Talladega has become the 60th Alabama county to join the "Yellow Dot" program. It gives first responders vital information that can save time and lives.
Etowah County was the first to launch the "Yellow Dot" program in Alabama in 2009. Today almost every county in the state is participating, including Lee and Russell, and Sheriff Jay Jones says it's a big help.
Thousands of citizens in Lee County are driving with yellow dots in their rear window thanks to a push by the sheriff's office.
In case of an accident or medical emergency, the dot lets first responders know to look for a booklet in the glove compartment. It gives them all the information they need, from preferred hospital to emergency contacts.
Sheriff Jones says, "When they're trying to figure out what medications they can apply, what treatments will be effective, if they know if a person has a preexisting condition, if they know they have a particular allergy, I think it's obvious how helpful that can be to the medical responders."
Jones says the program allows patients to receive the help they need within the critical "Golden Hour" after an accident.
"If they do not receive medical attention within that first 60 minutes," he says, "then their odds of a successful recovery begin to decrease dramatically."
The sheriff encourages all citizens to join the program, and sets an example by putting yellow dots on all his squad cars. The "Yellow Dot" team goes to churches, nursing homes and events to sign people up for the program.
The sheriff says a number of people in Lee County have already benefited from using the yellow dot.
"When you consider the bottom line," says Jones, "time is of the essence when you're talking about saving lives, and this program definitely, without any doubt in anyone's mind, has the capacity to save people's lives when people are put in harm's way."
Funded through a state grant, the "Yellow Dot" program is free to the public. You can contact your local sheriff's office for more information.
Sign-up locations in Lee County include:
Lee County Sheriff's Office
Any revenue office location (Opelika, Auburn, Smiths Station)
Opelika Fire Department headquarters
Autosport Body Works
Sign-up locations in Russell County include:
Russell County Sheriff's Dept.
Russell County Courthouse
Phenix City Fire Station #4
Ft. Mitchell Volunteer Fire Dept.
Hatchechubbee Volunteer Fire Dept.
Seale Volunteer Fire Dept.
A number of other states also employ the "Yellow Dot" program. Georgia is among the states considering it.