I vividly remember being 6 years old when my family planned and practiced our fire escape route together for the first time.

Although it was scary to think about, practicing this helped me know what to expect and where to find my parents if I woke up in a bedroom filled with smoke. Thankfully I never experienced a fire in my home growing up, but I felt much more confident through this experience. If there had ever been a fire in my house, even at 6 years old I would have known exactly what to do because we had talked about it and made a plan.

As professionals who work with children and families in our museum, safety is a key priority. To develop skills and awareness among staff on an ongoing basis our organization has invested in First Aid and CPR trainings, natural disaster trainings, active shooter trainings and more. Although they are not always lighthearted, participating in such trainings has increased staff confidence and given us tools we can use to navigate a variety of challenging circumstances.

In case of an emergency, these trainings have given our staff  an edge in terms of responding constructively to tough situations instead of reacting with blind panic. Even though it can be uncomfortable to talk about such scenarios, having these conversations is crucial. These trainings have helped us to be more proactive with one another, anticipating and preventing problems whenever possible. Doing so has built greater trust in our museum community, just as it did for me as a child with my immediate family.

A little bit of preparation and forethought go a long way toward keeping everyone as safe and secure as possible. Many thanks to the people who offer such trainings in our community. We can’t anticipate everything, but having these conversations with one another and participating in safety trainings when possible can make all the difference.

Safety Training Seminars provides American Heart Association CPR, First-aid, BLS, ACLS, PALS in the SF Bay Area. www.bayareacpr.org

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