Topsham pair head to Boston for senior safety training

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TOPSHAM — The Fire Department and CHANS Home Health Care are teaming up to teach Mid-Coast seniors about fire and fall prevention.

Fire Chief Brian Stockdale and Debbie Siegel, a registered nurse who manages private duty care for CHANS, will be among the participants Dec. 1-3 in “Remembering When: A Fire and Fall Prevention Program for Older Adults,” a conference in Boston sponsored by the National Fire Protection Association.

After the conference, the Fire Department will hold at least five group presentations and two or more “train-the trainer” sessions for CHANS.

“Once she and Brian attend the training, Debbie will work with the CHANS rehabilitation team to determine if the skills and program can be integrated with our current fall prevention programing,” Amy Berube, director of community relations and outreach with CHANS, said in an email Nov. 8. “The fall prevention programing from this training will be used by our Private Duty Care staff, to assist with the safety and well-being of their client population.”

“Adults 65 years old and older are twice as likely to die in a home fire compared to the total population,” Karen Berard-Reed, senior project manager with the National Fire Protection Association, said in a Nov. 4 CHANS press release. “Falls are the leading cause of death from injury for this age group. This program is a valuable tool to help fire and life safety educators reduce the risks of falls and fires among older adults in their communities.”

Log onto for more information about the program.

Alex Lear can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 113 or Follow him on Twitter: @learics.

A Maine native and Colby College graduate, Alex has been covering coastal communities since 2001, and currently handles Bath, Topsham, Cumberland, and North Yarmouth. He and his wife, Lauren, live in the Portland area, and Alex recently released his third album of original music.