Montgomery Fire Stations now designated ‘Safe Zones’ - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

Montgomery Fire Stations now designated ‘Safe Zones’

MONTGOMERY — All Montgomery fire stations are now "Safe Zones" through a new partnership that designates the 15 stations as safe and secure locations where individuals in personal crisis can connect with services available in the capital city area.

            City officials and "Safe Zone" partners gathered under the new "Safe Zone" logo at Station No. 3 on Carmichael Road to announce the new initiative. "We want people who see this logo to recognize that here, in Montgomery's fire stations, they can find a refuge amid crisis and gain access to help that is available for individuals in need," said Mayor Todd Strange.

            In addition to the Montgomery Department of Public Safety, "Safe Zone" partners are One Place Family Justice Center, 2-1-1 Connects South Central Alabama, and Neighbors in Christ.

According to Steve Searcy, director of One Place Family Justice Center, the four partner agencies recognized the need for "safe zones" for individuals who are in personal crisis. "In stressful situations, anxiety can build when you don't know where to turn for help. Bringing Safe Zones into community firehouses means that the citizens of Montgomery have public servants they can trust to help guide them to the services they need, 24 hours a day," said Searcy.

The city's fire stations, which are staffed around the clock, provide ideal "Safe Zones," said J. Christopher Murphy, Public Safety director. "Our understanding of public safety services extends beyond the critical Fire/Rescue responsibilities in fire suppression and emergency medical response. Within each area of the city, fire stations also can provide the ‘safe zone' our neighborhoods need."

From the safety of fire stations, individuals in crisis can access emergency help, non-emergency information and assistance, and assistance with basic human needs. Jo Ann Johnson, 2-1-1 program coordinator, said her agency has provided training to Fire/Rescue personnel, who will refer those in need to other community resources using the 2-1-1 Connects South Central Alabama Call Center, a program of HandsOn River Region.

Neighbors in Christ has committed to providing needed transportation in helping those in need gain access to identified services, according to Barbara Hopkins, executive director.

Information Source: City of Montgomery

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