Written by Domenica Farishian Saturday, 15 February 2014 00:00
In an emergency, every minute counts. Those first crucial minutes can often mean the difference between life and death. That’s why Nassau County officials are spreading the word about two lifesaving programs to help senior citizens in an emergency situation.
The Yellow Dot and Vial of Life programs were recently introduced at the Westbury Senior Center. The programs are designed to immediately alert first responders to lifesaving medical information during those first crucial minutes known by emergency responders as “the golden hour.”
The Yellow Dot is a sticker that’s placed on the rear window of a vehicle alerting first responders who arrive at the scene of a car crash about any vital medical information that may be located in the victim’s glove compartment. Vial of Life stickers are placed on a person’s front door leading emergency workers to medical information in a victim’s refrigerator.
“The Yellow Dot or Vial of Life stickers can help medical personnel learn crucial information in an emergency when a victim may not be able to communicate,” explains Assemblyman Michael Montessano. Emergency workers often arrive at an emergency when a victim is unconscious or incoherent and unable to speak for themselves, so in essence the stickers do the speaking for them. “That’s why this program is crucial,” states Montessano.
The program is statewide so if someone travels out of Nassau County, emergency responders will know what to do as soon as they see the Yellow Dot sticker.
Retired New York City firefighter Anthony Toran of Westbury knows first hand the importance of the stickers. Having been to the scene of many emergencies during his 27-year career, Toran says the stickers would have been an incredible asset. “I was a first responder, if we had something like this it would have been great,” says Toran.
Nassau County is also providing senior citizens with emergency ID cards they can carry with them at all times. These cards will help tip responders to key lifesaving information. Stan Colas, the 79-year-old president at the Westbury Senior Center, says he is very impressed with the program.
“It is a worthy cause. All seniors should have it especially people who live alone,” Colas said.
The Yellow Dot and Vial of Life stickers as well as the Emergency Medical ID cards are all being provided free of charge through the Nassau County Executive’s Office. Anyone interested in picking up any of the items can contact the Nassau County Executive’s office at 516-571-6000.