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Safety Day is Thursday at AAA offices

ALPENA — An informed community is a safer community.

That’s the principle behind Safety Day, a new community event being sponsored by MidMichigan Health Foundation’s Community Outreach Committee.

A series of visitor-friendly booths will dot the parking lot of Alpena’s AAA headquarters, just south of Art Van Furniture on U.S.-23 in Alpena, on Thursday, offering stations where visitors can learn about fire and boat safety, witness a Jaws of Life demonstration, sign up for a free smoke detector, and eat a free lunch.

AAA, co-sponsor of the event, was glad to partner with MidMichigan Health Foundation’s Community Outreach Committee when that group was looking for an event to benefit the community, according to Ann Diamond, MidMichigan Health Foundation development director.

Free bike helmets for people 18 and under will be distributed by MidMichigan Health. Getting helmets into the hands and onto the heads of children is a priority for the group, Diamond said, “so kids are safe and don’t end up in our emergency department.” Children need to be present to receive a helmet so that they can be fitted properly, Diamond said.

A smoke house provided by the Alpena Township Fire Department, with actual smoke piped into a specially-built trailer, will offer event visitors the chance to experience what it’s like to crawl out of a smoke-filled room and help them develop an exit strategy in case of a fire.

United States Coast Guard officers will be present to offer boat safety tips, and the Alpena City Police Department will demonstrate their Jaws of Life rescue equipment on a donated vehicle.

A free lunch and giveaways will be available to add to the fun.

MidMichigan Health Foundation’s Community Outreach Committee participates in a variety of community-building events throughout the year, from offering safe babysitting lessons to teaching local service clubs about new telehealth programs. The group is excited to bring Safety Day to Alpena as part of their mission of making a positive difference in the community.

“We hope it will bring an awareness of safety and of living a healthy life,” Diamond said.

The event will, she hopes, highlight resources in Alpena and help community members build positive relationships with safety officers.

“It’s a win-win all the way around,” Diamond said.

Julie Riddle can be reached at 989-358-5693 or jriddle@thealpenanews.com.