Saving minutes and saving lives with SALT

When a life is on the line, a few seconds delay is often the difference between life and death or serious injury. If there are ways citizens can help first responders shave minutes on that time, the city believes the community should be aware of those actions they can take.

Seniors and Law Enforcement Together (SALT) is coming to the Elizabethton/Carter County Library Monday, Jan. 7, from 12 to 1 p.m. to talk about small strategies people can take to dramatically improve the chances of survival during an emergency.

Adult Services and Outreach Coordinator at the library Maryann Owen said the event’s main purpose is to educate citizens about free tools they can use to assist first responders quickly and effectively perform their jobs during an emergency.

“We are trying to get city first responders to come, so we can educate both them and the public,” Owen said.

The discussion will include showcases of various items including the Yellow Dot, a sticker people can put on their vehicles that informs paramedics there is immediate medical information in the person’s glove compartment in the form of a pamphlet, including blood type and emergency contacts.

“These things can save your life,” she said.

She said SALT held a similar event in November, and of the eight people who were able to attend, only one of them knew about the Dot, and hardly any of them knew about the other systems they advertised.

“Barely anyone knows about this stuff,” Owen said.

She said people in an emergency begin a timer right at the moment of the emergency, and any time they spend evaluating the situation is time they could have spent performing treatment.

Owen said while the turnout tends to be small, the payoff tends to be larger than it seems.

“Vickie Clark from UT Extensions took a dozen pamphlets last year,” she said. “One lady took multiple pamphlets to bring to her family.”

The library itself constantly stocks these materials and more throughout the year. Owen said she is always restocking as she runs out, which she said she did when she held the event in November.

As for SALT itself, she said they meet at the Elizabethton Senior Center, 428 E. G St.

“SALT meets the first Thursday of every month,” Owen said. “However, we are in the winter break right now, so we will not be meeting again until March.”

Those interested in picking up supplies such as the Dot for themselves can come to the library or the Senior Center at any time while either location is open.

She said anyone who can attend should attend, despite being in the middle of the workday.

“If you do not have a need, I guarantee someone in your life could benefit from it,” Owen said.

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