27th Senior Safety Saturday

Having returned home from Alaska late Thursday, and taking off work on Friday, one would think that I would sleep in. Not the case… instead, I got together with three firefighter buddies and…

… picked up orders of safety supplies from a big box retailer who was supporting us for our 27th-annual Senior Safety Saturday in the community where I live and serve.

A few months before this, several volunteers who I trained visited homes in the community where older people live and whose homes needed safety upgrades. Grab bars in the bath, non-slip floor mats, better lighting along the path from the bedroom to the bath to be able to see at night, and of course, new (or replacement) 10-year smoke alarms and CO detectors.

Each home had a specific list of actions for safety equipment installations that were required. Volunteers, many of whom are bilingual, turned in the advance checklist to my local fire house. I would drop by about once a week to gather the lists and tally up the equipment required, such as (18) 24-inch grab bars, (35) non-slip mats, (46) strip lights and motion-sensitive activators for floor pathway lighting, (40) CO detectors and (94) new smoke alarms.

I placed the order for these supplies with the retailer, who arranged to donate all of these supplies to us for this non-profit community activity. Technically, they donated $10,000 in value of supplies, which was approximately the cost of what we needed.

My buddies and I brought these supplies to an alternate fire house from our own, because ours is under major renovation and there is no space to store stuff. We spent most of the day placing supplies into individual bags for each address. The home at 2932 X Street gets these things, and the home at 13871 Y Road gets those things. After we were done divvying up supplies by address, for the first time ever, we had no extra supplies, or none short, either. It all worked out exactly. I was amazed, because inevitably the counts don’t work out. (No worries — over the years, I have collected extra supplies to have on hand in case of a shortage.)

Saturday morning at 0700, 68 volunteers and a few community officials gathered at the alternate fire house. I thanked them for their commitment to our home, and gave two or three bags to groups of 2-3 volunteers and set them loose.

I received a few phone calls during the installation time about certain issues — mostly related to carpentry or electrical problems. I also have two skilled carpenters and two electricians as part of my team. I dispatched these skilled professionals to troubleshoot and resolve on-site problems.

Everything was complete by 1100. We gathered back at the fire house for a pizza lunch. This is where a few elected officials thanked our volunteers in person.

This is what I do… my community, my life, and my home. It is this event for which I was recognized and made a Life Member of my local Fire Department, for which I remain grateful.

BTW — no blog about this on Sunday? Well….

…it was raining (long needed) when I woke on Sunday morning. With the gentle pitter-patter of rain drops on the roof, dark gray skies, and nothing to do specifically… Spouse and I lay in bed for two hours on Sunday morning, held each other in a warm embrace, and talked again about our plans for next year, the first year of my retirement. By the time we got up, had brunch, we went about our day which didn’t include time on the computer.

Life is short: caring for your community is a feeling of “home.”