published Friday, August 17th, 2012

DeKalb County joins Yellow Dot safety program

DeKalb County, Ala., Sheriff Jimmy Harris, left, talks to Paul Saint about the county's newly-established "Yellow Dot" program on Wednesday during a launch event in Fort Payne.
DeKalb County, Ala., Sheriff Jimmy Harris, left, talks to Paul Saint about the county's newly-established "Yellow Dot" program on Wednesday during a launch event in Fort Payne.
Photo by Contributed Photo /Chattanooga Times Free Press.


Register for the Yellow Dot program at the following locations in DeKalb County:

• DeKalb County Sheriff's Office, 2810 Jordan Road SW, Fort Payne, Ala.

• Fort Payne Police Department, 200 Gault Ave. S, Fort Payne, Ala.

• Rainsville Police Department, 42 McCurdy Ave. S, Rainsville, Ala.

• Collinsville Police Department, 309 Post Office St., Collinsville, Ala.

• Community Action Agency of Northeast Alabama offices, 11174 Alabama Highway 75, Ider, Ala.; 1209 Forest Ave. NW, Fort Payne, Ala.; or 70 Coker Drive, Crossville, Ala.

Source: DeKalb County Sheriff's Office

About seven or eight years ago, DeKalb County, Ala., Sheriff Jimmy Harris encountered a South Alabama elderly couple suffering from dementia who got lost after a grocery store trip.

They had become confused as they drove along U.S. Highway 11 and wound up in Collinsville, where they started unloading groceries at a home that wasn't theirs, according to the sheriff.

The homeowner called the police and sheriff's department and personnel got the couple's names from their driver's licenses, Harris said, but it took more than five hours for officers to find the pair's family.

DeKalb's newly implemented Yellow Dot program, launched Wednesday, could have saved time in that instance, and in the future it can help first responders save lives, Harris said.

DeKalb is the 45th Alabama county to implement the Northeast Alabama Traffic Safety Office Yellow Dot program.

The "Yellow Dot" on a vehicle's rear window tells first responders that a package in the glove box contains the driver's identity, medical history, medications, dosages and allergies, and it can contain contact information when the driver is unable to communicate for himself.

Kelly Clayton, executive assistant to the sheriff, said second-day participation was slow at the sheriff's office in Fort Payne, but she noted that folks all over the county can sign up at their convenience at a number of locations.

Participants have a photograph taken to be affixed to an information sheet containing their name, address, emergency phone contacts, medical information and the names of health care providers.

The "Yellow Dot" decal goes in bottom left corner of a passenger vehicle's rear window or, for motorcycles, on the bottom left corner of the license plate, officials said. The dot directs emergency officials to the information package inside the vehicle's storage compartment.

about Ben Benton...

Ben Benton is a news reporter at the Chattanooga Times Free Press. He covers Southeast Tennessee and previously covered North Georgia education. Ben has worked at the Times Free Press since November 2005, first covering Bledsoe and Sequatchie counties and later adding Marion, Grundy and other counties in the northern and western edges of the region to his coverage. He was born and raised in Cleveland, Tenn., a graduate of Bradley Central High School. Benton ...

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