Staff at Wildwood often come up with their own inventive, interesting ways to teach new skills and help problem-solve different challenges an individual may face. Last month, two members of the residential staff — Ashley Cook and Leslie Malloy — recognized that one of the residents they supervised did not fully understand the difference in what to do when a fire drill occurred vs. when there was an actual fire. So, they teamed up to help educate the individual in a different way.  

Because verbal and written instructions were not the best way for this person to comprehend information, staff members took it upon themselves to try something different: they wanted to create an instructional video that would visually capture what the person would need to do in each scenario. During a fire drill (with no actual threat), the resident would need to respond by going to the window and waving, allowing them to be accounted for; in the event of an actual fire (and real threat), the resident would need to leave their home through the window and walk to a specific, safe, checkpoint.

With the help of Wildwood’s communications team, a video was created that broke down, step-by-step, the actions that would need to be taken in both situations. Tom Schreck, Wildwood’s Director of Communications, spent the afternoon climbing out windows and trekking through the snow in order to fully immerse himself in the actions. The finished video combines the visual aspect of someone acting out the necessary response steps alongside verbal instructions and written captions. It was separated into two distinct parts: what to do if there is a drill, and what to do if there is a real fire.

Throughout the production of the instructional video, Ashley and Leslie took every factor into consideration – from where the resident would most likely be if a fire were to break out (chair, watching tv); to the tone of voice they would be willing to listen to (slow, calm, assured); and everything in between. Conversations were had about the importance of phrasing, troubleshooting was done to minimize the number of steps, and the final product was created thanks to their dedication and willingness to truly put themselves in the shoes of another.  

Fire safety and emergency preparedness are important considerations for any residence, and and we are so grateful to our staff for the action plans they put in place. Because of their investment and diligence, one more person can continue living safely in their own home. Wildwood is so grateful to have staff members like Ashley and Leslie who go above and beyond to help, and who take the time to truly understand the best way for an individual to learn!

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