At the Rochester Rotary Sunshine Campus, children and young adults with disabilities enjoy all the typical summer camp experiences like swimming, archery, nature hikes, and—learning to stay low under smoke? Yes!
This year, campers got interactive hands-on safety sessions with Prevention 1st trainers, practicing essential survival skills using realistic props like doors and windows, thanks to a grant from Ronald McDonald House Charities of Rochester.
Trainers Ken Schultz, Minerva Padilla, Ric Cortez and Bob Crandall presented scenarios and props for the campers to use in creating skits and practicing skills around such topics as kitchen safety and calling 9-1-1. They acted out choosing what items are safe to put into the microwave, how to recognize home hazards, what to do if the smoke alarm goes off including checking the door for heat, keeping low under smoke, escaping through a window, and what to remember to tell the 9-1-1 operator.
Even as New York State legislation moves forward to require long-life batteries in all smoke alarms sold statewide, Prevention 1st vice-president Bob Crandall has drawn on his 30 years of experience in the Rochester Fire Department to point out the continued need for human involvement in fire prevention and safety.
“Technology doesn’t let us humans totally off the hook,” he wrote in a guest column for Rochester’s Democrat & Chronicle. “There are things we still need to do to keep our families safe.” He described the need to test and maintain even hard-wired alarms, and plan and practice your escape route.
Sixth-graders at Rochester City School #17 learned about home safety and practiced their presentation and leadership skills through a recent series of Peer to Peer Home Safety Trainings through a grant to Prevention 1st from the John Wegman Fund of the Rochester Area Community Foundation.
In these workshops, students typically learn about such safety topics as fire and burns, smoke alarms and exit plans, household hazards, kitchen safety, and poison prevention, which they then teach to their schoolmates. For this training, the school’s principal asked for a presentation on one particular aspect of poison prevention–exposure to lead. Two students whose lives had been affected by lead poisoning took on the topic, telling their own stories and teaching schoolmates how to help keep themselves, younger siblings and their families safer. Learn more about lead poisoning prevention in this article by our training partner Community Health Strategies.
John Wegman Fund board members Betty Wells and Susan Touhsaent attended the students’ presentations to second- and third-graders at School #17. Ms. Wells told Prevention 1st:
“I was impressed by both the individuals staffing the program and the young people attending. The adults gave lots of individualized attention but allowed the students to follow their own plans. Each adult offered a different skill set which helped all students. [The youth] showed an ability to work as teams and come out with a good product in a fairly short period of time. Each power point was so different and had their individual touches.”