"Ask The Chief" allows readers access to useful information about law enforcement issues in Red Wing. This communication tool has been developed to enhance community policing efforts by providing residents and visitors with the opportunity to ask questions about local laws, programs and the department in general.
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Q: If you fall at home (can't get up) and the Red Wing Police Department comes to help you up and you are not hurt do you have to pay for that? I guess there are some seniors that have husbands who fall that they know are OK but cannot lift them and they are afraid to call the police.
A: Thank you for your question. First, the Red Wing Police Department does not charge for response to calls for service. There are two exceptions - first is a response to a property that is declared a "Disorderly Property, in accordance with City Code Chapter 10, Section 10.26 Disorderly Property and second for excessive false business alarms, were the business received a written notice of excessive false alarms; both may be billed for responses once notified.
If you experience a fall and need help getting up, call 911 or the non-emergency number at 651-385-3155. Goodhue County Dispatch will dispatch the appropriate response. In Red Wing, that will consist of police and fire paramedics.
The National Safety Council states that falls account for a third of all non-fatal injuries and also that every 20 minutes an older adult dies from a fall somewhere in the United States. Therefore, we will always err on the side of caution and request that a paramedic assess individuals that have suffered a fall to ensure they are OK. Also, if falls are not common, or becoming more common for you, we highly encourage you to discuss the matter of falling with your doctor.
The National Safety Council recommends that you try these tips to make your home safer:
• Remove clutter, small furniture, pet gear, electrical cords, throw rugs and anything else that might cause someone to trip
• Arrange or remove furniture so there is plenty of room for walking
• Add grab bars inside and outside of your bathtub or shower and next to the toilet
• Put railings on both sides of the stairs, and make sure stairs and hallways have good lighting
• Make sure outdoor areas are well lit and walkways are smooth and free of puddles/ice
While we all are aging every day, falls do not have to be a part of that process. Understanding fall risks is the first step to keeping our loved ones and ourselves safe.
1. Red Wing City Code, Chapter 10, located online at: http://lf.ci.red-wing.mn.us/weblink/0/doc/159293/Page1.aspx
2. National Safety Council, Safety at Home, Falls, located online at: https://www.nsc.org/home-safety/safety-topics/older-adult-falls