Today Ashlea is bringing you a community service announcement.
Last year at the RIDBC Christmas party I got to talking to one of the firemen who had helped bring Santa to the party (he always arrives by firetruck). He was from our local fire station so I asked him if we should make ourselves known to them so that in an emergency they would know we had someone with a disability in the house.
This is what he told me to do - and I thought it was fantastic advice - which is why I am sharing it with all of you.
He said the best thing to do is to leave a note in your fuse box for the firies. The first place the firemen go in an emergency is to the fuse box to make sure the power is switched off to your house. No one is allowed in to fight the fire until they know the power is off.
Since that conversation I have left a note in our fuse box for the firemen. Hopefully it will never need to see the light of day, but in case of an emergency the crew will be aware of Ashlea and her needs.
Our letter has a basic diagram of the house with a note attached explaining how many people are in the house (2 adults and 3 children downstairs and 1 adult upstairs). It also says in BIG LETTERS that there is a child with a disability in Bedroom 1. I have included a photo of Ashlea's bed as it has a special safety clasp that they would not be expecting and also a note saying that Ashlea is attached to a feeding pump and they need to disconnect her or cut the tubing before they try and run out of the house with her. I also have the other exit doors also marked on my map.
So - that is Ashlea's community service fire safety tip. I think it is a good idea for ALL families - at least to have a basic layout of the house as well as the number of people that live there - but for families like ours it is essential that emergency services know that Ashlea needs special help.