Sheriffs, Health Officials, Business Group Launch County Wide Yellow Dot Awareness Campaign

Modified: September 12, 2016 9:59am


Buffalo, NY – Erie County Sheriff Timothy B. Howard announced the launching of a city and county wide Yellow Dot Program awareness campaign with his partners from the New York State Sheriffs’ Association, Erie County Medical Center, Better Business Bureau of Upstate NY, Bertrand-Chaffee Hospital, and the Erie County Department of Senior Services.


The Sheriff’s Office, along with its partners, will begin a year-long awareness campaign to enroll members of the community into the Yellow Dot program.  The campaign will begin September 13 at the Amherst Senior Center, 370 John James Audubon Pkwy, at 12:30.  The Sheriff’s Office will host a series of monthly community meetings throughout the City of Buffalo and Erie County to detail this lifesaving program and assist families with enrolling elderly parents, grandparents, and individuals with special medical needs.


Sheriff Timothy Howard stated, “Upon learning of the Yellow Dot Program, I immediately implemented it in Erie County.  I have conducted dozens of Yellow Dot presentations at senior centers, independent living facilities, and community centers through the past few years and the more presentations I did, the more requests my office received for meetings.  Because I believe so strongly in this lifesaving program, I wanted to find partners that could help disseminate the information every day and the organizations here today will help achieve that goal.”


The Yellow Dot Program was developed by the New York State Sheriffs’ Association as a free program designed to assist first responders provide life-saving medical attention during that first “golden hour” after a crash or other emergency.  A Yellow Dot decal placed on the driver's side rear window of a vehicle will alert first responders that vital medical information is stored in the glove compartment.  In addition to vehicles, the same decal can be placed on the entryway of a residence to alert responding emergency personnel of vital medical information stored in the dwelling’s freezer.


Alex Wilson, Associate Counsel New York State Sheriffs’ Association, said "The New York State Sheriffs' Association is proud to sponsor the Yellow Dot Program and thanks to the hard work and advocacy of our member Sheriffs, the Yellow Dot Program has blossomed.  Yellow Dot can be a lifeline for people in distress, providing emergency first responders with that person's critical health information.  We encourage everyone to participate in this free program."


The Erie County Sheriff’s Office has been partnering with local volunteer fire companies in training members of the companies to look for and recognize the distinctive symbol and immediately gather the medical information of the occupants.  The first responders will secure the information and place the forms with the patient so emergency room personnel can have a current list of prescriptions and chronic medical conditions. 


With the health services community, the Sheriff’s Office has partnered with Erie County Medical Center and Bertrand Chaffee Hospital to train emergency room staff to recognize the Yellow Dot form immediately upon the patient entering the facility.  This information can assist the medical staff to quickly evaluate medical conditions and begin initial treatment. 


When the patient is ready to go home, hospital personnel will advise the individual of the Yellow Dot Program and encouraged them to enroll before their discharge.  Each homeward bound patient will be given a Yellow Dot Program package with their discharge paperwork.


Earlier this year, Sheriff Howard contacted various municipalities throughout Erie County and encouraged the governing boards to pass a resolution declaring it a “Yellow Dot Community.”  To date, the following communities have passed the resolution: Alden, Amherst, Angola, Boston, Clarence, Concord, East Aurora, Elma, Farnham, Grand Island, Holland, Lancaster, Newstead, North Collins, Orchard Park, Tonawanda, Springville, and Wales.  For each community that declares its support of the Yellow Dot Program, it receives a distinctive sign which recognizes it as a Yellow Dot Community.  The signs are paid for with support of the Better Business Bureau of Upstate New York.


Warren Clark of the Better Business Bureau explains, “We are pleased to be part of this life-saving community awareness campaign.  We represent both businesses and consumers and we dedicate much of our efforts to bringing important issues to the consumer; that is why we felt it was a natural fit to partner with Sheriff Howard in this community-wide, life-saving program awareness campaign.”


The Erie County Sheriff’s Office will be hosting community forums throughout the year with a schedule starting in September.


September – Amherst, Senior Center, September 13, 12:30 p.m.

October – Evans/Angola, A J Schmitt Elementary School

November – Buffalo, First Calvary Church, William Street

December – City of Lackawanna

January – West Seneca

February – South Buffalo

March – Lancaster

April – Delaware/North Districts of Buffalo

May – Cheektowaga

June – Hamburg

July – Tonawanda

(Some locations, times, and dates have yet to be finalized)


The Erie County Sheriff’s Office will also continue to host smaller forums throughout Erie County, for more information or to schedule a presentation please call 716.858.7308.