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PTC program will help seniors with fall and fire prevention

The Peachtree City Fire Department and Fayette Senior Services are joining forces on a program to help local seniors all over the county, especially those who are shut-in, with fall and fire prevention assistance.

This week a team is attending an education course that will lead to the training of Meals On Wheels volunteers so they can identify potential hazards in the home that might cause one to fall, along with potential fire hazards as well.

“When they do their routes they can come in and do a quick survey of obvious rooms like the living room, family room and kitchen where more fire and trip hazards are going to be,” Campbell said.

Falls can pose serious threats to senior citizens, particularly as the possibility of deadly pneumonia creeps in with inactivity while recovering from a spill, noted Assistant Fire Marshal Chris Campbell. Some of the worst injuries from a fall include a broken or dislocated hip, Campbell said.

The idea is to train the Meals On Wheels volunteers to identify potential trip hazards in the home ranging from power cords to slippery throw rugs, uneven surfaces and the like. At the same time, they can also determine if the resident needs help testing and/or changing the batteries in their smoke detector, Campbell said.

If a new smoke detector is required, the city has plenty on hand and the fire department will come out and install one or more as needed, free of charge, Campbell noted.

The department even has a few smoke detectors for those who are hard of hearing that use strobe lights to warn of danger and also a handful of detectors that have 10-year life batteries installed.

Campbell said his mother is a driver-volunteer for Meals On Wheels, so he’s heard about the senior citizens who don’t have any family to look out for them.

“We want to take the good work that Fayette Senior Services is doing and piggyback with them to train their people to identify risks because they’re in houses every day delivering meals,” Campbell said.

The grant is completely funded by the National Fire Protection Association which means the training trip for Campbell and Marie Doyle of FSS is covered from airfare to food and lodging, with no money coming from the city’s budget at all.

By training FSS Meals On Wheels volunteers, the program will help improve safety for all county residents, Campbell said, noting that the Peachtree City Fire Department has a good working relationship with the Fayette County Department of Fire and Emergency Services.

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