Members of the Graafschap Fire Department are putting their skills to work to possibly recognize issues before they could become an emergency.
The fire department is offering free blood pressure checks from 10 a.m. to noon every Wednesday starting March 15 at the fire house, 4534 60th St. The blood pressure clinic is the first step in a Community Risk Reduction program that will include home safety audits and an enhanced smoke/carbon monoxide detector campaign.
The program is being coordinated by Captain of Training & Health/Safety Dave Grumney.
“This is a great way to do two things: Use our training to discover a potential health issue before it becomes an actual emergency, and invite the community into their firehouse — which builds relationships that are not driven by an emergency situation,” he said.
Blood pressure checks
The blood pressure checks are free to anyone. An on-duty firefighter will be handling the service.
“This free service is not a replacement for urgent medical care,” said Grumney. “If someone believes they are having a medical emergency, they should immediately call 911. We will come to them with an appropriate response.”
Graafschap Fire Department Chief Doug DenBleyker fully supports the program put together by Grumney.
“As a fire department we cannot be reactive,” he said. “We need to have the mindset of being proactive. Blood pressure checks and home safety audits are great examples of a proactive approach to Community Risk Reduction.”
Home safety, smoke detectors
The second phase of the community outreach plan is a home safety audit program planned for launch in April. It will include a comprehensive checklist for fire safety, general home safety, kitchen, bedroom, bathroom and outside safety as well as special considerations for homes with children.
The third phase is to raise awareness about smoke/carbon monoxide detectors. The fire department is still gathering partners from businesses and groups before launching this phase, Grumney said.
Graafschap Fire Department serves Laketown Township and part of Fillmore Township.
For more information, call the fire department at (616) 396-4060.