ITASCA, Ill., Feb. 5, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today Jessamine County, Ken., becomes an accredited Safe Community by the National Safety Council through its Safe Communities America program. Jessamine County is the 27th community to receive this accreditation and the fourth in Kentucky, joining Western Kentucky University, Madison County and Murray State University.
"We are thrilled to have Jessamine County join the Safe Communities America network," said Carrie Nie, director of Safe Communities America at the National Safety Council. "The Jessamine County Safe Communities coalition understands that prioritizing safety is essential to improving the quality of life for their residents. Through their strong leadership and their ease in building partners, we know there is nothing but success ahead for Jessamine County, and we look forward to seeing and sharing all their great work."
Jessamine County assembled a group of stakeholders to examine injury data and develop strategies. The group's plan involved community campaigns, media outreach and management of the Bluegrass Emergency Response Team (BERT), made up of firefighters and emergency management officials who help mitigate and prepare for large scale incidents.
Community leaders have placed significant focus on driving down workplace incidents, which are higher in Jessamine County than anywhere else in the state. The Jessamine County health department is providing Health Risk Assessments and biometric screening, and it is piloting a project to assist workplaces to start wellness programs. Programs will include tobacco cessation, diabetes classes, screenings and exercise classes.
"This honor exemplifies our community's commitment to protecting life by making Jessamine County a safer place to live, work and play," said Randy Gooch, public health director at the Jessamine County Health Department. "The Safe Communities America program provides a great structure and framework of support, enabling us to assess our local injury and fatality data and establish goals addressing those areas impacting our community the most. As a public health director, I'm very pleased we have this partnership to address intentional and unintentional injury, one of the leading causes of death in our community which has the greatest impact on the premature loss of life years.
"We give special thanks to Genia McKee, the Kentucky Safety Prevention Alignment Network and the Kentucky Injury Prevention Research Center for their support during this process."
The Safe Communities America program is a long standing approach to community injury reduction structured around a broad coalition of community partners, involving business, civic organizations, local government, non-profits and local residents.
For more information, please visit safecommunitiesamerica.org.
About the National Safety Council
Founded in 1913 and chartered by Congress, the National Safety Council, nsc.org, is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to save lives by preventing injuries and deaths at work, in homes and communities, and on the roads through leadership, research, education and advocacy. NSC advances this mission by partnering with businesses, government agencies, elected officials and the public in areas that can make the most impact – distracted driving, teen driving, workplace safety, prescription drug overdoses and Safe Communities.
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SOURCE National Safety Council