Public safety efforts recognized |

Public safety efforts recognized

Scott Roulston
Bret Hartman/Vail DailyColorado State Patrol Corproal Dennis Gibbons, Sally Ann Bluhm of the Vail Valley Medical Center Trauma Services, Avon Police Officer Dave Wineman, and Eagle County Health Service District Paramedic Trainig and Quality Assurance Cordinator Cathy McRory received the Meritorios Service Award by the Eagle County EMS and Public Safty Council Thursday in Eagle.

EAGLE COUNTY – If Salley Ann Bluhm had her way, teens and others living in the Vail Valley would be injury free.Bluhm may not have the largest physical stature, but her impact on safety awareness in the community has been gigantic, according to local public safety officials. For the last three to four years, she has directed and mobilized a group called the Prevention Subcommittee.

“The goal of prevention is to teach people how to avoid being injured in a variety of different everyday activities, from driving in a car to skiing to operating their fire place,” said Avon Police Chief Jeff Layman in describing the committee. “It’s just all a variety of things that we do in our daily lives, and the prevention subcommittee’s mission is to try to educate people so that they are not injured doing those things.”Bluhm is the driving force behind the committee, Layman added.

“Sally Ann’s claim to fame is that she has really picked this prevention committee up by the boot straps and really made it what it is with very able and committed people working with her,” he said.Teen drivingBluhm is one of seven people recently awarded meritorious service awards by the Eagle County Emergency Service and Public Safety Council. “I’m honored to be appreciated and that this committee can look at what we do and appreciate all that we can do for the community,” Bluhm said. “I’m glad that we can give to the community by helping keep kids safe, teaching adults to help their kids, and learn to be safe throughout the community.”Her work ethic and resolve have commanded the respect of her co-workers. “Sally Ann, who heads our committee, is just amazing,” said David Wineman, an Avon police officer who also received a meritorious service award. “Her leadership, the way she organizes everything and the amount of time she puts into everything is just fantastic.”As for the future, Bluhm said she will concentrate some of the issues that have made headlines recently, like safe driving, particularly for teens. “With the unfortunate accidents and crashes on the highway in December, and with a few of our teens being killed and critically injured, we’re really hoping to focus on driving education and inexperience in distractive driving, and teaching our kids in our community to be more experienced drivers to help prevent these sort of things happening in the future,” Bluhm said. Three other members of the Prevention Subcommittee – Paul DeJulio, Cathy McCrory and Dennis Gibbons – were also got service awards. Cindy Hassig and Tom Kelly, members of the Public Safety Council, were also rewarded for their community work.

911 camp”It’s great to be recognized for the hard work that we’ve put into Camp 911,” said McCrory, referring to the program which she created to teach kids about reacting to emergencies.Camp 911 is a cooperative effort amongst all of the emergency services in the valley to provide a one-day camp for 9 to 11 year olds. Kids are taught how to handle emergencies, such as fires and situations required self defense, before adults are on the scene. The camped role played with 911 operators.”It was something that I thought about back four years ago and we put together very quickly that first summer and it did turn out really well and it’s just been growing ever since,” McCrory said. “We were up to 150 kids as of last summer and it will get bigger and bigger every year.”Wineman added, “Cathy, with her 911 Camp, it’s the most incredible program I’ve ever worked with in my 22 years in the valley.”‘Injured and hurt’Aside from the recognition, community service has been rewarding for all of the recipients. “I’ve really enjoyed working with the prevention council over the past few years,” Wineman said. “It’s a great opportunity to work with the other emergency service agencies in the valley and to get back into the community and help the people in the community with the preventive programs that we put on.”Layman, a member of the Public Safety Council, said the award recipients’ experiences dealing with accidents and emergencies is what motivates them.”These guys work month after month in public interest promoting injury prevention activities because they are tired of going out on scenes and seeing people injured and hurt and so a lot of the work they do is like a labor of love,” Layman said. “They really care about people.”Vail Colorado

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