Itasca, IL – As part of a worldwide movement to reduce injures and save lives, the Greater Omaha area was the fourth city in the U.S. to be designated as an international Safe Community on May 17, 2007. Now, five years later, the Greater Omaha area has renewed its commitment to its residents by completing the recertification process. The Safe Communities America program of the National Safety Council oversaw the process as part of its responsibility as the U.S. Certifying Center of the World Health Center for Community Safety Promotion where this international movement began.
“Community safety is a process of continuous improvement,” said Donna Stein-Harris, senior director of Safe Communities America for the National Safety Council. “We are pleased Greater Omaha continues to improve its safety performance and protect its citizens by recertifying.”
In the last five years, the greater Omaha area has applied numerous strategies to ensure and promote the safety of the community and to maintain their designation by Safe Communities America. Some of the strides made in the last five years include:
Reducing workplace and motor vehicle injuries and fatalities
Providing the Moving for Better Balance program recommended by the CDC – through this program, pre and post tests are given to older adult participants to determine balance improvement
Beginning a fireworks safety campaign with injury statistics compared year to year
Starting collaborative distracted driving prevention programs to educate the community as well as new programs to educate drivers to watch for motorcycles
When the Greater Omaha area was first designated as a Safe Community it created a detailed safety plan with the help of local businesses, fire protection districts, park districts, law enforcement, public health organizations and schools. This initial plan has been evaluated and updated to meet the area’s current needs to keep everyone even safer.
“Completing the recertification process helped all of us realize how far we have come and also how much further we’d like to go,” said Kay Farrell, president and chief executive officer of the National Safety Council, Nebraska. “This has been a time to rededicate ourselves to the mission of safety and injury prevention in the Greater Omaha area. We look forward to reaching all across Nebraska providing similar support to Safe Communities.”
The International Safe Community designation is awarded based on six indicators:
- A cross-sectional partnership responsible for the promotion of community safety
- Long-term sustainable programs for all genders, ages, environments and situations
- Programs targeting high-risk groups and environments
- Programs documenting the frequency and causes of injuries
- Evaluation measures to assess programs and the effects of change
- Ongoing participation in national and international Safe Communities networks
The new plan was approved by the National Safety Council, the designated Safe Communities Certifying Center in the United States for the World Health Organization Collaborating Center for Community Safety Promotion. For more information, please visit www.safecommunitiesamerica.org.
The recertification will take place at “Awards and Sustenance,” May 17, 11:30 to 1:30 p.m. at the LaVista Conference Center during the Safety and Health Summit hosted by the National Safety Council, Nebraska.
About the National Safety Council, Nebraska
Founded in 1924, the National Safety Council, Nebraska is a private non-profit, community based organization that promotes safety and health by providing programs, resource services and education to individuals and organizations to prevent and reduce both the personal and economic loss associated with injuries, accidents and health hazards wherever they exist. Through its leadership, the greater Omaha 5-county area acquired the Safe Community designation by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2007. For more information, visit www.safenebraska.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 road through leadership, research, education and advocacy. NSC advances this mission by partnering with businesses, government agencies, elected officials and the public in areas where we can make the most impact – distracted driving, teen driving, workplace safety and safety beyond the workplace.