Billings Fire Department is reminding residents that National Falls Prevention Awareness Week is here, and have released a bit of detail on their response log, showing 55% of calls are fall related.

Cameron McCamley, EMS Coordinator for the Billings Fire Department, said "In Billings, the number one call for service that we go on is falls". McCamley also said falls are the leading cause of fatal and non-fatal injuries in older adults, and has become a growing concern as the city's baby boomer generation climbs in age.

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Recently, with the addition of smart devices including fall detection, the number of calls have increased, along with calls from individuals, friends and family members or other medical alert devices.

McCamley provided details about prevention education:

There are classes offered in Yellowstone County with movement and exercise to help you balance. The other cool thing that those classes teach is how to fall. So if you do fall, how would you best protect yourself, your hands, your wrists, your hips, and reduce those injuries.

The Montana Department of Health and Human Services said 1,900 Montanans were hospitalized in 2020 due to unintentional falls, and over half of falls happen right at home.

Billings FD Assistant Fire Chief of EMS Jason Banfield provided some basic and simple tips for citizens at home to reduce their disk of falling:

  • Remove tripping hazards such as papers, books, clothing and shoes
  • Tape or tack down or remove rugs
  • Replace dim or non-functioning light bulbs
  • Put handrails on all stairs and steps
  • Install grab bars next to your toilet and in the tub and shower

If you'd like to learn more about fall prevention, the classes are available at the button below:

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