Taking It to the Streets



Keith Griffiths | | Saturday, July 26, 2008

Baltimore City Fire Department (BCFD) and the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health_s Center for Injury Research and Policy (CIRP) won the 2007 Nicholas Rosecrans Award for their CARES Safety Center, a 40-foot safety-education vehicle designed as a house-on-wheels. The annual award is presented by JEMS and EPIC (Eliminating Preventable Injuries of Children) Medics at the EMS Today Conference and Exhibition to recognize excellence in injury prevention programs.

Since July 2004, the Children ARE Safe (CARES) Safety Center has visited schools, health-care facilities, health fairs and community events to teach more than 6,000 people how to prevent injuries in the home.

It resembles a typical homeƒwith a kitchen, bedroom, bathroom and stairwayƒto illustrate potential hazards and preventive measures. BCFD and CIRP safety educators use interactive exhibits in each room to teach parents and children how to prevent burns, falls, strangulation, poisoning and other unintended injuries. It_s also stocked with safety products, including car safety seats, bicycle helmets, safety gates and cabinet locks, which are offered for sale at below-retail costs.

˙Injuries are the leading cause of death for children, and more than 1,000 Baltimore children are hospitalized each yearƒabout three children every dayƒas a result of largely preventable injuries from house fires, burns, poisonings, falls and traffic accidents,Ó says Johns Hopkins CIRP Director Andrea C. Gielen, ScD. ˙This award helps shed light on the enormous public health problem of childhood injuries that we are working to address.Ó

Kevin Williams, a paramedic/firefighter with the BCFD Office of Public Education, travels regularly with the Safety Center. ˙I_d much rather be teaching prevention than treating your injuries,Ó he tells attendees.

For a free DVD on the CARES Safety Center, call Bethany Strong at 410/955-4121.

Nominate Your Program

Submit a nomination for the 2008 Nicholas Rosecrans Award by Jan. 10. The winner receives complimentary airfare, lodging and registration to EMS Today in Baltimore in 2008. The Nicholas Rosecrans Award, named after a child who drowned in 1996, recognizes emergency responders and agencies that promote injury prevention. ˙The award was created by EPIC to showcase best practices in injury prevention by EMS agencies,Ó says Paul Maxwell, a paramedic on that call who created to encourage emergency responders to promote injury prevention. Visitwww.epicmedics.org.

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