In 2015, Jim Harding, the Fire & Life Safety Public Educator from the Midland Fire Department, Trena Winans, Director of Education and Community Outreach for Senior Services of Midland/Midland Council on Aging, and Kelli Jankens, Injury Prevention Specialist from MidMichigan Health, all headed down to Orlando, Florida to soak in . . . . all the education they could about how to prevent fires and falls among the older adult population in their community. NFPA hosted the Annual Remembering When Scholarship Conference and this Midland, MI team was among the 30 groups participating. After the Conference, the team was motivated, enthusiastic, and committed to their Remembering When project and program as they waived goodbye.
Flash forward to 2017. I met with the Midland Remembering When Team just recently as I was in Midland presenting at 27th Annual Youth Fire & Life Safety Conference. I sat down with Jim, Trena, (Kelli was battling a cold), and a new member, Howie Schaeding at the MidMichigan Medical Center. Two years later, the Midland Team was still motivated, enthusiastic, committed, and now very proud to share some of their accomplishments. Each team member was responsible for a piece of the program and they each took their role very seriously. Processes and procedures had become reliable and routine, and their synergy was palpable.
Howie Schaeding had become their number-one handyman. He shared in detail his duties and endearing anecdotal stories. "Show me how you get in and out of the bathtub" he asks many of their clients. He wants to see exactly where grab bars need be installed for each client, in every bathroom. He, undoubtedly, has become a treasured friend to many of the people he meets with, as they divulge their concerns about their safety to Howie. They trust that the goal of this team is to keep them living safely and independent as long as possible.
Where will the Midland Team go from here? Bigger and better is the hope, and was the purpose of our meeting. Like many seasoned Remembering When Teams across the U.S. and Canada, they are looking for ways to keep their momentum going and continue to grow, and exactly why NFPA is offering a Next Steps Workshop in Quincy, MA, August 8-9, 2017. NFPA will select teams from 12 communities to attend this free training and will address strategies to evaluate program success, identify high risk audiences, build stakeholder relationships, maintain momentum, and overcome common obstacles to program growth. Additionally teams will have the opportunity to network with other Remembering When facilitators and NFPA staff! The application process opens, Monday, April 24, 2017.
Not ready for the Next Steps, don't worry, the Annual Remembering When Scholarship Conference will also be held November 1-3, 2017 in Nashville, TN.
Maybe the Team did soak in . . . a little sunshine