Safety Tips from Our Very Own First Responders

by | Jun 4, 2018 | Community

What does it mean to have courage and bravery? One might say it’s not the absence of fear but in the actions done in the face of fear. We are so fortunate to have the brave men and women who dedicate their lives to being first responders. Every day, these amazing individuals work hard to make sure we are safe and secure.
As the summer months arrive and we welcome the heat, fun times and celebrations, we must remember that safety is paramount in all of these situations. In an exclusive interview with The Magazine of Santa Clarita three branches of first responders provided some safety tips that we can all do to help keep safe and secure this summer season.

Captain Robert Lewis of the Los Angeles County Sheriff Department advises on crimes of opportunity, curfews for teens DUI’s and small businesses:

51-year Santa Clarita Resident, Captain Robert Lewis was appointed as the 18th Captain of the Santa Clarita Sheriff Station since it opened in 1971. With over 33 years in law enforcement, Captain Lewis and his team are working hard to keep the ever-growing community safe.
Given the summer break LASD needs parents to know where their children are at all times and to make sure they are adhering to the curfew, all persons under the age of 18 are to be in the house from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m., Monday thru Sunday, 365 days of the year.
Our community can help by being more conscious of alcohol consumption. If you do consume alcohol use alternative methods to get home: Uber, Lyft, public transportation, designated drivers.
LASD needs everyone to be cognizant of crimes of opportunity. Be it home or in your car, leaving high value items visible to everyone creates crimes of opportunity. Be sure to keep these items out of sight. Lock these items in your trunk, put them under your seat or in the house: keep windows shut and curtains drawn when you leave the house. Also, by investing into security measures such as the Ring video which allows you to see who is at your door before you open it.
For our small business community LASD suggests not leaving money in cash registers at close of business and to leave them open after hours. Investing in video surveillance and keeping the area brightly lit is always a good idea because criminals tend to seek out areas that are dark or dimly lit.

Assistant Fire Chief Anderson Mackey of the Los Angeles County Fire Department provided these tips on pool safety and house fires:

With almost 30 years (this August) in the Fire Service, Assistant Fire Chief Anderson Mackey stays at the top of his game and encourages constant improvement for himself and his team. His job is to oversee several areas in Los Angeles County including the Santa Clarita Valley. He stresses the importance of team work to his subordinates and seeks to keep our community safe.
Children drown without a sound. Learn the ABC’s of Pool Safety. The Los Angeles County Fire Department urges everyone to stay safe this summer whenever using a swimming pool, especially young children. It only takes a few seconds for a child to drown. Drowning is the leading cause of accidental death in children under five years of age. We endorse and support the life-saving messages in a new pool safety website: www,abcpoolsafety.org
People often ask how they can minimize the risk of fire deaths in their home. The easy and very simple answer to this question is: Obtain a smoke detector. If you have a properly functioning smoke detector in your home or apartment, the chances of you dying in a fire may be reduced by 50 percent. In almost 40 percent of all reported fires, smoke detectors sounded and provided the first warning of a fire.

Captain Ed Krusey of California Highway Patrol gave tips for highway and roadway safety:

Captain Ed Krusey has been a resident of the Santa Clarita Valley for over 30 years. Captain Krusey has worked in the department for 20-plus years, doing stints all over the Los Angeles area. As the commander of the Newhall station, Krusey has turned his focus to increasing meaningful communication with residents and providing more of the valuable services currently available to local families.
Driving a car is a complex task. Anything a driver does to avert their eyes from the road (checking texts, responding to emails, eating) can have devastating consequences. It is a serious traffic safety concern, which puts everybody at risk. If you’re driving 60 mph, you’re traveling about 90 feet per second. You’re covering a significant amount of space and that’s in one second. Think about that calls or the text messages you receive, are any of them worth a ticket? A crash? An injury or even a death? Remember, a few seconds of inattention can result in a lifetime of consequences. If you have something urgent you need to get, exit the freeway, pull over, or pull into a parking lot and deal with the text/call there.
Drinking and driving don’t mix, driving with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of a .08 percent or more is illegal. But even with a lower BAC a driver may be a hazard and taken to jail. We are very fortunate here in the Santa Clarita Valley. We have Castaic and Pyramid Lakes, the mountain, and a lot of trails. DUI doesn’t only apply to the paved roadways. It is possible to get a DUI on a recreational vehicle or even a boat (BUI – boating under the influence).
As a community, it is up to us to make a change. With these tips for safety and security we can help the brave men and women first responders in making their job just a little easier. If you wish to get more involved with any of the three branches, please contact your local departments for more information.
Los Angeles Sheriff Department: Deputy Lapkin at 661-255-1121
The Los Angeles County Fire Department Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Program: Engineer Dan O’Neil at 661-257-6735
California Highway Patrol contact, Officer Josh Greengard via email: jgrenngard@chp.ca.gov.

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