I am one member of a five person board. The opinions I express on this forum are mine only, and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the Escambia County Staff, Administrators, Employees, or anyone else associated with Escambia County Florida. I am interested in establishing this blog as a means of additional transparency to the public, outreach to the community, and information dissemination to all who choose to look. Feedback is welcome, but because public participation is equally encouraged, appropriate language and decorum is mandatory.

Friday, August 4, 2017

How Governments Can Work Together Effectively

The Escambia BCC and School District may be teaming up to enhance fire safety awarenss--this is a great example of how local governments can work together for the common good... 

Yesterday at the Escambia BCC workshop we discussed many issues of importance.  One of the biggest early discussions was about fire safety.  After two tragic losses of life to fires over the last several weeks--we all bounced ideas back and forth about how to better get the message out about the importance of fire safety and utilization of inexpensive smoke detectors.

An inexpensive smoke detector and an inexpensive battery can save lives.  If there is not a smoke detector in a home, or if there is one and it is not maintained properly with occasional checks and twice-yearly battery changes---this condition can lead to tragedy not unlike a traffic fatality that could have been prevented had a car's occupant only worn their seat-belt...

This awareness of the value of fire prevention is an area where local entities can work together better to achieve a desired outcome.  I think the BCC and the Escambia County School Board should work together on this.

The BCC's morning discussion revolved around previous efforts by the county to provide free smoke alarms via door to door campaigns in neighborhoods stricken with poverty and blight.  This noble effort has been worthwhile yet the effectiveness of this approach was questioned.

I suggested that we work together with the school board to help get the message out to an even wider audience--and to identify more families that could utilize assistance with installation of smoke detectors in their homes/apartments.

We have open houses coming up in the next three weeks in our local schools, and if we can come to an agreement with the school district we would like to bring a uniformed fire fighter to each open house to describe available programs for smoke detector/carbon monoxide detector installations.  I think this could be an extremely effective way to reach some families that need this assistance--as these open houses are well attended by families.

I also suggested that we request to be allowed to give occasional messages over the school district's call-out phone system, particularly around spring and fall, to remind folks to change out the batteries in their existing smoke detectors twice yearly.  A good time to remember to do this is during the time changes in the spring and fall.

If we can work together with the school district on this outreach effort--we could potentially save lives.  Let's do this.  Let's prevent the next tragic yet preventable loss of life locally by working together to leverage our efforts.

Administrator Jack Brown has already reached out to the school district to see if we can partner with them in this endeavor to keep kids and families safe--and we await their (hopefully receptive) response.

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