Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Cost Effective Life Safety Programs

As the Program Manager for Community Life Safety Education, I am always looking for cost effective ways to promote and enhance our fire and injury prevention efforts. This approach is even more important during these trying economic times!

But tough times can also lead to new, and previously considered unusual, opportunities. Recently I have been able to establish a partnership with the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene – a very non traditional partnership for us in the fire service. The funny thing is it should be a very prominent partner for us as they have basically the same fire and injury prevention goals that we have.

This partnership has resulted in a recent donation of 700 ten-year lithium smoke alarms (approximate value of $8,400) that are to be used for our seniors or families that can not otherwise afford an alarm due to financial circumstances. We are also in the beginning stages of becoming a partner agency on a falls prevention grant with the DHMH. This program will again benefit our senior population here in the county by preventing unnecessary falls and, sometimes tragically, the corresponding injury.

As Fire Chief Richard Bowers has stressed repeatedly, one of our primary responsibilities is to prevent the 9-1-1 call! A falls prevention partnership will go a long way to keeping our seniors safe from harm and reducing the number of emergencies our fire and ems units respond too! I am also hopeful that by partnering with many agencies, including our own County Health and Human Services Department, we will be doing so in a very cost effective manor while bringing a very diverse group of health and safety advocates together for the greater good.

Stay safe out there!

Bill Delaney, Program Manager – Community Life Safety Education MCFRS

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