TFD seeks volunteers to help make sure seniors are safe in event of fire, fall

TFD seeks volunteers to help make sure seniors are safe in event of fire, fall

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - The Toledo Fire Department is looking for help to make sure all senior citizens know what to do in the case of an emergency.

They are looking for volunteers for the department's SAFE Program, which aims to do just that.

The Senior Advocates for Fire Education or SAFE program started in 2005, and has helped countless senior citizens.

In the program, firefighters train volunteers who then go out into the community and make sure seniors know what to do in the event of fires and falls.

"It's seniors teaching seniors. It's peer to peer teaching. We find that they learn better and accept the information better from someone like themselves," said Gwen Haynes-Burel with the Toledo Fire Prevention Bureau.

Program participants have to be at least 55-years-old to take part.

When enough volunteers sign up, the Toledo Fire Department will schedule a training session.

"We do have applications that they can fill out, or they can request that information from this bureau or from the Area Office on Aging," said Haynes-Burel.

Volunteer requirements include:

  • A valid drivers license
  • A high school diploma or equivalent
  • Successful completion of a background check
  • Successful completion of SAFE training

Statistically, the very young and the very old suffer the most fire fatalities, so the program works to get those statistics down.

The program encourages community members to make sure smoke alarms are checked monthly and to practice fire escape drills at home.

"We often find people within feet of the door or windows, unable to get out because they have to think, 'how do I get out'," said Haynes-Burel.

Click here for more information on how to volunteer.

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