Yellow Dot program debut successful

Published 12:03 am Thursday, January 27, 2011

Sheriff Dennis Meeks assists Catherine Johnson in placing her Yellow Dot sticker on her SUV. | Kendra Bolling/Star-News

More than 75 Covington County residents signed up for the new Yellow Dot program in the first hour of availability Wednesday.

Sheriff Dennis Meeks said he was pleased with the turnout.

“I think we had a real good turnout,” he said. “A little more than I was expecting. We had a lot of senior citizens. It’s very beneficial for them if they are in an accident and can’t speak for themselves. There will be a folder in their glove compartment that has their medicines, anything they are allergic to and their contact information.”

The Yellow Dot program is designed to assist citizens and first responders in the event of an automobile accident or other medical emergency involving the participant’s vehicle.

The program can help save lives by improving communication at a time when accident victims may be unable to communicate for themselves.

Participants received a Yellow Dot decal to place on their vehicle’s rear window, which will alert first responders to look for the corresponding Yellow Dot folder in the glove compartment.

Meeks said the program is a free service being funded through an Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs grant and is provided to individuals of all ages, with an emphasis on senior citizens.

“For example, if a man and woman have small children, say in car seats, we would be able to identify using the photos and information that they are indeed the parents of the kids,” he said.

Lora Weaver, Yellow Dot program coordinator, said Covington County is the 18th county in the state to adopt the program.

Neighboring counties of Butler, Geneva and Escambia also participate.

Local resident Catherine Johnson was one of those who signed up and had her picture taken for the program.

“I think this program is very important for people in a wreck because (medical personnel) need information, and they’ll have the info,” she said. “I’m glad Covington County decided to do this program. My children live so far way – Alaska and Detroit – I have to have someone know what I need.”

Carolyn Black, a regular at the Adult Activity Center, said she and her husband decided to participate because of their health problems.

“It’s simple to fill out,” she said. “They just ask what your medical problems are, what medications you take, your emergency contact, your address and any allergies you may have.”

Individuals wishing to participate can sign up at the sheriff’s office.