The St. Thomas – Elgin Safe Communities Coalition is part of a national and international structure that connects to a Canadian charitable foundation and is a partner with the United Nations’ World Health Organization (WHO).
Our local organization operates as a committee within the St. Thomas & District Chamber of Commerce with offices at Suite 115 at 300 South Edgeware Road, in the Elgin Business Resource Centre.
In May of 2004, St. Thomas & Elgin County was certified as a “Designated Safe Community” by Safe Communities Canada. Our local group is part of a network of 55 other Designated Safe Communities across Canada. The people and organizations working on our local activities, programs, projects and services come from all levels of business, industry, services and government across St. Thomas and Elgin County. We include police, fire and EMS personnel, representatives from Public Health, the Chamber of Commerce, education, child care services and many more.
We all share one goal: to reduce or eliminate unnecessary injuries and deaths. Recent statistics suggest there are 40 or more preventable deaths in Elgin County each year plus thousands of unnecessary and preventable injuries. Road safety, workplace safety, safety in homes and on farms, and safety for children, families and the elderly are prime concerns for us.
Our activities in St. Thomas and Elgin County are focused on local needs.
For example, a team of trained instructors offer programs such as SCIP (the Safe Communities Incentive Program) that teaches safe business practices and rewards successful completion through refunds on Workplace Safety & Insurance Board fees. We support local police initiatives on crime prevention and road safety and have worked to provide needy children with bicycle helmets. We get involved with fire prevention, farm safety causes, promote wellness, and do all we can to use available resources to build a better, safer community.
At the national and international levels Safe Communities Canada partners with the United Nations World Health Organization (WHO), to be a connection for our community on issues that may reach far and wide, such as potential dangers and hazards that could cause illness, or even death.
Safe Communities Canada is a recognized Canadian charity. The Safe Communities Canada Foundation was founded in 1996 by Paul Kells, a dedicated father of a teenage son who, at the age of 19, died while working a part-time job for the summer. His untimely death came on his third day at work, the result of improper and inadequate training at the job site. Needless to say, his family and friends experienced tragic pain and suffering. The death was unnecessary and preventable and, to this day, serves as the reason for Safe Communities’ motto, “There is no such thing as an accident.”