Monday, January 14, 2019
Georgia Yellow Dot Program Helps Save a Life in Dunwoody
The Yellow Dot on the home and car of a Dunwoody woman alerted Dunwoody Police to a serious medical condition during a welfare check.
Dunwoody, GA – January 14, 2019 - The first documented save of the Yellow Dot Program in Georgia involved a Dunwoody woman who suffered a diabetic coma.
“Yellow Dot saved time for the officer, medical providers, EMS and transport,” said Elizabeth Head, Deputy Director of Injury Prevention for the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH). “It’s about saving time and saving lives.”
DPH launched Yellow Dot in 2017. Dunwoody Police joined the program in September 2018 after officers and first responders went through required training. Yellow Dot is designed for people 55 and older, or others who are medically fragile, but anyone can take part the program.
In participating communities, like Dunwoody, citizens can pick up free packets, fill out important emergency information, including any medications they’re taking and family contacts, and place the packets on their refrigerator and in the glove box in their car. The packets also come with Yellow Dot stickers for their home and car.
“It made a big difference in how quickly everyone could take care of me and get me better,” said Melanie Howard of Dunwoody.
Ms. Howard had a medical emergency that started without warning on Christmas Day. Her neighbors began to worry when she didn’t show up for a party they were planning that night. They called and knocked on her door but didn’t get an answer. By the next day, neighbors were so concerned that they called Dunwoody Police to ask for a welfare check.
“Our officers went to the home and saw a Yellow Dot sticker on the car,” said Dunwoody Police Sgt. Robert Parsons. “When they received no answer at the door, they went to the car and pulled out the Yellow Dot packet.”
The packet indicated that Ms. Howard was diabetic. It also included details about her medications and contact information for her family.
“I remember nothing,” Ms. Howard said. “I was totally out of it. I was in a diabetic coma.”
Officers made their way into Ms. Howard’s home and found her unresponsive in bed. They immediately called for medical help, and she was rushed to the hospital.
“Had the Yellow Dot sticker not been there, the officers probably wouldn’t have known this person had a medical condition and there was more to this call than just not being home or not talking to neighbors in a few days,” explained Sgt. Parsons.
Dunwoody is one of eight communities in the state where the Yellow Dot program is available. First responders are trained in the program before making packets and stickers available for free.
Yellow Dot kits are available for Dunwoody residents during normal business hours at the following locations:
- Dunwoody Police Department, 4800 Ashford Dunwoody Road
- Dunwoody Library, 5339 Chamblee Dunwoody Road
- The Phoenix at Dunwoody, 4484 N. Shallowford Road
- The Alzheimer’s Association, 41 Perimeter Center East, Suite 550
- The Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta, 5342 Tilly Mill Road
The program is funded by three state agencies -- the Governor's Office of Highway Safety, DPH and the Georgia Department of Human Services Division of Aging Services.
Officials with DPH said that anyone outside of Dunwoody who’s interested in starting the program in their own community should contact their local government or law enforcement and encourage them to participate.
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For more information regarding the City of Dunwoody, please contact Jennifer Boettcher, Communications Director, at 678.382.6881 or at Jennifer.Boettcher@dunwoodyga.gov or Sgt. Robert Parsons, Dunwoody Police Public Information Officer at 678.382.6909 or at Robert.Parsons@dunwoodyga.gov
About the City of Dunwoody, Georgia
Dunwoody is located in metro Atlanta, in northern DeKalb County, Georgia and was officially incorporated as a city on December 1, 2008. The City of Dunwoody provides quality service to its citizens and supports the largest economic engine in the Southeast by planning in a careful and thoughtful manner. The City of Dunwoody is inventive, transparent and embraces responsible progress, tempered by the city’s rich history and strong desire to maintain a close and vibrant community atmosphere that values family life and the entrepreneurial spirit. The City of Dunwoody supports and nurtures a community dedicated to the preservation of family, education, religious institutions, and the environment.
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