At the January 31, 2017 Board of Supervisors meeting, Fire Chief Daryl Osby lent his support and spoke in favor of a motion submitted by Supervisor Hilda Solis and Supervisor Janice Hahn. The motion, which was unanimously approved by the entire Board, instructs the Department of Public Health, in collaboration with other County Departments and entities, to conduct a child safety campaign throughout 2017.
“Often our firefighters and paramedics go into incidents that are preventable,” said Chief Osby, addressing the Board at the meeting. “And, we spend a significant amount of our time on prevention, public education and response, but it’s not enough… The Fire Department is looking forward to the collaboration of Public Health and other departments to work together to save children’s lives in this county.”
The campaign goal is to provide awareness and prevent tragic incidents from happening to children. It would focus on proposed topics that could include poisoning, media and internet safety, water and drowning, firearms and gun safety, safe sleep, school and sports safety, car seats/child passenger safety/distracted driving, fire safety and burns, bike and pedestrian safety/use of helmets, and home and street safety.
Among the presentations at the Board meeting was testimony from Los Angeles County Fire Department (LACoFD) Fire Fighter Paramedic Todd Hood. Hood helped save a three-year-old girl who had drowned and stopped breathing. With the help of a nearby lifeguard, Hood and the lifeguard were able to resuscitate the little girl who eventually made a full recovery.
“What happened that day just shows how quickly it takes for a child to drown,” said FFPM Hood. “The Los Angeles County Fire Department supports lifesaving messages on water safety, and we look forward to partnering with the Board, Public Health and other County departments on child safety initiatives and coordinating child safety education. “
The plan is to carry out a coordinated campaign agenda by April.