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Children's Village honored at national convention

March 29, 2005|by MARLO BARNHART

Children's Village of Washington County took home the 2005 Nicholas Rosecrans award for excellence in injury prevention, presented at the EMS (Emergency Medical Services) Today national conference in Philadelphia on March 22.

Accepting the national award for the Hagerstown-based agency was Rochelle Morrell, Children's Village executive director.

Mike Weller, life safety educator for the Hagerstown Fire Department, received an individual award for his leadership and accomplishments associated with the Children's Village program over the past 15 years.

"I'm humbled by the recognition, but I accepted the award on behalf of all those who started Children's Village and have kept it going over the years," Weller said Monday.

The Nicholas Rosecrans award is named in memory of a San Diego toddler whose drowning sparked a major effort to prevent injuries to children. Applicants were agencies, individuals or organizations demonstrating leadership and accomplishments in injury prevention activities using EMS personnel.

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Nominees were required to demonstrate how their injury prevention programs effectively reduced injuries in the targeted area, promoted participation of EMS personnel in injury prevention activities and created partnerships between agencies to promote injury prevention.

In the application for the award, Morrell cited the Children's Village Wall of Fame, on which 16 plaques document stories of students who either saved themselves or others using skills they learned and practiced at Children's Village.

Children's Village has developed a two-day curriculum with the Washington County Board of Education's approval. Through that program, children get fire education and personal safety instruction from police and fire/rescue personnel. Children practice making effective 911 calls, crawl through pretend smoke, visit a burned house on campus, and learn pedestrian and bicycle safety.

The point is to give children the knowledge, skills and confidence needed to prevent injury and empower them to make informed safety decisions.

After their stint at Children's Village, students receive homework projects requiring them to work with family members on fire escape routes, checking smoke detectors, seat belt safety and bicycle helmets, among others.

Judges included representatives of the Journal of Emergency Medical Services, the National Safe Kids Coalition and the San Diego County Paramedic Association, Morrell said.

As the winner of the national award, Children's Village will be the subject of an upcoming story in the Journal of Emergency Medical Services.

Children's Village of Washington County, at 1546 Mount Aetna Road, is a not-for-profit organization that has been dedicated to providing free, life safety education to all second-grade students in Washington County annually since 1990.

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