Santa Rosa county joined an exclusive fraternity this week with a ceremony at Thursday morning's county commission meeting. Donna Stein-Harris, the National Safety Council's Senior Director for Safe Communities America addressed the Commission officially designating Santa Rosa County the 24th "safe Community" in the US and the first in Florida. Stein-Harris called it "a really big deal" and congratulated the people in the county who worked to earn the designation.
According to Daniel Hahn, the plans chief for the Santa Rosa County Division of Emergency Management, once a municipality applies for the designation, all aspects of the community are evaluated including hospitals, schools, police and emergency preparedness. Santa Rosa earned high grades for its disaster plans. During the application process, which took about a year to complete, the county found they were responding to a large number of senior citizen falls. They have since taken steps to try and mitigate that problems, with emergency personnel inspecting the homes of fall victims to prevent another accident.
Donna Stein-Harris encouraged the people who worked on the project to take some time and celebrate their achievement and then...get back to work. The county will need to be re-certified in five years.