Remembering When

Martin County Fire Rescue and the Council on Aging have been awarded scholarships to participate in a training conference dedicated to Remembering When™: A Fire and Fall Prevention Program for Older Adults, developed by the National Fire Protection Association, NFPA. The awarded scholarships provide for travel expenses for two participants, Remembering When curriculum materials and all training.

The conference will be held December 4-6, 2011, in Boston, Massachusetts. NFPA has selected two-member teams from 29 communities across the country to participate. Teams are comprised of one fire department member partnered with an individual from an agency within the community that serves older adults through home visits, such as visiting nurses associations, home health care agencies, and places of worship.

“Adults 65 years and older are more than twice as likely to be killed in a home fire compared to the population at large, and falls are the leading cause of death from injuries in this group,” said Sharon Gamache, Program Director of High-Risk Outreach Programs, “This training offers strategies that participants can bring back to share with their communities to help prevent fires and falls among older adults that live there.”

The Remembering When program focuses on 16 key fire and fall prevention messages. Some of the messages include the following: To prevent fires, space heaters should be kept at least 3 feet (1 meter) from anything that can burn and unplugged when no one’s home or at bedtime. While cooking, older adults should wear tight fitting clothing or short sleeves so clothes don’t ignite from the stove. People should never leave cooking unattended or cook if drowsy from medicine or alcohol.

To prevent falls, older adults should exercise to improve balance and build strength. Consulting a doctor first about ability-appropriate exercise is best. To prevent falls in the home, it’s important to clear stairs and hallways of electrical cords, shoes, books, magazines, clothing and any other things that can be tripped over.

Aaron Johnson of Martin County Fire Rescue and Mindy McCombs of the Council on Aging will travel to Boston for the workshop. Following the workshop, Martin County Fire Rescue will conduct a minimum of five group presentations and at least two train-the-trainer sessions for the Council on Aging. The Council on Aging will integrate materials from the Remembering When program into its outreach through home visits.

NFPA is committed to helping communities reduce fire and fall injuries and deaths among older adults. The Remembering When program has been implemented in communities throughout North American since 1999, reaching thousands of older adults. For more information about Remembering When, visit

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