MARICOPA — Maricopa Seniors donated equipment to the Maricopa Fire/Medical and is organizing a new nonprofit.

Mayor Christian Price announced the first full week of October as National Fire Prevention Week. This year’s theme was “Learn the Sounds of Fire Safety,” which reminds the public of the importance of recognizing the difference between fire and carbon monoxide alarm sounds.

“If there’s a fire in the home, you may only have a couple of minutes to get out safely,” said Fire Chief Brady Leffler. “Test your smoke alarms, replace the batteries every year, have and practice an escape plan. It’s important to act quickly, reducing or avoiding injury or worse. Things can be replaced, people and pets can’t.”

Some of the board members from the Maricopa Seniors Inc. were at the City Council meeting to present a donation to the MFD. There were four video laryngoscopes donated, which are devices used for intubation.

Fire Chief Brady Leffler and Michael Grant, deputy chief of operations, were there to receive the donation.

“We appreciate the tremendous job our first responders do,” said Peg Chapados, Maricopa Seniors president. “The majority of their calls are medical, and many of those calls involve seniors. Our donation will have an immediate, positive impact on increased intubation proficiency and better patient outcomes.”

Lynn Bernier, Maricopa Seniors vice-president, said their donation will help save lives and this group is glad to do it.

“We have an amazing fire department, and this is just one small way to thank them for all they do, every day,” Bernier said.

These devices are cutting-edge medical technology that provide paramedics with a more proficient way to save lives.

The senior’s donation, valued at over $6,500, provided a laryngoscope for each fire station on the fire apparatus.

“Our donation is possible thanks to the continued support from the community and our donors of our lock box program,” Chapados said.

There are currently over 450 lock boxes installed throughout Maricopa, in the Heritage District and every community, which provides a “cost-effective alternative to forced entry in an emergency.”

Chapados announced the creation of a new 501©3 nonprofit, Maricopa Fire Fighter Charities Inc., which will support and advocate MFD and the Community Emergency Response Team.

It’ll be a citizen-based group with the four core principles of the organization being history and preservation, community services, education and family and fraternity.

History and preservation will preserve the past and secure the future. Community services will give back and stay strong. Education will bring awareness and prevention and share experiences and expertise. Lastly, family and fraternity will take care of “our own.”

For those who want to apply to be on the inaugural board of the new nonprofit, they must be at least 18 years old and can contact Chapados via email.

This group has a recruitment committee consisting of MF/M personnel and Chapados. They review all the applications, select finalists for interviews and choose up to nine people to serve on the board of directors.

“I have been asked to be on the first board, serving as president, and I strongly encourage those who want to help Maricopa Fire/Medical and C.E.R.T. to apply,” Chapados said.

The application deadline is Nov 19, 2021.

“I think both things are great,” Leffler said. “The donation from the Maricopa Seniors will definitely make things better for our paramedics and for our patients.”

The laryngoscopes have cameras that can be used to see the patient’s airway when performing the intubation. Leffler said it was another tool they had to “potentially help everyone” they serve.

“Maricopa Fire Fighter Charities is going to help our department be even stronger and better,” Leffler said. “We can’t wait until it’s up and running.”

More information about the Maricopa Seniors, Inc., lock box program or Maricopa Fire Fighter Charities can be found by contacting Chapados at pjchoa@msn.com.

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Kimlye Stager covers Maricopa and the surrounding area for PinalCentral, including city, education, business, crime and more. She can be reached at kstager@pinalcentral.com.

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