Gorham police officer Ted Hatch did the honors this morning and placed the very first Maine yellow dot sticker on the rear window of Dyana Rossignol’s vehicle. Fitting, because Dyana is a member of the Gorham-Westbrook TRIAD, which worked hard this past year to bring the Yellow Dot Program to Maine.
The program was formally introduced at a press conference today at the Gorham Municipal Center. Among the speakers was Maine Attorney General William Schneider, who called officer Hatch a “force of nature” and praised him and the TRIAD for putting the program on the front burner and keeping it there. The Yellow Dot Program was a key project of the Gorham-Westbrook TRIAD, a community organization represented by a group of law enforcement officers, senior citizens and community service providers.
The yellow dot sticker indicates that the driver has a vinyl packet in the glove compartment with critical information, including personal identification, who you want to be called in an emergency, your hospital preference, allergies, and necessary medications.
Motorcyclists can also participate in the program. The Maine Department of Motor Vehicles just approved a scaled down yellow dot that can be placed on the motorcycle’s registration plate.
Emergency responders refer to the first hour after a vehicle accident as the “golden hour” — when it’s especially important to get appropriate medical attention. If a victim is unconscious or unable to communicate, critical, life-saving time can be lost.
Gorham police chief Ronald Shepard said too often first responders must, “scurry around looking for identification and other information.”
Consider these statistics:
2011 State of Maine car accidents
- 31, 377 total accidents
- 8,428 personal injuries
- 867 serious traumas
- 136 fatalities
Chief Shepard believes the Yellow Dot Program will help first responders get the information they need “right off the bat” so that valuable time isn’t lost. He predicts it won’t take long for the program to go statewide.
In addition to the stickers and packet of information, Maine’s program also includes wallet-sized cards in case the injured person is away from his/her car. It describes the car and what’s on the license plate, making it easier to find.
Enrolling in the program is easy. The Yellow Dot ME website lists several enrollment sites. Although the Yellow Dot Program is primarily for senior citizens, anyone can participate. Visit the Yellow Dot ME website for more information.