Crossing Guards, Our Unsung Heroes

Many of our schools depend on crossing guards to get children across the street safely, and many of those crossing guards go above and beyond the basic job description. Some bring extra winter hats, just in case. Some stop bullying before it begins. And some can coax a laugh out of even the shyest child. In freezing or stormy weather, they are on duty – making sure our kids get to and from school safely.

The work our crossing guards are doing is more important than ever. A 2016 research report by Safe Kids Worldwide revealed that nearly 80% of students do not cross the street safely. Don’t forget to thank your crossing guard today!

Safe Kids Worldwide, with support from FedEx, held the third annual America’s Favorite Crossing Guard this year. This was the first year Larimer County participated and we had FIVE nominations which is incredible! Although they did not ultimately win the contest, they all represented Larimer County and made us all proud. We are excited to introduce them below.

Danny Kenny, Truscott Elementary

Danny has been with us for a couple of years now. He is here bright and early, earlier than he has to be. He makes eye contact with everyone who drives by, waves and makes sure they are slowing down in our safety zones. He also connects with the students and families as they journey to and from school. Danny was sick a year ago and it was pretty serious. He had a hard go of it, but what motivated him was getting back to his job, his work of keeping the students safe at Truscott. We are so glad to have him at his post. He has helped to educate the local drivers on safe use of the calming round-a-bout that we have at his intersection. Before he was there, drivers would blast threw in the north south direction thinking they still had the right of way. His calm, but firm presence, has been enough to slow drivers down to a safe and alert speed. 

Dorothy Fuller, Ivy Stockwell Elementary

Ms. Dorothy is an incredible crossing guard, an amazing part of our school family, and a friend to all students. Every morning – whether it is 90 degrees or 10 degrees – Ms. Dorothy helps our students arrive at school safely. Families look forward to seeing her each morning at the crosswalk. She takes the time to get to know each student (and parent) by name and kids love her personal greetings and great sense of humor. Located on a busy street, our school, students, and Ms. Dorothy would benefit greatly from a safety grant allowing us to purchase additional signage, materials, and safety education.

Doug Money, High Plains School

The fact that he gives of his personal time 3 days a week to make sure our students can cross safely through a very busy intersection is amazing enough. He also volunteers his time in other ways too. He comes in and works in the classroom and visits his grandchildren at lunch. He is always kind, pleasant, and super dependable.

Alex Martin, Carrie Martin Elementary

With a new neighborhood our students had no safe crossing across a busy county road. Staff worked hard lobbying city and county officials to put in a crosswalk over a month and a half. We eventually got a crossing installed, however our county/city does not provide crossing guards. Teachers, staff, and Principal rallied everyday to make sure kids got to school safe (even on Halloween). Staff continue to man crosswalk with the help of two building volunteers.

Eric Velasco, Monroe Elementary

Eric is one of the most dedicated and friendly crossing guards our school has ever had. He is assigned to be at his post for an hour in the morning and an hour in the afternoon. Staff members consistently see him staying for longer than his assigned time. Eric always smiles and waves to each car, whether they are families affiliated with our school or just people driving by. He brightens everyone’s day, students and adults alike

Holiday Cooking Safety Tips

Cooking brings family and friends together. With the holiday season around the corner, you may find yourself spending more time in the kitchen cooking for family gatherings and holiday parties. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), cooking fires are the number one cause of home fires and home injuries. Follow these fire-safe tips to prevent cooking fires and keep your family and friends safe this holiday season.

Check yourself and your surroundings.
• Never wear loose or baggy clothing while cooking. If you have long hair, be sure to tie it back.
• Keep objects that can catch fire away from your stovetop.
• Make sure sharp objects and containers with hot liquids are away from the edge of the counter.
• Turn pot handles toward the back of the stove.

Be alert while cooking.
• Stay in the kitchen while you are frying, boiling, grilling, or broiling food. If you leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, turn off the stove.
• If you are simmering, baking, or roasting food, check it regularly, remain in the home while food is cooking, and use a timer to remind you that you are cooking.

Have a Kid-Free Zone.
• When cooking with kids in the home, have a “kid-free zone” of at least 3 feet around the stove and areas where hot food or drink is prepared or carried.

Working smoke alarms save lives.
• Most importantly, remember to test and check your smoke alarms. Replace any smoke alarm that is 10 years old.

Safety tips brought to you by Wellington Fire Protection District.

wellingotn.jpg

Wellington Fire Protection District
8130 3RD ST., P.O. BOX 10, WELLINGTON, CO 80549
Phone: (970) 568-3232 Website: http://www.WFPD.org

Teen Drivers – What’s a Parent to Do?

Written by Heidi McBroome, Insurance Agent at All About Insurance.

Because teenagers are new drivers, they simply don’t have the behind-the-wheel experience necessary to understand the dynamics associated with driving a motor vehicle. There’s a vast difference between riding in the passenger seat and being behind the wheel. By teaching teenagers responsible driving behavior, you can help prevent crashes. Here are a few ways to help your teenager through the Graduated Driver’s Licensing period.

  • Choose vehicles for safety, not image. Ask if the car has airbags and antilock brakes? Make sure it is not brand new, but has 4 doors, front wheel or all-wheel drive for good all-around practical safety on the road.
  • Provide new drivers with plenty of supervised driving practice, even after they have obtained a license, including night driving and driving under hazardous road conditions. Go above the required amount of driving instruction. And have them drive you around even after they are licensed.
  • Mandate safety belt usage. It is a primary offense and the ticket is going to impact more than just the points they lose. It will raise insurance rates and cause a disruption to daily routine if you have to go to court.
  • Restrict the number of passengers allowed to ride with your teenage driver. Crash rates increase sharply when a teenage driver has passengers, particularly other teenagers.
  • Enforce “no drinking and driving” rules. I would add no eating either.
  • Emphasize that safe driving requires your teen’s full attention. Distractions such as cell phone use, navigation, social media, radio, and text messaging will greatly increase his or her risk of motor vehicle-related injury.
  • Place restrictions on nighttime driving to enforce curfews.
  • Enroll new drivers in a driving school to educate them about cars, driving conditions and driving techniques. This will prepare teenagers for the road, and it could reduce crashes.
  • Discuss and reinforce responsible driving behavior with teenagers.
  • Have a contract between you to create the discussion. (Here is an example of one you can use: https://www.cdc.gov/MotorVehicleSafety/pdf/Driving_Contract-a.pdf)plain logo

Back to School Safety

Written by: Master Police Officer Dave Sloat, Loveland Police

As we start to get our children ready for the upcoming school year gathering school supplies and school clothes, we also need to think about back to school safety.

Family life can be hectic when school starts and we sometimes get in a hurry. Please review the below safety tips and share with your children their first lesson of the new school year.

Kids going to and from school

  • “Use your head, wear a helmet.”
  • Tell your kids to ride on the right side of the road, with traffic, not against it. Stay as far to the right as possible. Use appropriate hand signals and respect traffic signals, stopping at all stop signs and stoplights.
  • Tell kids to look left, right and left again when crossing the street. Teach them to never run or dart out into the street or cross between parked cars.
  • Cross streets at corners, using traffic signals and crosswalks. Most injuries happen mid-block or someplace other than intersections.
  • It’s always best to walk on sidewalks or paths. If there are no sidewalks, walk facing traffic as far to the left as possible.
  • Teach your child never to talk to strangers or accept rides or gifts from strangers. Remember, a stranger is anyone you or your children don’t know well or don’t trust.

Motorist

  • “STATE LAW – YIELD to pedestrians in crosswalk.”
  • Flashing school zones reduce the speed limit to 20-mph while the flashing yellow beacons are operating. Please slow down while driving through these zones and look out for school children crossing the street!
  • Always come to a complete stop, checking carefully for children on sidewalks and in crosswalks before proceeding.
  • Watch for bicycles.
  • Eliminate distractions. Reduce risk by not using your cell phone or eating while driving, for example.
  • Always stop for school busses that are loading or unloading children.
  • Watch out for school crossing guards and obey their signals.

 

For more important safety tips please visit the ‘Safety Tips’ section of the Safe Kids website!Loveland PD.jpg

Swift water safety tips

Each year we see many water rescues and even a few deaths in our rivers. Poudre Fire Authority offers these water safety tips:

1. Tell someone where you are going. 

Or better yet, go with a partner. Let someone know when you expect to return and if your plans change, and be sure to leave a note on your dashboard to alert others.

2. Be prepared.

Children and inexperienced swimmers should always wear life jackets, even if they aren’t planning on getting in the water. Also, be aware that not many places west of Ted’s Place (intersection of U.S. Highway 287 and Colorado Highway 14) have cell service.

3. Don’t forget the power of the river.

Seriously though. The river is strong and usually calls the shots. Remember that water is high during spring runoff and also after heavy rains (or a late snow in May).

Also, be wary of river banks. Even if you’re not planning on swimming, banks can be unstable and give way beneath you.

4. Know your surroundings.

Check the weather ahead of time and keep an eye on the skies.

5. Know what to do.

If you’re caught in any fast-moving water, try to float feet-first in a half-sit position.

6. Reach or throw, DON’T GO.

If someone is caught in fast-moving water, reach out or throw something to them. Don’t go into the water yourself or you may also be swept away. Also, call 911 as soon as you can.

7. Carry a first-aid kit.

Or take a CPR class. These may seem like no-brainers, but having basic tools and knowledge may save be all that’s required to save a life.

PFA_white.jpeg