South Hadley begins fire safety program for seniors

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SOUTH HADLEY, Mass. (WWLP) – In South Hadley, an effort is being made to keep older generations safe through a partnership between the town’s council on aging and local fire departments.

One of the leading calls from Emergency response teams in South Hadley has to do with older people falling. They’re hoping to educate and stop the trend.

“I would say on average we probably get 6 to 7 calls per week for falling”, Captain Jason Houle told 22News.

According to South Hadley District 1 Fire Station, calls related to falling are among the most common. Through a partnership with South Hadley’s Council on Aging, the Senior Center, and Fire Stations District 1 and 2, these organizations are hoping to change those statistics.

“To spread awareness about falls prevention and living a healthy and active lifestyle, but doing that while being mindful of falls,” said Leslie Hennessey, Executive Director of the South Hadley Council on Aging.

According to the CDC, falling once doubles your chances of falling again, due to muscle loss while recovering from the first fall or an existing injury. Each year 3 million older people are treated for fall injuries.

Falling hazards include accent rugs, cluttered stairways, and poor lighting. Part of the ‘Falls Prevention Program,” gives community members the option to schedule a safety check with the fire department.

“Do an assessment of the home with them, eliminate some of these hazards. Give some recommendations, things they can do. Maybe installing safety bars or removing some of those rugs,” Captain Houle said.

During these safety checks, they’ll also check fire safety, like making sure alarms are working properly.



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