Be Smart This Holiday Season

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(By Fire Chief Ron Martin) Hello FMB Community, on behalf of the Men and Women of your FMB Fire District, I extend wishes for a blessed, joyous, fun, and safe holiday season.

December has two of our society’s most celebrated days, Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve. These days are filled with workplace celebrations and gatherings with family and friends. However, sadly for some in our community, these joyous events end in a tragedy due to impaired driving.

This year marks the 41st Anniversary, where Mothers Against Drunk Driving
(MADD) has partnered with Public Safety Agencies to recognize December as
National Impaired Driving Prevention Month.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA),
impaired driving-related incidents represent nearly one-third of traffic-related
fatalities.

National statistics demonstrate during December, close to 890 individuals and families experienced the pain of losing a loved one due to impaired driving. Sadly close to 50% of these deaths occur on December 24 and December 31.

According to statistics published by MADD, a final sobering statistic, on December 25, thirty-five individuals and families on average lost a loved one due to impaired driving.

The pain caused and the empty spot created by losing a loved one due to impaired driving is even more tragic when considering that these losses are 100%
preventable.

What can we do as a community and as individuals to protect our friends, families, and neighbors? Like all other safety initiatives, it starts with personal responsibility and having a “PLAN!” If you are hosting a holiday event, be proactive and have a plan for guests who have overindulged. If you are attending a holiday event, you should always have a personal plan that includes a non-drinking driver or having a pre-planned ride home, such as a taxi or trolley.

In today’s sharing economy, rideshares like Uber and Lyft are ideal for taking a safe, non-impaired ride home from a holiday event. We encourage all party hosts  to ensure to have some variety of a “MockTail” option for guests who may not have planned accordingly.

Serving a “MockTail” provides a guest with the flavors  of the Holiday season with zero alcohol or impairment risk. 

Finally, a special FMB Community reminder! We encourage all our residents and  visitors to keep in mind that impaired driving is NOT just limited to motor vehicles. For example, an impaired person who rides a bicycle or drives a motor scooter faces an increased risk for severe injury or death for themselves and others. 

Thank you all, and best wishes from our FMB Fire Family to yours for a happy, healthy, and joyous Holiday Season and a blessed and prosperous New Year! 

Ron Martin
Fort Myers Beach
Fire Chief

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