Back to school safety fair to promote community safety awareness

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Douglas County community members during an upcoming fair will be able to engage with first responders and learn about accessing public safety resources in the area.

For the first time since 2019 — before the COVID-19 pandemic hit — the Back to School Community Safety Fair returns, according to LMH Health.

Co-hosts of the event include the Lawrence Police Department, Lawrence-Douglas County Fire Medical, Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, City of Lawrence Parks and Recreation Department and Douglas County Emergency Management. They’ll share best practices for personal, family and community safety as well as answer questions. 

Vehicle safety is one piece of public safety. South Park will be filled with first responder vehicles from LPD and DGSO, which attendees will be able to see up close. DGSO will also have an underwater search and recovery boat onsite.

DGSO is partnering with LPD and child safety-seat technicians to check car seats and discuss car safety during the fair. Through bicycle safety games, participants can learn about safely riding bicycles around town.

Fire safety is another piece, which Douglas County Consolidated Fire District No. 1 will talk about. LDCFM will offer a helmet giveaway and plans to have its smoke trailer ready to fire up at the fair.

Molly Adams/Lawrence Times Inside Lawrence-Douglas County Fire Medical’s smoke house, firefighters can simulate smoke for training purposes.

Several other community partners have also agreed to attend and share safety and health information. Lawrence-Douglas County Public Health, for example, will have its mobile unit onsite to provide information.

Other activities throughout the fair will include fun tailored to kids as well as a game of “Wheel of Misfortune” with Douglas County Emergency Management.

Back to school fundraiser

Partnered with the fair’s return this year is that of the “Cram the Cruiser” benefit. As part of the fundraiser, LPD, DGSO, LDCFM and the KU Public Safety Office will go head-to-head in a race to the largest amount of charitable donations, the city’s website said. 

This year, Cram the Cruiser will support Blue Santa, a charity run by LPD. Each agency will bring an SUV and invite people to fill it with school supplies to be donated to students across the county. The SUV with the most supplies at the end of the event is deemed the winner.

The Back to School Community Safety Fair is scheduled for 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 5 at South Park, 1141 Massachusetts St. in downtown Lawrence. Attendance is free to the public, and attendees are encouraged to bring school supplies to donate.

Visit the City of Lawrence’s website to learn more and see the event map.

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Maya Hodison (she/her), equity reporter, can be reached at mhodison (at) lawrencekstimes (dot) com. Read more of her work for the Times here. Check out her staff bio here.

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