Coalition building is the centerpiece of a successful combination smoke alarm/older adult
fire and fall prevention program in Casper, Wyoming. The National Senior Fall and Fire
Prevention Coalition includes Casper Fire-EMS, Reveille Rotary, AARP, Casper-Natrona
Health Department, Blue Envelope Health Fund, and Casper Senior Network.
During 2015, the coalition met the goal of installing smoke alarms in 100 homes on a Saturday
coinciding with Daylight Saving Time and began building an inventory to provide older adults
with smoke alarms as needed. Firefighters Thomas Rohrbach and Andrew Burgess are pictured
above during an installation at the home of an older adult.
The coalition began to form when Casper Fire-EMS Captain Justin Smith and RN-Transition
Coordinator for Shepherd of the Valley Healthcare Community, Jill Hult, participated in the NFPA
Remembering When training in 2014. After returning from the fire and fall prevention training for
older adults, the team met with Reveille Rotary and collected the names of older adults at the local
senior center who needed alarms.
Students from Casper College Fire Science Program were recruited to team up with Rotarians
to install smoke alarms with nonreplaceable, long-life batteries designed to remain effective for
up to 10 years. The engine company from each of the Casper fire stations also participated in
installations. Blue Envelope Health Fund–one of the initiative’s largest funders–and Rotary and
have given generous donations.
The coalition has identified other items to aid in preventing falls and fires: smoke alarms for people
with hearing disabilities, night lights, and long-life light bulbs. In addition to the smoke alarm installations,
a number of small group public education events continue to be offered by the coalition.
Guidelines for conducting your own community smoke alarm installation can be found in
NFPA's smoke alarm installation guide.