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.
continued The medical information card lists basic contact information, blood type, preferred doctor, preferred hospital, any medication being taken and any medical conditions or allergies. Apple said there’s no confidential or sensitive information that could pose the risk of identity theft or other problem should the card be stolen. Cards should be filled out in pencil to allow for medical changes.
Apple said the card can also be useful outside of the car, too.
“You can also do it for your house, put it on your door, put the card in the freezer — have one card for each person in the family,” said Apple.
First responders always worry about unknown medical conditions when arriving at the scene of an accident or other emergency, especially if the victim is unable to communicate, said Apple. Simple decisions like which hospital to transport them to could be critical.
“The first responder will have immediate access to any types of medication that person may be on and their treating physician, the preferred hospital and … they may have to alter the method of treatment they’re doing to make sure there’s no adverse effect,” said Apple.
Apple said there is no program like Yellow Dot and it’s something the community sorely needs.
“Growing up there was a Vial of Life program we did in Bethlehem. My father was involved in the firehouse and we went door to door dropping these vials off but I haven’t seen anything in a long time,” said Apple.
So, will Apple stick a Yellow Dot to the back of his own car?
“That’s a good question, I hadn’t thought about it. I probably will and I guarantee my mom will,” said Apple.