PLATTSBURGH — Getting the right medical attention during the crucial “golden hour” can be the difference between life and death when a person has suffered a severe injury.
That’s when a patient’s chance of survival is the greatest, Clinton County Sheriff David N. Favro said.
“When you get to an accident scene, (a person can be) critically injured and possibly unconscious and can’t answer critical questions for emergency responders or law enforcement.
“We need that information.”
Tuesday at the Clinton County Sheriff’s Office, he and his counterparts from Essex and Franklin counties introduced their joint participation in the Yellow Dot Program — an effort to encourage people to make sure that vital information is available as quickly as possible, whether at home or on the road.
FOR HOME AND CAR
Everyone, especially people with serious medical conditions or allergies, is encouraged to obtain a Yellow Dot kit to help provide life-saving medical information to emergency responders.
It includes a card to fill out with pertinent information, such as medical conditions, allergies, medications, blood type and physicians’ names and phone numbers. And the card includes a spot for a recent photo and emergency contacts, as well.
Clinton County Emergency Services Director Eric Day urges people to take multiple kits.
“It’s going to be a program that is very helpful for fire and EMS responders at motor-vehicle accidents and medical emergencies at homes,” he said. “I would recommend that people who take these packets (to) take two or three. If you need one at your house, then you need one in your car.”
Police urge people to store in the information in a safe location, easily accessible in the event of an emergency.
“We ask that these forms be filled out and be placed in the house in the freezer in a sealed bag,” Essex County Sheriff Richard Cutting said.
In a car, the information should be stored in the glove compartment, and the sticker should be attached the rear driver’s window, Cutting added.
“It doesn’t have to be the healthy people (who take part), but the people with critical incidents like blood disorders, allergies, heart problems or strokes. It’s contact info, next of kin, doctors, hospitals. It’s those types of things that first responders need to know,” he said.
GET THE KIT
The Yellow Dot program was started in 2002 by People’s United Bank in Connecticut, and the New York State Sheriffs’ Association is spearheading an effort to put the program in use throughout the state.
Franklin County Sheriff Kevin Mulverhill said he is looking forward to partnering with emergency-medical services, local fire departments, senior centers and child-safety organizations to get the word out about the initiative.
Also collaborating on the project are State Police, local police departments and EMS and fire departments around the region.
“It’s important that all of us get on board with this so we are unified on this, and when our EMS or law-enforcement people arrive on the scene, they see the yellow dot and they know what to look for,” Mulverhill said.
The free kits, containing the medical-information card and a Yellow Dot decal, are available at the sheriff’s offices in Clinton, Essex and Franklin counties or online at www.nysheriffs.org/yellowdot.
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