Our Community Relations and Injury Prevention section is responsible for community engagement, public relations, marketing and communications, and education and outreach activities for ATCEMS Injury Prevention programs.
Injury Prevention Programs
As public servants we have a responsibility to engage our community and believe that education plays a key role in the overall improvement of health and wellness when it addresses influences at all levels and in a variety of environments/settings. Realizing the vision of healthy people in healthy communities is possible only if the community, in its full cultural, social and economic diversity, is an authentic partner in changing the conditions for health and safety. We address this challenge by providing a variety of FREE, bilingual programs and services designed with early intervention and prevention in mind. EMS Injury Prevention programs include:
The grant funded Child Passenger Safety program conducts monthly car seat inspections and provides FREE car and booster seats to families in need. In FY 2017 we inspected 999 car seats, provided 660 free car seats to families in need or who were identified as having unsafe practices due to lack of resources and recycled 113 car seats. Monthly car seat safety check events are held throughout Austin and Travis County with our community partners including the City of Austin Parks and Recreation Department (PARD) Recreation Centers and select CommUnity Care Clinics.
Child Passenger Safety Program
Safe Baby Academy
Safe Baby Academy (SBA) is a FREE, three hour class for expectant families or parents and caregivers of children under 12 months that provides education and hands-on practice for child passenger safety, safe sleep, home safety, water safety, infant CPR and choking awareness. Our community partners include CommUnity Care Clinics, Seton Medical Center Austin, Seton Southwest, Seton Williamson, Scott & White Medical Center Lakeway, Scott & White Round Rock, Gabriel Life Center, and Any Baby Can. In 2017 we educated 1,701 parents and caregivers through Safe Baby Academy
In 2016 we formally launched the Fall Prevention program. Elderly falls attribute to a significant amount of both dispatches and transports to the Emergency Room when compared to other traumatic call types and a large percentage of these falls occur in the home. Austin-Travis County EMS has a team of trained personnel who conduct FREE home safety assessments to identify potential risks and hazards for slips, trips and falls in the home environment. Home safety assessments include the following:
- Home hazard mitigation to reduce fall risks
- Basic strengthening and balancing activities
- Medication review and Vial of Life program kit
- Information about FREE safety equipment (canes, lockboxes, wheelchairs, smoke detectors)
- CarFit inspection - opportunity to check how well their personal vehicles "fit" them
In 2017 we conducted 207 home safety assessments and connected homeowners to resources to help improve their quality of life.
Our Community Education Coordinators conduct a variety of hands-on classes and multimedia safety presentations FREE to the general public.
- Hands-Only™ CPR – compression only CPR practice; 30 minute class includes Automated External Defibrillator (AED) training and registration and choking awareness teaching the abdominal thrust technique
- First Aid Basics – specifically designed for teens and adults, this interactive class teaches basic care for minor emergencies and includes class discussion about topics such as stroke/chest pain, diabetic emergencies, environmental emergencies, cuts, bites, stings, burns, seizures, choking and poisoning
- First Aid Merit Badge Training – we are proud to offer the curriculum required by the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts of America to achieve the First Aid Merit Badge
- Senior Safety / Vial of Life - provided to senior groups including AARP members and senior activity centers; Vial of Life kit includes stickers recognized by EMS and first responders, medication log, emergency contact list and information about what to have ready in case one may need to call 9-1-1
In addition to our community education classes we offer multimedia safety presentations to organizations, groups and clubs of all kinds on topics such as Heat Safety Awareness, Lightning Safety, Emergency Preparedness and Stroke Awareness.
Data and Reporting
Our Apricot digital software platform was expanded in 2016 to include our regional partners’ activities in child passenger safety. We are able to track, manage, share and report data on a regional level in a real-time environment while consistently and efficiently refining program data to replicate and expand impacts with evidence-based discipline. We can track car seat events, misuse rates, map resource distribution, record client participation to prevent duplication, implement goals, and manage all program activities on a regional level.
- Created and shared EMS Injury Prevention programming “templates” to include program guides and data collection tools in an effort to help replicate sustainable programming in areas of Travis County that are outside City of Austin city limits. We also shared our program templates on a regional level to help support community education and injury prevention efforts within the CATRAC.
- Implemented a digital data platform that has unified all activities into a single data warehouse. This allows us to evaluate injury prevention programming efforts throughout the region to identify communities who are underserved as well as continually improve our methodology and approach.