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Try walking a mile in their boots

By Lauren Smith

An alarm is ringing.

Smoke clouds your vision as you enter unfamiliar territory.

People run past you in the opposite direction, but you trudge forward.

Sounds like a tricky new video game, right?

What I described is a reality many first responders face every day.

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Every place is their workplace

I recently learned about the Put Yourself in Our Boots campaign that helps organizations think about workplace safety from the perspective of emergency responders and provides the tools to help make changes in their workplaces.

We often talk about the importance of keeping our work environment safe for ourselves and our co-workers, but I’d never really given thought to the importance of keeping it safe should emergency responders ever need to quickly navigate our workplace (and it could likely be in less than stellar conditions – e.g., darkness, smoke, fire). Plus, responders aren’t familiar with your workplace like you are. This brings a whole new level of importance to ensuring there aren’t any safety risks (e.g., hallways aren’t blocked, items aren’t at risk of falling from high surfaces, no tripping hazards are present).

The campaign even has a short video on their site where you can hear first-hand from emergency responders about what it’s like when responding to a call. Find out more at www.ourboots.ca.

 

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