Lowndes County first responders work together to start new safety program

COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI) – During a car crash or medical emergency, there isn’t always a time where the victim can provide their information.

There’s now a new program that Lowndes county citizens can participate in if this were to happen to them or a loved one.

When you are a first responder, there are some moments that you won’t forget.

“One that comes to mind a gentleman that was a diabetic his blood sugar had gotten low and he drove off the road,” said Hughes

Assistant Fire Chief Duane Hughes says that there are times he wished he had just a little more information when pulling up to a scene.

“Sometimes in those situations when the blood sugar gets low the body emits a scent that is very similar to alcohol so initially the first responders thought that the man was inebriated but it actually turned out that he had a very serious health condition but he was unable to relay that information to us,” said Hughes.

Stories like this stick with first responders and they have banned together to prevent these problems from happening like this in Lowndes County.

Sheriff Eddie Hawkins said that he wanted a better way to serve and protect his citizens during an emergency and that is how ‘Early Alert’ all began.

“This is one of the innovative ways that we can help our citizens and give them the need for medical assistance faster when we identify. When seeing one of these stickers on the back window that lets us know that we need to go to the glove box and pull out their form and see what might be going on with that patient and maybe treat them quicker and faster,” said Hawkins.

‘Early Alert’ is the new program that will allow people to put a sticker on their back window and notify first responders to go in the glove box and find their previous medical history.

“We’re rolling it out today letting people know that this program exists and if anybody wants to participate. Especially our elderly citizens who have medical conditions pre-existing. They can come by here and we can give them the information to fill out and they can place that in their glove box and have it on hand,” said Hawkins.

Sheriff Hawkins said that he believes that people of all ages should participate, even if they don’t have a previous medical history.

You never know what could happen.

“You could be going home tonight and be in an accident and not be able to tell us what’s going on and if you have a pre-existing medical condition at least we will have a heads up on what that is and be able to treat that properly and help you a lot faster instead of trying to figure out what is going on with you,” said Hawkins.

It is always better to be safe than be sorry.

To be a part of this program you can go to the Lowndes County Sherriff’s Office to get your stickers and form.

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