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S8 Presentations

Ben Shearer

There’s More Than One Problem – and It Takes More Than One E

Ben Shearer | Tuesday, February 20, 2024 | 9:30 am – 11:00 am

When the City of Pasco Fire Department picked our three priorities for our CRR programs in 2017, we saw them as three separate issues. One of those priorities was the high number of repeat callers to 911. We had a small part of our community that represented a disproportionate number of our responses. What we did not expect was how many of them were also represented in the other two priorities. Realizing that our audience for one program was probably a candidate for our other priorities, we quit thinking of them as individual programs. With this change in thought process, we are seeing a considerable reduction in our repeat callers. It is not just solving an issue by using all 5 E’s; it is solving all of their disparities by using every E!
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Kymberly Pashkowsky

Empowering Seniors to Tackle CRR in Their Communities

Kymberly Pashkowsky | Tuesday, February 20, 2024 | 9:30 am – 11:00 am

With one person overseeing the whole state in Community Risk Reduction, and only half of our fire departments (+600 FDs) participating in our CRR Efforts, we found several areas of need. To get creative in our efforts, we started exploring help from the community. We established our “Life Safety Hero” program to encourage community members to get involved. This has been very successful and empowering for the residents to get involved and know their neighbors. This program developed beyond just installing smoke alarms, and I am excited to share what these amazing Senior “Elderly” residents accomplished.
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Allen Wilson

Surviving a Vacation at the Beach – Implementation of a Beach Condition Flag Program for the Surf City Fire Department

Allen Wilson | Tuesday, February 20, 2024 | 9:30 am – 11:00 am

The Surf City Fire Department (SCFD) utilized a flag system to reduce injuries and deaths on the beach after experiencing a dynamic shift in the safety and well-being of beachgoers, which forced them to think outside the box to alert the public to beach conditions. After an in-depth risk analysis, the department identified several key areas that needed attention. One of these areas was the need for an alerting system to notify beachgoers of the current weather and conditions that directly affect the surf zone and its apparent dangers. Emergencies went from increasing by 367% in one year to decreasing by 41% the next, with no beach incident-related deaths.
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Victoria Reinhartz

Paramedic-Pharmacist Partnerships in Community Paramedicine: Impact on Social Determinants of Health and Fall Risk

Victoria Reinhartz | Tuesday, February 20, 2024 | 11:20 am – 12:00 pm

Within Colerain Township Department of Fire and EMS, falls represent 14% of EMS call volume, with 87% of falls being patients aged 65 and older. Contributing risks were identified to be comorbid chronic disease, medication management, and social determinants of health. A Community Paramedicine (CP) program was established to reduce repeat falls, improve linkage to care by identifying social needs and referring to appropriate resources, and reduce repeat medical transports. Previous research demonstrated value in establishing paramedic-pharmacist partnerships as a solution to chronic disease risk reduction. This research project was developed secondary to the changing healthcare landscape, to explore fire-based CP programs and innovative partnerships social determinants of health (SDoH), chronic disease and medication-related risks, and corresponding fall risk. Within this project, the CP program and partners perform an evidence-based Falls Assessment, Medication Review, and SDoH Assessment. Primary outcomes being evaluated include determining impact of a fire-based CP program and fire agency-initiated medication review on fall risk, social determinants of health risk scores, social service resource utilization, and system utilization (911 calls, ER visits, and hospitalizations). Secondarily, correlations between 911 utilization, falls, fall risk, medication-related problems, and social determinants of health will be evaluated.
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Bryan Tyson

Rural-Based Youth Firesetting Intervention Training Program: Pilot Monitoring and Evaluation

Bryan Tyson | Tuesday, February 20, 2024 | 1:15 pm – 2:05 pm

Youth-set fires are a risk in Massachusetts and were identified as a priority risk in the rural county of X. The program’s goal is to identify, prevent, and rehabilitate youths involved in firesetting actions and behaviors and misuse of fire within our county through intervention, education,, and mental health services. Our 30-member multi-disciplinary group is divided into three groups, each with a program manager and led by a steering committee with liaisons from Fire, Justice, Law Enforcement, Mental Health, and the Fire Chief’s Association.
The pilot program enrolled 10 participants over five months. At the 6-month evaluation, six participants participated in a follow up evaluation. All were successfully referred to proper intervention and all but one self-reported positive trends toward appreciation of firesetting risk and low likelihood to repeat firesetting activities. One was hospitalized due to a mental health crisis. The program is continuing to provide quality interventions and monitor outcomes. Implementation of the program has correlated with a year-over-year decrease in youth firesetting in the county as well as a reduction of more than 50% in reported fire incidents in 2023. These outcomes have resulted in reduced monetary loss and value of property, savings in insurance premiums, and increased school attendance and productivity.
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Kathy Hook

Youth Firesetting Intervention Program Consortiums: Exemplary Outcomes when Partnering with Mental/Behavioral Health Organizations

Kathy Hook | Tuesday, February 20, 2024 | 1:15 pm – 2:05 pm

If the societal issue of youth misuse of fire is to be effectively addressed, fire departments, law enforcement agencies, and mental/behavioral health organizations must work in tandem to increase awareness of the motivations and varying typologies of youth firesetters, and that intervention/treatment needs to match the unique circumstances of each youth. In this session, innovative partnerships with mental/behavioral professionals that have proven to be successful in addressing this issue will be reviewed.
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Jessica Xenakis

SAFETY SQUAD – An Innovative Approach to Interactive Learning

Jessica Xenakis | Wednesday, February 21, 2024 | 8:30 am – 9:45 am

The Virginia Beach Fire Department’s Safety Squad program is a comprehensive, skills-based approach to teaching fire safety and injury prevention to elementary students in grades K-5. The program is built upon the foundation of age-appropriate curriculum resources developed and tested by leading national organizations and fire safety experts. Evaluation tools such as a pre-test and post-test, as well as a feedback survey exclusively designed for teachers and school administrators, allow for efficient and concise program assessment. Safety Squad is exemplary in demonstrating the ways educators can utilize strategic partnerships, volunteers, and resources on a limited budget to deliver the most innovative, high quality fire safety and injury prevention lessons in their communities.
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Ryan Cox

Lift Assist Referral Program with 211 Helpline

Ryan Cox | Wednesday, February 21, 2024 | 8:30 am – 9:45 am

A partnership with 211 Helpline Center and multiple other agencies increased help to those calling 911 for lift assistance. This program has evolved into a system to get the correct assistance through partnerships to the people that we serve while managing the increasing number of calls. This program has helped decrease multiple-use individuals that totally rely on the 911 system. Getting the correct assistance and also informing the public about other forms of available assistance has helped to manage the increasing needs of our aging population.
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Mobile Integrated Healthcare – The Key to Neutralizing Emergency Service Overutilization

Jesse Blaire | Wednesday, February 21, 2024 | 1:15 pm – 2:55 pm

In 2020, Ocala Fire Rescue (OFR) partnered with AdventHealth Ocala to establish a Community Paramedicine (CP) program to address the medical needs of low-income, uninsured community members. The program offered off-site follow-up services to chronically ill, uninsured patients, improving patient outcomes and reducing healthcare costs. The program’s success led to the launch of the Ocala Recovery Project (ORP), which aims to reduce opiate overdose death and dependency. This presentation discusses the challenges faced and victories gained as OFR navigated the Mobile Integrated Healthcare (MIH) arena to create a robust and sustainable healthcare network, positively impacting services provided today.
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Mental Wellness Programs That Work!

Jason Corthell | Wednesday, February 21, 2024 | 1:15 pm – 2:55 pm

For far too long, first responders have been asked to serve their citizens first, while their feelings of angst, burnout, and depression were on display within our ranks. Providing solutions to the current mental health crisis our responders are plagued by is paramount in order to fortify any element within community risk reduction The Cypress Creek Fire Department wanted to do things right and carefully crafted a mental wellness program with three tiers: peer support groups, chaplaincy, and formal professional counseling. Cypress Creek FD has seen an increase in participation, employee satisfaction, reduced stress, and better social and interpersonal relationships, especially with coworkers and at home. Our first responders who engage with our mental wellness programs are less likely to relapse or require hospitalization.
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State-Level Responder Mental Health Team

Patti Graham | Wednesday, February 21, 2024 | 1:15 pm – 2:55 pm

As long as fire and disasters have existed, there have been “helping responders” experiencing vicarious trauma. Florida State University conducted a national study of firefighters in 2015 and identified a high risk for suicide. As the state tackles this and related issues, a firefighter behavior health project has taken form to reach out to first responders and their families, including retirees, to provide effective support and interventions with their team and trained mental health clinicians.
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Aaron Kozlowski

Joliet Community Mental Health Program

Aaron Kozlowski | Wednesday, February 21, 2024 | 1:15 pm – 2:55 pm

Mental health has become a focus across the United States. From the 988 program to the smallest community, mental health awareness is on the rise. The Joliet Fire Department identified mental health as a community risk because 10-15% of the EMS calls involve mental health. The Joliet Community Mental Health Program has evolved from a peer support team for firefighters to a program that offers mental health to every citizen of Joliet at no cost to the resident. By breaking down the barriers of access, cost, and transportation, the JFD created a reproducible program that any community could adopt. In the past year, mental health responses are down, and suicides in Joliet are down 47% compared to last year. The JFD believes no citizen should feel like they are on their own.
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