Bucks County Courier Times
If you’ve had a serious car accident and are unable to communicate, there is now something to help first responders and it could mean the difference between life and death.
PennDOT is launching two voluntary programs aimed at saving lives in emergency situations.
One is called Yellow Dot, and the other is dubbed the Emergency Contact Information Program. Both were announced recently by Gov. Tom Corbett.
Both are free, said PennDOT spokeswoman Kelli Roberts.
Participants in the Yellow Dot program fill out a program form with their emergency contact, medical contact and medical information, insert it in the program’s folder and put it in their vehicle’s glove compartment.
Participants then put a yellow dot sticker on the vehicle’s rear window to alert emergency responders to check the glove compartment for the information, which will help them provide specific care after a crash.
The Emergency Contact Information Program offers Pennsylvania driver’s license and PennDOT-issued ID holders the chance to log into a secure database and list two emergency contacts.
The information can be updated as needed, but only police can view the information in the system. In the event of an emergency, police can use the participant’s ID to find their emergency contact information, Roberts said.
“Both of these programs speak for people when they can’t speak for themselves, so medical concerns can be addressed and contacts can be reached as quickly as possible,” Corbett said. “When someone is in a crash or they find themselves in an emergency situation, it’s critical that emergency responders quickly find out as much as they can.”
Levittown-Fairless Hills Chief Christopher Reif said while he applauds all efforts to make medical information available to his squad and others, he’d prefer to have a person’s information put into their driver’s license.
“It could be swiped like a credit card into our computers and in an instant we would know that person’s complete medical history. I don’t think having a piece of paper in the glove compartment is the way to go. It could be stolen and then a thief has your information,” Reif said.
Reif appreciates PennDOT’s approach, but he said the department needs a very strong campaign to let people know about it.
“This is the first I’m hearing of it. I’m sure they are trying to keep costs down and that is very important, but someone’s life could be on the line and we need that information as soon as possible,” he said.
Reif said there are two similar programs in use, one is called Vial for Life, which keeps a person’s prescription information in a bottle and a paramedic can view that.
The File For Life program is used mostly in 55 and over communities and is a folder of a person’s medical history and other important information. It stays in a person’s house, he said.
To learn more and or to sign up for the Yellow Dot program, visit www.YellowDot.pa.gov.
For the Emergency Contact Information Program, visit www.dmv.state.pa.us and click on the program icon.
Read more: http://www.phillyburbs.com/my_town/bensalem/corbett-announces-two-programs-to-save-lives/article_86d35fa6-705d-50f5-a424-81e59b3ae232.html