Keep Your Family Safe During the Holidays

What is on top of every First Responder’s wish list this Holiday Season?  Your family’s safety!  The adage, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” is certainly true and—when simple prevention is ignored—our alarm bells ring!

Please take note of these tips this holiday season:

Inspect electrical decorations before use.  Look for damaged or frayed wires, and replace any component that shows wear.

Do not overload electrical outlets.  Overloaded electrical outlets and faulty    wiring are a common cause of fires

Never connect more than three strings of incandescent lights.  In fact, consider low-wattage LED strings.

Keep trees fresh by watering daily.  A dry evergreen inside your home is a fire hazard.

Use battery operated candles.  Candles start almost half of home decoration fires.

Keep combustibles at least three feet away from heat sources.  A heat source that was too close to a decoration was a factor in half of home fires that began with decorations.

Protect cords from damage.  To avoid shock or overheating, cords should never be pinched by furniture, forced into small spaces such as doors or windows, placed under rugs, located near heat sources, or attached by nails or staples.

Check decorations for certification labels.  Decorations not bearing a label from an independent testing laboratory such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL), Canadian Standards Association (CSA), or Intertek (ETL) have not been tested for safety and could be hazardous.

Stay in the kitchen when something is cooking.  Unattended cooking equipment is the leading cause of home cooking fires.

Turn off, unplug, and extinguish all decorations when going to sleep or leaving the house.  Half of home fire deaths occur between the hours of 11:00pm and 7:00am.

Happy Holidays!

Captain Brian Bolstad

Jackson County Fire District 5

Information source:

Holiday tips:


Spread the love

Parents Need to know about CyberBullying

Every parent wants to keep their child safe, but for today’s kids, threats don’t just exist in the physical world. These days, cyberbullying—bullying that takes place on social media, over text and email, and in other online venues—is everywhere. A 2018 Pew Research Center study found that 59% of US teens had experienced cyberbullying, and 63% consider it a major problem.

As more and more kids and teens spend time online, opportunities for cyberbullies only increase. Trying to keep your child safe online can seem overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. To help, our safety team at ASecureLife has compiled a parent-friendly guide to preventing, recognizing, and dealing with cyberbullying.

Please visit this link for helpful information:


Spread the love

When your summer fun involves swimming, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Consider these safety tips:

Never swim alone. Always have a buddy—or, ideally,   a lifeguard at a designated swim area—and maintain constant supervision of a swimmer. Follow rules of swimming areas.

• Never leave a child unattended near water.

• Make sure everyone in your family learns to swim well. Swim lessons. Wearing a US Coast Guard-approved life jacket can help young or inexperienced swimmers, but do not rely on jackets alone. Always maintain a watch on a swimmer.

• If you have a pool, secure it with appropriate barriers. Many children who drown in home pools were out of sight for less than five minutes and in the care of one or both parents at the time.

• If a child is missing, check the water first. Seconds count in preventing death or disability.
Whether in a backyard swimming, in a community pool or in the ocean, always watch your
child closely in and around water.


Spread the love

Fires move fast…Are you prepared?

Summer is hot and conditions are prime for more wildfires.  Whether you live in town or in the country, preparing for a fire is prudent.

  • Talk with your family about fire safety at home and on vacation. All fires start small—a candle, a cigarette, a campfire, a firework.  Think through your actions and be aware of the conditions around you before you strike that match.

  • Keep grass and weeds trimmed. Contact your local fire agency about current restrictions on mowing and weed trimming before you start.

  • Look at your house and property from the view of a firebrand, or ember blown by the wind. Where might you land?

    • Move firewood away from your house.

    • Store gas cans and other flammable liquids in a secure location.

    • Consider enclosing eaves and the areas below decks.

    • Trim trees near your roofline.

    • Keep your gutters clean.

    • Trim trees and bushes around your home and along your driveway.

  • Prepare a “go” kit that allows you to grab essential items quickly. Start a list of items you would need to gather in the event of an evacuation.  Some evacuations last for days, so include such items as medications, toiletries, important papers, external hard drives, etc.

“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”  When it comes to wildfire prevention that should be our collective mantra!

For more information on community fire safety, see the Rogue Valley Fire Prevention Cooperative’s website at

Captain Brian Bolstad

Jackson County Fire District 5

Spread the love

You and your family are fast asleep when the smoke alarm sounds: Do you know what to do?

Consider this scenario: It’s 2 o’clock in the morning. You and your family are fast asleep when you awaken to the smoke alarm sounding and the smell of smoke. What do you do? If you and your family
don’t have a plan in place, it could jeopardize your safety, or even prove deadly.
In a typical home fire, you may have as little as one to two minutes to escape safely from the time the smoke alarm sounds. That’s why home escape planning is so critical in a fire situation. It ensures that everyone in the household knows how to use that small window of time wisely.
This year’s Fire Prevention Week theme, “Every Second Counts: Plan 2 Ways Out!” works to better educate the public about the critical importance of developing a home escape plan and practicing it. Medford Fire-Rescue is working in coordination with the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA),
the official sponsor of the Fire Prevention Week, to reinforce those potentially
life-saving messages. Fire Prevention Week is in October.
In support of Fire Prevention Week, Medford Fire-Rescue encourages all City of Medford and beyond  households to develop a plan together and practice it. A homeescape plan includes working smoke alarms on every level of the home, in every bedroom, and near all sleeping areas. It also includes two ways out of every room, usually a door and a window, with a clear path to an outside meeting
place (like a tree, light pole, or mailbox) that’s a safe distance from the home. NFPA and Medford Fire-Rescue offer these additional tips for developing and practicing a home escape plan:
• Draw a map of your home, marking two exits from each room and a path to the outside from each exit.
• Practice your home fire drill twice a year.
• Teach children how to escape on their own in case you can’t help them.
• Make sure the number of your home is clearly marked and easy for the fire department to find.
• Close doors behind you as you leave — this may slow the spread of smoke, heat, and fire.
• Once you get outside, stay outside. Never go back inside a burning building.
• A good time to remember to check your smoke alarm and change the batteries is when you “fall back” as daylight savings time ends.     
For more information visit,

Spread the love

ID Theft During the Holidays

Each year has continued to show an increase in both Identity Thefts and Scams.
Here are two types of common scams that we have seen a lot of this year:
“IRS Payment Scam” In this common scam, the caller is portraying themselves to be an IRS or some other Federal Agent. They tell the victim that they owe back taxes or fees and that if they don’t pay, that they will have a warrant issued for their arrest. In some cases, the caller has threatened to send Federal Agents to their house to arrest them. For more info, go to “” or search for “5 things the IRS will never do”.

The other type of fraud we have seen a lot of is the “Romance Scam”. Unfortunately, there are a lot of lonely people who go to dating sites looking for relationships. The fraudsters find people on these sites and then spend weeks and even months corresponding with them. It is important to note that many times when love or emotion (romance) enter the picture, that common sense goes out the window. We have worked cases where both men and women have fallen victim to this and have sent tens of thousands of dollars to their “online boyfriend/girlfriend” whom they have never met.

Remember, if it sounds “too good to be true”: …IT IS! Be on your guard against these scams. If you are being pressured by someone on the phone or internet to send money, Don’t Do It!! Call a trusted friend or family member first. If you have elderly family or friends, please warn them about these scams and make sure that they call other family or trusted friends prior to taking any actions.

Here are some basic guidelines you can follow and steps you can take to protectyourself during this holiday season:

Lock your vehicle.      This sounds very simple but you would be astonished at the number of reports called in everyday by citizens who failed to lock their vehicle overnight. Remember that your vehicle contains both registration and proof of insurance, which are potential information jackpot for Identity Thieves.

Carefully check your credit card and bank statements. The best way to catch Identity Thieves is to frequently check these statements for purchases you didn’t make. The sooner you catch it and report it to us, the better chance we have of successfully solving your case.

Frequently check your credit report. You are allowed one free annual credit report from each of the three credit bureaus, so be sure to take advantage of this.
Keep a close eye on your credit /debit card if it is given to a store clerk. If your card leaves your sight it could potentially be “skimmed” on a separate device.   
Take your receipts home with you and destroy them there. Don’t leave them in a trashcan outside a store. If you don’t’ have a shredder consider getting one.
When speaking on the phone to someone you don’t know, never give out your personal information.

*Choose charities and cause your familiar with and trust, and be leery of anyone claiming to be with an organization but not having any visible proof. Unfortunately, there are a lot of donation seekers who are only interested in taking donations for their own “self-interest” groups, mainly themselves.
From all of us at the Medford Police Department,
Happy Holidays!

Id Theft During the Holidays
Sgt B Mak, Financial Investigation Section, Medford Police Department
Spread the love

Parent’s Guide to Gangs

Parent’s Guide to Gangs

By Lieutenant Mike Budreau, Medford Police Dept.


Research indicates that parents can play a pivotal role in keeping young people out of gangs. Parents can protect their children from gang activity through taking positive actions, such as monitoring their activities, fostering close relationships with them, and using positive discipline strategies. However, parents often lack       factual information about gangs.

The early adolescent years (11-14 years of age) are a crucial time when youths are exposed to gangs and may consider joining a gang. Parents should look for common gang identifiers such as:

Gang Style Clothing and Dress:

Gang members often use a particular style of dress to identify with a particular gang. This might include bandanas worn or placed in the back pocket and are of a certain color that is representative of gangs. Other signs to look for are pants worn well below the waist, gangthemed t-shirts, and beaded necklaces.


Gangs use graffiti to mark their territory, brag about their reputation and threaten rival gangs. For this reason, graffiti can be very dangerous and should be removed as soon as possible.


Tattoos often show an individual’s loyalty to his/her gang. These tattoos often include the name, initials, or symbols of a specific gang.

Hand Signs:

Gangs often use specific hand gestures to communicate their affiliation with the gang and issue threats or challenges to rival gangs.

What Parents Can Do:

  • Talk to your children about gangs and ways to avoid them. Let them know you disapprove of gangs and do not want to see them hurt or arrests.
  • Tell your children not to:

– Associate with any gang members

– Hang out where gangs congregate

– Attend any party or social event sponsored by gangs

– Use any kind of hand or finger sign that may be meaningful to gangs

– Wear clothing that may have a meaning to gangs

  • Get to know your children’s friends and the friends’ parents. Be aware of their attitude towards drugs, alcohol and gangs. When children start to feel pressure to use drugs or join gangs, it usually comes from their friends.
  • Set firm limits with your children and teens. Children and teenagers need to know clearly what is expected of them and the consequences of their actions.
  • Do not rescue your children from the consequences of their decisions.Plan family time. Make time for your family to play, eat meals together, take trips (even to parks or activities), keep family traditions and have family meetings to talk about plans, feelings, and complaints.

If you have any more questions or concerns, contact your local School

Resource Officer (SRO), or your local police department.

Spread the love

Guarding Against Online Predators

Are your children safe online? It seems like the online world is harmless right?

Most of the time your children are online in home and sometimes under your watchful eyes.
Did you know that one out of every five youth online is solicited? Did you know that one in four received an unwanted exposure in the past year to pictures of naked people or people having sex?

Very few of these incidents are reported to police and while many did not find these incidents disturbing, they were distressing to a good number of the youth involved. Of the people who participated in the research funded by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, only 17% of the youth and 11% of the parents could even name a specific authority or internet service provider to which they could even report an internet crime. This is
staggering. Do you know what to do if your child reports to you that he or she was sent pornographic materials on line? These crimes are widely under reported which means that we can’t fully understand the impact these crimes have on the children and families involved.

There are some signs that might be red flags that indicate your child may be connecting with an online predator. None of these signs are definitive but indicate that it may be time to talk to your child to further understand what
is going on. If your child becomes withdrawn or isolated from their friends and family you may want to check in with them. Other red flags include, finding inappropriate or disturbing material on the computer, your child
receives gifts, money, mail or phone contact from people that are not known to you or you see charges on your phone bill from numbers or people that you do not recognize.

If you think that your child is a victim of an on line predator you should reassure your child that it is not their fault. You should save the evidence.
Evidence might be emails, instant messages, or any pictures that might have been sent. You should contact your local law enforcement agency and make a report.

You can also make a report to the CyberTipline at or 1-800-THE-LOST and include all information available, even if you do not feel it is important information.
Guarding Against Online Predators

Spread the love

Cyberbullying – what parents should know

Cyberbullying – what parents should know

As parents it’s our job to help our children develop into independent, confident, and self-assured young adults. The pressures and complexities of being a teen, and being the parent of a teen, couldn’t be more challenging. It’s hard enough for kids to find their place in the physical world and try to fit in, but the cyber world has added a whole new layer of concerns.

Cyberbullying is bullying that takes place using digital technology. Cyberbullying most commonly involves the use of cell phones, but may also involve computers, tablets, iPods, gaming consoles and just about any device that connects to the “cyber” world. The actually bullying is facilitated through websites and applications such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, Snapchat, and Kik Messenger. Common examples of cyberbullying include mean and threatening text messages, rumors sent by email or posted on social networking sites, and embarrassing pictures, videos, websites, or fake profiles.

Digital technology is not to blame for cyberbullying. In fact, digital technology and the power of the Internet have a very positive impact on learning, sharing of ideas, problem solving and staying appropriately connected with friends and family. But these tools can also be used to hurt other people. Whether done in person or through technology, the effects of bullying are the same. According to the US Department of Justice, kids who are bullied are more likely to use drugs and alcohol, have poor grades, skip school, have more health problems associated with the stress, avoid attending school, church, and social functions, and have lower self-esteem.

So what should you do as a parent to help reduce the risks of cyberbullying? The most important thing to do is talk with your kids about cyberbullying and other online issues regularly. You should also regularly look for opportunities to model and teach empathy. When we help our kids put themselves in another person’s shoes, they learn to be more sensitive to what that person is experiencing and are less likely to tease or bully them. By explicitly teaching our kids to be more conscious of other people’s feelings, we can create a more accepting and respectful community. Learn more at


Sergeant Colin Fagan
Spread the love

Asante and Kohl’s want you to be Water Savvy and Water Safe


Be Water Savvy and Water Safe

Pools, rivers, ponds, and beaches mean summer fun and cool relief from hot weather. But water also can be dangerous for kids if parents don’t take the proper precautions. Nearly 1,000 kids die each year by drowning, with

Happy kid enjoying kayak ride on beautiful river. Little curly toddler boy kayaking on hot summer day. Water sport and camping fun. Canoe for children. Funny child with vessel in a boat.

the majority happening in home swimming pools. It is the second leading cause of accidental death for people between the ages of 5 and 24.

The good news is there are many ways to keep your kids safe in the water – and make sure that they take the right precautions when they’re on their own.


Invest in Your Child’s Safety

Purchase proper-fitting, Coast Guard-approved flotation life vests and have kids wear them whenever near water. Check the weight and size recommendations on the label, then have your child try it on to make sure it fits snugly. For kids younger than 5 years old, choose a vest with a strap between the legs and head support – the collar will keep the child’s head up and face out of the water. Inflatable vests and arm devices such as water wings are not effective protection against drowning.

Keeping Kids Safe

Fencing is your best measure of protection for a backyard pool or and should be at least 4 feet tall. Pool covers and alarms have not proven effective against drowning for very young children.

Portrait of cute happy little girl having fun in swimming pool, floating in blue refreshing water with big green rubber ring, active summer vacation on the beach

It’s Imperative

Above all else, supervise your kids at all times when around water – whether the water is in a bathtub, wading pool, fish pond, pool, spa, the beach, river or lake. Never assume because your child took swimming lessons or is using a flotation device that there is no drowning risk.

Water play can be a great source of fun and exercise. Teach your child that safety is a priority and that they never swim alone. And don’t forget the sunscreen!

Since 2007, Kohl’s Cares has awarded over $177,000 in grants to Asante for health focused outreach programs to the community.

Spread the love