Reflecting on last year’s events brings a safer 2015

There were more than 300,000 calls in Miami- Dade for fire rescue help last year. Dozens made big headlines and tend to have a more powerful impact on us. In some of those events our friends and neighbors lost their children. Please take a minute to review these points and see if you can make 2015 a little safer.

• Seat belts
• Smoke alarms
• Pool safety
• Boat safety and life vests.

Some Miami-Dade families were left with huge regrets and many “coulda, woulda, shoulda” thoughts. We were reminded about moms who took a so-called “short trip” to school with the kids, only to have it end in a deadly car crash.

And last year a father left to work his midnight shift. Afew hours later a detective gave him the news that his entire family died in their sleep from a small, smoky fire. Many of us recall how pool upkeep — or lack of it — electrocuted and drowned many children. And one of the hottest topics last year was boat safety. If you saw any news headlines last year, you surely saw something about boat deaths. Life changes quick. Let’s do something about it.

The examples above were horrific in 2014. In an instant, family members were gone forever without goodbyes. Some of these tragic incidents may have been preventable. Taking a sincere approach to these life safety issues would make your family safer. I read an interview recently about fatherhood.

A Hollywood actor said that the first sign that you are a good father is worrying about whether you’re a good father. Are you worried at times that you’ve done all you can to ensure a safe family? If you’re the head of the house or just a concerned family member you can make the needed changes. No one wants to live with the regret of knowing you could have done something to prevent your child’s death. Start with the list above. Reflecting on last year’s sadness is a good place to start the year off safe.

Capt. Jack Swerdloff is a South Dade EMS Supervisor with the Miami Dade Firefighters. He is a frequent contributor to this newspaper. He may be contact via email at

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