By Amanda Ensinger
Franklin Township is making efforts to protect the community and one of those efforts were addressed at a recent board meeting.
Leaders in the township want to remind residents about the crib program where the fire department will give away cribs to families in need.
“The crib program is up and running and is not just for township residents,” said Chas Adams, assistant fire chief in Franklin Township. “If our police, fire or EMS see a child sleeping in unsafe conditions, they will drop a crib off.”
The crib is a pack and play with no assembly required. Adams added that parents and guardians would not be in trouble if a baby does not have a crib.
“We don’t track the pack and plays, and people don’t even have to ask for us to give them one,” Adams said. “If we notice something, we will just drop it off. People don’t like to ask for help, but if we leave the program more open, people are willing to accept the cribs and aren’t as embarrassed.”
The reason for the program is because Ohio has one of the highest infant mortality rates in the country. Franklin Township has one of the highest percentages in the region of infant mortality. Township officials hope to change this by providing a safe place for babies to rest.
“We have an increase in SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) in this community and people are not putting their kids in cribs,” Adams said. “Due to the income level in this region, people can’t afford cribs and kids aren’t safe.”
At the meeting, the board also discussed additional Narcan doses they recently received. According to Adams, the township received 60 new doses of Narcan.
“We have saved over $35,000 in Narcan thanks to these donations,” Adams said. “Franklin County Public Health has been an amazing partner in providing us with this important medication.”
Narcan is the drug used to reverse the effects of an opioid overdose.
In other news, the board approved spending funds to replace older computers.
Franklin Township Fire Chief James Welch asked the board to approve spending up to $4,500 on three new laptops. The money would come from the EMS fund.
The board also discussed the need to purchase bullet proof vests.
“Are our bullet proof vests expired?” asked Franklin Township trustee Aryeh Alex. “The reason I ask is because we never want that to happen and want to make sure our first-responders are safe.”
The vests, according to Franklin Township Police Chief Byron Smith, will expire in 2019. However, leadership is already looking at ways to raise funds to purchase new vests via grants.