnam County Sheriff Don Smith, Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple, Schenectady County Sheriff Dominic Dagastino. Submitted Photo

— A simple yellow dot on the rear driver’s side window of Capital District cars could make the job of first responders a little easier when they arrive at the scene of an emergency.

The New York State Sheriffs’ Association and a group of local sheriffs from around the region introduced the Yellow Dot program on Wednesday, June 13. The free program is designed to help first responders “provide life-saving medical attention during the first ‘golden hour’ after a crash or other emergency” by putting victim medical information right at their fingertips.

The Yellow Dot kit is placed in the glove compartment of vehicles and contains medical information and a recent photo of the driver. A Yellow Dot decal on the rear window will alert first responders to the medical information card inside.

“When someone can not verbally respond to our deputies, reading the Yellow Dot card could save lives by giving our first responders vital medical information,” said Rensselaer County Sheriff Jack Mahar.

The statewide program is funded by the New York State Sheriffs’ Association, a not-for-profit corporation that assists sheriffs in “the efficient and effective delivery of sheriffs’ services to the public.” The Yellow dot program originated in Connecticut 10 years ago, where it’s been successful.

Capital District residents can have a kit mailed to their door by ordering online at www.nysheriffs.org/yellowdot. Local sheriffs’ offices also have kits for pick-up.

“I have a pile of them here and people are calling and either picking them up or I’m having deputies drop them off,” said Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple.

Apple said the Yellow Dot initiative is a “simple program” and a “simple public service” Capital District sheriffs couldn’t turn down.

“When we were introduced to this a couple weeks ago and looked through some kits, we’re like ‘This would be a great thing,’” said Apple. “There’s really no negative to the program, only positive.”

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