ECSO launches ‘Yellow Dot’ program

Published 10:01 pm Sunday, August 1, 2010

More than 20 participants signed up to get yellow dots placed in the back windshields of their vehicles Thursday as the first of the county’s Yellow Dot participants were registered.

Escambia County Sheriff Grover Smith said the program is one he is excited to see begin in the county.

“This program is one that could save a life and help first responders in emergency situations,” Smith said. “We wanted to bring this to the citizens of the county to be a benefit to everyone.”

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The program, adopted by only nine counties so far in Alabama, is one that will alert first responders to accidents or other emergency situations to quickly gain information about those involved in the emergency, according to Lora Weaver, program coordinator for the Northeast Alabama Traffic Safety Office, the organizing agency for the program.

“In an effort to better serve and protect the citizens of Escambia County Sheriff Smith is partnering with the Brewton and Poarch Fire departments to introduce this program,” Weaver said. “The program is the first of its kind in the State of Alabama.”

Weaver explained the program to more than 20 individuals on hand at a press conference in Flomaton Thursday offering a chance for registration following the event.

“The ‘Yellow Dot’ program is a free service provided to individuals of all ages with an emphasis on senior citizens,” Weaver said. “The decal provided alerts first responders that medical information can be found in the glove compartment.”

Smith said the program is one that would benefit anyone involved in a variety of emergency situations.

“The program offers participants a way to give vital medical information to first responders if they are unable to physically or verbally communicate for themselves,” Smith said. “That will ensure that their current medications and pre-existing medical conditions are considered when treatment is administered for injuries.”

The “Yellow Dot” program is now available throughout the county at no cost to any individual through the cooperative efforts of the Escambia County Sheriff’s Department, the Brewton Fire Department, Poarch Fire Department and other emergency responders.

For registration and completion of forms for the “Yellow Dot” program, Brewton area residents may visit the Domestic Violence Crime Unit office located at 315 St. Nicholas Ave., during regular business hours. The Brewton Fire Department has offered to have the registration process open at any time.

The department’s offices are located at 601 St. Nicholas Ave. To contact offices prior to arriving for registration, the DVCU can be reached at 809-0647 with the Brewton Fire Department available by calling 867-6746.

Other locations for registration can be found at the Escambia County Satellite Courthouse in Atmore at 368-4779 or the Poarch Fire Department on Poarch Road at 368-4416.

Smith said there will be various opportunities for enrollment in the program on a visitation basis.

“The equipment we have to enroll individuals into the program is portable and we will be happy to arrange enrollment points as requested,” Smith said. “We will be happy to travel and set up enrollment at churches or through other civic organizations as needed. This is an important program and one we are happy to make available to the citizens of Escambia County.”

The program is funded through the combined efforts of Escambia County Sheriff Grover Smith, the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs and the Alabama Law Enforcement Tactical System.

Escambia County Sheriff Grover Smith places a Yellow Dot in a residents car Thursday morning in Flomaton.|Photo by Lisa Tindell