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Muskegon County first responders pushing 'Yellow Dot' for older drivers, those with preexisting medical conditions

Yellow Dot program designed to help first responders provide life-saving medical attention during moments immediately following a crash or medical emergency.

MUSKEGON COUNTY, Mich. — The Muskegon County "Yellow Dot" program started small in 2019 with money from Mercy Health and took a big step forward in 2020 with additional funding from the Muskegon County Senior Millage.

But due to COVID-19, police and fire departments around Muskegon County weren't able to hold open houses and community safety events to introduce community members to Yellow Dot.

So the 10 police and 14 fire agencies in Muskegon County participating in Yellow Dot are using social media to let drivers know about the program. 

Yellow Dot is explained by members of Norton Shores Police and Fire in a video recently posted to YouTube.

"The information can mean the difference between life and death," said
Norton Shores Police Sergeant Dan Hibler in the video. "Yellow Dot is free and available to you at any participating fire or police department in Muskegon County," added Norton Shores Deputy Fire Chief Joseph Kinnucan.

The program targets mostly senior drivers and those with an existing medical condition. A Yellow Dot window decal signals to first responders that important information about a driver's medical condition is stored in the vehicles' glove box.

"To help first responders give the care that you need in the event of a serious crash or a medical emergency," said Hibler.

Sometimes crashes are caused by a driver's medical condition. With Yellow Dot, first responders can quickly learn important medical information like allergies, blood type and basic medical history from the medical form.

Kinnucan says that becomes especially important when a driver can't communicate that important information.

 "If they can't answer those questions we need to be able to find something that's going to be able to answer them for us," Kinnucan said. "We're actually saving lives by being able to get to that information in the glove compartment."

"We'd like to get all 3,000 packets out to the public as quickly as possible," said Hibler.

"3,000 is the start," Kinnucan added. "We want to meet and exceed that."

It's believed Muskegon County's Yellow Dot program is the first in the state. In 2021 police and fire representatives from Muskegon County will present the program to the state's office of highway, safety, and planning.

Yellow Dot packets can be picked up at local enrollment sites

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