"Prosperity always inflates the imprudent, and worldly peace weakens the vigor of the soul." - Peter Abelard

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Yellow Dot Program Will Help Seniors, EMS Workers In Emergencies

This story was originally published on Page 4 of the July 28th issue of The Wellesley Townsman.

The Yellow Dot. Photo courtesy of NCSO.
WELLESLEY, Mass. - - On July 12, Norfolk Country Sheriff Michael G. Bellotti announced the launch of his new “Yellow Dot” program, designed to help both senior citizens and emergency medical personnel in the event of an automobile accident.

Bellotti described the Yellow Dot program as a natural extension of his “File of Life” program, which encourages senior citizens to place an index card with their crucial medical information in an accessible place.

The yellow dot will simply signify that the owner of the vehicle has a File of Life in their glove compartment. Files of Life had previously been primarily kept inside a person’s home.

“This program will provide greater security for our seniors,” said Bellotti. “It will also help inform medical personnel in an emergency situation, so they can provide the proper care and attention. Seniors are living longer and more independently, and we need to provide them with these types of programs so they can have a better quality of life.”

The File of Life includes information about allergies, medications, and any medical conditions that the owner of the vehicle may have. A photo of the person is also included, in order to eliminate any confusion if someone else is driving the car.

Both programs are voluntary, but the sheriff’s office claims to have distributed over 90,000 Files of Life, and expects to distribute many more for new automobile placement.

According to David Weber, Communications Director at the Norfolk County Sheriff’s Office (NCSO), the yellow dot is about three to four inches in diameter and should be affixed to the rear windshield of the car. It is designed to be highly visible but not block the driver’s vision.

“It’s really not a major expense, it comes out of our budget, and it’s funny that a program that’s based entirely on a sticker and a card of info is still the best way to communicate with emergency care provider in this technological age,” said Bellotti.

The Yellow Dot program is already being piloted in Cohasset, and Bellotti plans to roll the program out in towns across Norfolk County this summer. In Wellesley, the program will be introduced at the Aug. 19 meeting of police/fire officials, the Council on Aging, and NCSO officials.

Bellotti admitted that it might be difficult to get seniors to sign up for a program that can seem to single them out.

“You know, my dad is 88, good luck getting him to sign up for this,” said Bellotti. “We really need to educate folks – this is a program that helps people.”

You can find out more about the Yellow Dot program and other NCSO initiatives at: http://norfolksheriff.com/programs/


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