LA County Fire Stations Serve As Safe Houses For Kids
As part of Los Angeles County’s declaration of March 21-26, 2011, as “Safe Communities Week,” the Los Angeles County Fire Department would like to remind the public that all fire stations in Los Angeles County are “safe houses” for any child in a threatening situation.
The “Safe House Program” was initially launched by the Los Angeles County Fire Department in 1997 and later adopted by all municipalities within the County through the support of the Los Angeles Area Fire Chiefs Association. This community-based program designates every fire station a “safe house” to ensure a temporary haven for any child who encounters a threatening situation and needs a safe place to go.
“Firefighters actively participate in the program whenever a child appears at a fire station in a threatening situation,” says Fire Chief Daryl L. Osby. “They place the crew and emergency vehicles out of service in order to help. Firefighters will reassure the frightened child and provide medical assistance, if needed. Most importantly they report any crimes to law enforcement officials, provide suspect descriptions, and notify the 24-hour Child Abuse Hotline, as appropriate.”
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The Safe House Program’s core mission is to assist children who fear they may become a victim of a crime, intimidation or abuse. In this way, firefighters actively support their daily mission to save lives.
“This program demonstrates the willingness of Los Angeles-area fire service agencies to accept a shared responsibility for the well being of children living in each of the County’s many communities,” says Osby. “Together with school districts, police departments, parents, and community members, the Safe House Program has been built to ensure safe communities for our children.”
For more information, call the Public Information Office at (323) 881-2411.