This yellow dot could save your life


Following a car crash, or other emergency, first responders need to have as much information as possible to save a person’s life. But sometimes a victim is unconscious and unable to provide life-saving information, such as their blood type.

Now, there is a way to let those responders know everything they need without saying a word. A yellow dot placed on a driver’s rear window notifies them that vital medical information is stored in the glove compartment.

Baldwinites can sign up for the yellow dot program, used by millions across the country, thanks to the work of longtime Boy Scout Troop 182 member Brian Scannell. Scannell is organizing the event as part of his Eagle Scout project.

The scout said he had the idea to host the sign-up shortly after his mother was involved in a crash. “The need for a program like this was just evident,” Scannell said. “I had never heard of it before … it was just a weird coincidence.”

People can receive the yellow dot decal, and the medical information form, on Dec. 15 and 16 at the American Legion Post #246 at 2754 Grand Ave. The Dec. 15 sign-up will take place from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and the Dec. 16 sign-up will run from 2 to 5 p.m.

Participants fill out the medical form, writing down information such as their blood type, emergency contact information, their doctors, medication they take and more. “It’s the stuff you wouldn’t be able to communicate if you were seriously injured or even unconscious,” Scannell said.

A photo is also taken of each participant and attached to each form. The decal is placed on the right side of the rear window. The whole process, Scannell said, should take about 15 minutes.

The forms, and decals, were donated by the NY Sherriff’s Association, which has handed out more than two million forms in recent years. A camera, to take the portraits with, was also donated by Kodak.

Scannell said he has received support not only from the American Legion, but the Baldwin Chamber of Commerce and others. He is now in the process of making sure the Baldwin Fire Department, and surrounding departments, are aware of what a yellow dot on a person’s car means.

Agencies across the country have unrolled the program, most recently the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.

Scannell is the son of former Nassau County Legislator Joe Scannell, who served for 14 years before stepping down in 2013. He was succeeded by now-County Executive Laura Curran, of Baldwin.