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Oshkosh Fire Department launces site to prevent falls

Oshkosh Fire Department launces site to prevent falls

Source: Canva

May 23, 2024 7:46 AM CDT

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OSHKOSH, WI – (WISS) – Falls are the number one reason for calls for help. So the Oshkosh Fire Department has created a website for residents called Call Before You Fall. Mike Stanley, Oshkosh Fire Chief, said the website will be a tool to help residents be safe and find the support they need to avoid falls in their homes. 

“We’re really trying to use every opportunity we can to reduce falls and to create more programs, and to do more education to raise awareness about what a risk falls are for seniors,” said Stanley. “This is another avenue for us to have a landing spot for people to get information on.”

Stanley says the website has information about the number and types of falls Oshkosh sees each year and includes data about where and when the falls happen. The website also lists resources for fall prevention, from connecting people with the area Senior Center’s balance programs to organizations that can assist with safety modifications in the home. Stanley emphasizes that many of those resources are free.

“The Nymbl App is free. The screenings at the senior center – free. The interventions from the Fox Valley Rebuilding Together – free,” said Stanley. “The information is out there. It’s available. There are many resources in the community that want to help. All you have to do is take advantage of it and start to make those changes.” 

Stanley says people most at risk for falls are those who are 60 and older. He would like to see people start to work on their balance and modifications to homes before falls become a problem.

“Start now,” said Stanley. “You know, it’s a lot harder at 60, 70, 80 to make those improvements, especially after you’ve lost some of that balance, mobility, and strength. Really what we want to start having people engage in is thinking about these measures now, so that we’re not trying to reactively address it. To be more proactive.”

Stanley said about 20 percent of the calls to the Oshkosh Fire Department are for falls. They respond to almost 2000 fall calls each year. 

“Much more than heart attacks, car accidents, fires, or any of the things you would picture the fire department responding to far and away we respond to more falls than anything else,” said Stanley. “That’s why we’ve identified such a great risk in our community and are doing so much work to try and reduce that.”

The website is the second tool in the Oshkosh Fire Department’s campaign to prevent falls. The first was the launch of the Nymbl app

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