Itasca, IL – On Sept. 23, the National Safety Council’s Safe Communities America program welcomes Hagerstown, MD, into the International Safe Community network. This designation recognizes the community’s efforts in addressing the leading safety concerns facing its residents and business owners. Hagerstown is better positioned to prevent injuries and deaths through a collaborative approach.
“Protecting our community, its businesses and its residents is critical to making Hagerstown a great place to live, work and play. This designation demonstrates our collective commitment to safety and injury prevention,” said Mike Weller, public education officer for Hagerstown Fire Department and chair of the Hagerstown Safe Communities coalition.
Referencing Hagerstown-specific injury data, the task force created through this initiative is working to create and improve programs to cover all identified risk areas. Community representatives – including local businesses, the fire protection district, park district, law enforcement, public health organizations and schools - that may not have worked together closely in the past came together to develop the safety plan, which has been certified by the World Health Organization’s Collaborating Center for Community Safety Promotion.
Hagerstown was awarded the International Safe Community designation based on six criteria:
- 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
“We have been very impressed with the way organizations and businesses in Hagerstown are working together to protect residents. As a result of this multifaceted effort, Hagerstown is preventing injuries and saving lives,” National Safety Council President and CEO Janet Froetscher said.
Hagerstown is the twelfth community in the United States and the first in Maryland to become an International Safe Community. The designation process was overseen by the Safe Communities Canada Certifying Center. The National Safety Council served as a mentor to support Hagerstown throughout the application process as an Affiliate Safe Communities America Support Center. For more information, please visit www.safecommunitiesamerica.org.
The National Safety Council (www.nsc.org) saves lives by preventing injuries and deaths at work, in homes and communities, and on the roads through leadership, research, education and advocacy.