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County law enforcement adopts program

Pike County’s law enforcement agencies have teamed up for what they hope will be a safety-increasing initiative.

Pike County has become the fourth county in the state to be part of a nation-wide “Yellow Dot program,” a program aimed at increasing emergency responder’s abilities to up response times.

“The goal of the program is to save lives,” said Lora Weaver, program coordinator with the Northeast Alabama Traffic Safety Office. “This can be a voice for the injured when they are unable to save themselves.”

Weaver and representatives from area law enforcement agencies gathered at the Colley Senior Complex Wednesday morning to hold a press conference and to begin promoting the program, geared largely toward senior citizens.

Essentially, the program allows residents to create a file with their personal information, emergency contacts, medical history and a photo for identification purposes. They are then given a yellow dot decal to place in the right rear window of their vehicles to alert law enforcement they are a participant of the program.

“It’s a program I felt strongly would improve our services to offer citizens in Pike County,” said Pike County Sheriff Russell Thomas, who spearheaded the efforts to bring the program to the county.

With this program, law enforcement would know to find their yellow dot information in a resident’s vehicle if he or she was the victim of a wreck.

“They can go into the glove box and get the folders,” Weaver said.

And, the picture would ensure law enforcement can match the medical information correctly.

“It will be fantastic,” said Troy Fire Chief Thomas Outlaw. “We run into a lot of patients passed out or unconscious that we need to know their medical history.”

Weaver said Alabama is the eighth state in the nation to adopt this program, and Pike County can thank its sheriff for the presence of it here.

“This will aid our first responders to be able to provide a faster, quicker service for our community,” Thomas said.

The program, while geared for senior citizens, is open to all residents of Pike County.

That includes university students, as Troy University Police are strongly urging students to get on board.

“We have a lot of students from other countries that come to the university because we have accidents that do occur on campus,” said University Police Chief Rod Anderson.

“We will try to do it in accordance with our (parking) decal sales.”

The program is free to all residents. It is funded collectively by the Pike County Sheriff’s Department, Troy, Brundidge and University Police Departments, Troy Fire Department, Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs and the Alabama Risk Watch Program.

The fees are simply in material purchase and will not have to be renewed in the next year.

The Pike County Firefighters Association was also present.

Decals are available at the local police departments, Troy Fire Department and the sheriff’s office.

Weaver said the goal is to eventually implement this program statewide, but there is no time frame for that.