The Payson Fire Department and KC’s Home Health Care have been awarded scholarships to participate in a training conference dedicated to Remembering When™: A Fire and Fall Prevention Program for Older Adults, developed by the National Fire Protection Association, NFPA.
The scholarships provide for travel expenses for two participants, Remembering When curriculum materials and all training.
The conference will be held Dec. 4-6, in Boston. The NFPA selected teams from 29 communities across the country to participate. Teams are comprised of one fire department member partnered with an individual from an agency within the community that serves older adults through home visits, such as visiting nurses associations, home health care agencies, and places of worship.
Firefighter/Paramedic Andrew Hensley of the Payson Fire Department and Wendy De Santo, physical therapist of KC’s Home Health Care will travel to Boston for the workshop. Following the workshop, this team will conduct a minimum of five group presentations and at least two train-the-trainer sessions for local firefighters, other emergency responders and home health care personnel. KC’s Home Health Care will integrate materials from the Remembering When program into its outreach through home visits.
“Adults 65 years and older are more than twice as likely to be killed in a home fire compared to the population at large, and falls are the leading cause of death from injuries in this group. This training offers strategies that participants can bring back to share with their communities to help prevent fires and falls among older adults that live there,” said Sharon Gamache, Program Director of High-Risk Outreach Programs.
Payson Fire Chief Martin deMasi said, “We took a close look at the types of calls we were responding to over the past few years and found that fall injuries, especially to our more senior residents, were increasing. This program will help to reverse that trend and reduce the risk of such injuries.
The program focuses on 16 key fire and fall prevention messages. Some of the messages include: To prevent fires, space heaters should be kept at least 3 feet from anything that can burn and unplugged when no one’s home or at bedtime. While cooking, older adults should wear tight-fitting clothing or short sleeves so clothes don’t ignite from the stove. People should never leave cooking unattended or cook if drowsy from medicine or alcohol. To prevent falls, older adults should exercise to improve balance and build strength. Consulting a doctor first about ability-appropriate exercise is best. To prevent falls in the home, it’s important to clear stairs and hallways of electrical cords, shoes, books, magazines, clothing and any other things that can be tripped over.
“The opportunity provided by the NFPA’s Remembering When conference will be invaluable in moving our fire safety and injury prevention education effort forward. The Department’s commitment, a strong partnership with KC’s Health Home Care and the cooperation and involvement of a number of community organizations has produced an environment that will help mitigate the occurrence of fall injuries and the costly, painful and sometimes tragic consequences that result.” said deMasi.