By Sharon Mager
BEL AIR, Md.—Oak Grove Baptist Church will host their first Family Health & Safety Fair from 9 am to 4 pm on Nov. 12. The church’s risk management committee is sponsoring the fair as an outreach to the community.
“We’re hoping people will visit, and get familiar with the church as they learn about health and safety, all in a relaxed forum, with no pressure,” said fair organizer Gale Shipley-Stratton.
The committee has planned activities for both children and adults. There are speakers, exhibits and displays, medical testing and other activities. For adults and children ages 11 and older, there will speakers about online safety, suicide, mental health and addiction and emergency management in the event of an active shooter.
During the speaking presentations for the adults, there will be special activities for the younger kids including “Kidsmartz,” a program to teach children about basic safety, such as how to recognize and avoid risky situations, household and playground safety. Other topics for the children include dental education, and how to deal with bullying.
Static displays will include a walk through model of a colon to teach about intestinal health, information about tobacco and the dangers of electronic cigarettes, as well as identifying hidden sugar in foods.
The local fire and police departments will be on hand to share about fire escape plans, smoke alarm education, and CPR and present K-9 demonstrations. Parents can have their children fingerprinted.
Representatives from various health organizations will provide free blood pressure and diabetes screening. Visitors can also get their flu shots.
Lunch will be provided.
The church’s risk management committee was formed about five years ago, said Stratton-Shipley. Church member Wayne Smith is the current chairman. The committee oversees parking and security during worship events, assesses fire and safety hazards and has obtained necessary items to deal with chemical spills. They are in the process of developing a church evacuation plan.
Each member of the committee has certain duties. Stratton-Shipley, in addition to overseeing the fair, is in charge of making sure the automated external defibrillators are in good working order and that the parts are up-to-date.
“Thanks to Greg Dietrich, an active EMS responder, we have up-to-date “go-bags” ready for emergencies, which contain hemostatic bandages,” said Stratton-Shipley. Dietrich also trains volunteers to use commercial tourniquets and hemostatic bandages in first aid classes.
Committee members wear badges for easy identification in the case of an emergency.
For more information about the upcoming health fair, or about starting a risk management ministry, visit the church website.
In lieu of an admission fee, the church is collecting donations of non-perishables for their food pantry.