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Sunday, Aug. 28, 2016

Charleston DPS helping elderly with inspections

Monday, December 24, 2001

Charleston Public Safety Officer Tony Baugher finishes a safety inspection of Willis Downs' Charleston home.
CHARLESTON - The Charleston Department of Public Safety launched a round of home safety inspections Thursday for senior citizens and disabled people living within the Charleston city limits.

"You know how to get ahold of us," said PSO Tony Baugher as he finished an inspection at the home of Willis Downs Friday afternoon. "Call 911," confirmed Downs.

"It's going really good," said Captain Susan Rockett. She reported inspections of homes in one of four districts have already been completed but the department is "constantly adding to our list."

Rockett said elderly and infirm were placed on a list as a starting point for conducting the home safety inspections, although other residents may be included by request. "If anybody in the community feels they need a safety inspection we'd be more than happy to come out," said Rockett.

The inspections include a check of smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, the furnace and water heater and other safety checks to prepare for winter.

The inspections are actually available year-round by request but DPS officials hope this round of inspections will spread word of the service to Charleston residents as well as helping residents make sure their Christmas trees and other holiday decorations around the home are safe.

"At the same time we're also gathering information about the medical equipment in the house," said Rockett. Data such as if the residence has stored oxygen tanks, if the resident is confined to wheelchair or using crutches is recorded as well as other medical concerns including any illness or condition that could render the resident unconscious or unable to respond.

"That will all be stored in the computer and as soon as their number shows up on 911 if they are unconscious or unresponsive we'll know the reason," said Rockett.

Once the information is added to the Emergency 911 dispatch database, any time an emergency call is placed from a participating addresses the important information and history of prior calls will automatically be displayed and available to the dispatcher and police, fire and medical personnel responding.

In addition to the number of residents and their ages, the type and number of pets in the home are also recorded so emergency personnel can rescue them as well in an emergency situation, Rockett said.

The inspections are free. Any senior citizen or disabled person who would like to be visited for an inspection should call the Charleston DPS at 683-3737.