Three Rivers Ambulance Authority (TRAA) has implemented the Direct on Scene Education (DOSE) program to reduce the number of infant deaths in Fort Wayne. The program provides training and tools to educate families on safe sleep practices for infants and prevent accidental deaths.
Unsafe sleep environments increase the risk of suffocation, one of the leading causes of infant deaths in Indiana. To prevent accidental infant deaths, TRAA paramedics and EMTs will look for unsafe sleep practices while on emergency and non-emergency 911 calls in Fort Wayne.
After assessing the baby’s sleep environment and addressing risks, TRAA provides a safe sleep kit that contains a safe sleep book, sleep sack (safer alternative to a baby blanket) and informational pamphlet explaining safe sleep practices to the parents or caregivers.
“We interact with many Fort Wayne residents each day, which presents a unique opportunity to provide information that protects Fort Wayne’s infants," said Seth Bard, TRAA education coordinator. “Our paramedics and EMTs are looking forward to providing helpful tools and tips to parents and caregivers.”
TRAA is one of the first agencies in Indiana to initiate the DOSE program, which is sponsored by the Indiana State Department of Health. The DOSE program was developed by Lt. James Carroll and Jennifer Combs in Broward County, Florida in 2012.
The DOSE program is the latest TRAA initiative to reduce infant deaths in Fort Wayne. TRAA’s Safe Sleep Program provides safety education for parents and caregivers and free cribs for families who do not have a safe place for infants to sleep. The program also provides an Infant Survival Kit, which contains a portable crib, fitted sheet, wearable blanket, pacifier and safe sleep educational materials. TRAA has provided 49 free cribs to Fort Wayne families since starting the Safe Sleep Program in January 2016.
Additionally, TRAA teaches free sleep safety classes to parents and caregivers on the third Monday of every month at 2 p.m. If you do not have a crib or pack-and-play for your infant to sleep in, or would like more information on classes, please contact the Three Rivers Ambulance Authority at 260-423-1436 ext. 222.