ROGERSVILLE — Lucinda Peterson has some serious allergies, including penicillin, which can kill her instantly if it was mistakenly administered during a medical emergency.
That's why Peterson was one of the first in line to get a free Tennessee Department of Transportation Yellow Dot Program kit when they became available at her Rogersville apartment complex.
Beginning next week, those kits will be available for free to the general public at two locations in Rogersville: Greenbriar Village Apartments and Holston Hills Apartments.
The Yellow Dot kit includes a sticker that was originally intended for your vehicle that notifies emergency responders that there is medical information in a yellow packet in your glove box in case of a wreck, including your medications, allergies, emergency contacts and medical history.
Greenbriar and Holston Hills are also using the kits inside their residents’ apartments.
“Everything they need to know”
Peterson lives in the Greenbriar Village apartment complex just off Burem Road in Rogersville. Greenbriar is one of two senior retirement communities operated in Rogersville by the Douglas-Cherokee Affordable Housing Authority.
Last week, residents of Greenbriar, as well as its sister community, Holston Hills, were introduced to the possibility of the Yellow Dot Program being utilized inside their apartments.
Peterson was one of the first residents to get a Yellow Dot for her apartment, and on Tuesday she stopped by the office of apartment manager Candice Mayes to get a kit for her car as well.
“My daughter has six children plus her husband,” Peterson said. “How can she remember everything I'm taking or what I'm allergic to. She can't. This tells everything — my allergies, my medication, my medical history. Everything they need to know if I'm in a wreck or if an ambulances comes for me at my apartment. They'll know, ‘We can't give her penicillin, or this, or this, because here's her information.’ ”
Yellow Dots in cars or homes
Teresa Adkins, who is service coordinator at Greenbriar Village and Holston Hills, said she and Mayes were asked to implement a program where each resident would fill out an emergency medical form that would be available to first responders in their apartments in case of emergencies.
Adkins heard about Yellow Dot from a paramedic friend and then contacted TDOT to find out more.
The program has actually been around for several years, but it wasn't being utilized in Hawkins County.
For residential use, emergency responders will know that if there is a Yellow Dot sticker on the refrigerator, there is a medical information kit nearby in a location where EMS and rescuers will know to look.
Now that all of the residents have received their Yellow Dot kits, Greenbriar and Holston Hills will be offering kits to the public free of charge.
“These could be a lifesaver”
Initially, Adkins got 100 kits to serve her residents at both Greenbriar Village and Holston Hills.
Adkins spoke this week to TDOT, which approved Greenbriar Village and Holston Hills as enrollment centers where the public can pick up a Yellow Dot kit for free.
Another 100 kits to distribute to the public should arrive early next week.
“I wondered why these weren't known,” Adkins said. “I had never seen one of these for Hawkins County. When I contacted Nashville (TDOT) told me they didn't have many (Yellow Dot) enrollment site in Hawkins County. It's not being advertised. These could be a lifesaver. All first responders need to know what they're allergic to, what medicines they're taking, medical history.”
Get your free Yellow Dot kit
The managers will be on hand to help Yellow Dot recipients fill out their questionnaire and will take their photo with an instant camera. A photo is required on the questionnaire so that EMS can confirm that they have the medical information for the person they’re treating.
Greenbriar Village is located at 106 Petersburg Road just off Burem Road, about an eighth of a mile south of the Main Street intersection.
Holston Hills is located at 134 Stapleton Lane just off Route 66 in Rogersville.
The kits are expected to be available next week at the manager's offices of both apartment complexes Monday through Thursday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
For more information, call (423) 272-9976 for Greenbriar or (423) 272-7801 for Holston Hills.
You can find the Yellow Dot enrollment location in your area by clicking this link: https://www.tn.gov/tdot/traffic-operations-division/transportation-management-office/yellow-dot-program.html