Public Safety Director's Spotlight:  Poison Prevention Awareness

Poison prevention, fire hydrant safety, fun activities, and neighborhood improvement opportunities

March 24, 2011 | 4 min reading time

Many fun, educational and exciting events are scheduled for this weekend in St. Louis, but before I highlight several of them I want to alert you to the fact that this week (March 20-26) is National Poison Prevention Week. Fifty years ago the U.S. Congress established this week to promote poison prevention. Out of the more than two million poisonings that are reported each year to poison control centers across the country, it is estimated that more than 90 percent of them occur in the home. The majority of non-fatal poisonings occur in children under the age of six. A good resource for information and advice on poison exposure is the 24-hours a day, 365 days a year resource line: 1-800-222-1222. For more information about poison prevention, visit the Poison Center website at .

I also want to follow up to the news story that recently aired about fire hydrants that get damaged when residents try to wrench them open. With the hot and humid days of St. Louis summer just around the corner, one unfortunate St. Louis tradition has been to enjoy standing in the cold running water of a fire hydrant. However, one of the most dangerous things a young child can do is be on a city street standing in the flow of water gushing from an opened fire hydrant – where oncoming traffic may or may not see them. The open hydrant is not available should a fire break out nearby. If not opened properly, the hydrant is damaged and has to be repaired to the tune of anywhere from $500 to $2,000. Last year, 375 hydrants had to be repaired.

Below are some of the events coming up in St. Louis. I encourage you to stop by and take advantage of all that our great City neighborhoods have to offer. See you in the neighborhood!

Black History Presentation

The League of African American Women is inviting families to its Black History Presentation on Thursday, March 24, starting at 6:30 p.m. at Herbert Hoover Boys & Girls Club, 2901 N. Grand. The slide show will focus on significant and powerful African Americans who are only briefly touched upon in the history books. The presentation will also cover noted Black women in St. Louis history in honor of March being Women's History Month.

Downtown West Walk

Metropolis St. Louis is sponsoring the Downtown West Walk this Thursday, March 24 starting at 7 p.m. from Schlafly's Tap Room., 2100 Locust. Metropolis is dedicated to maintaining an environment in St. Louis that helps attract and retain young professionals. For more information about Metropolis and all its upcoming events, visit .

Developmental Disability Awareness Open House

The St. Louis Office for DD Resources will hold a Developmental Disability Awareness Open House on Friday, March 25. The program will consist of several guest speakers including Mr. David Newburger, the City's Commissioner for the Office on the Disabled, Department of Human Services. The offices are located at 2334 Olive Street and the Open House will take place from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Stop by and learn what resources are available for those with a developmental disability. For more information, visit .

Fresh Fruit & Vegetables in the O'Fallon Neighborhood

Carrie's Corner Market, 4500 Athlone at Rosalie in the O'Fallon neighborhood, is proud to announce that it is now carrying fresh produce on Saturdays. Fruits and vegetables are part of a healthy diet and Carrie's is helping its neighbors by providing them with healthy choices. If you live close by, be sure to stop in this Saturday. If the corner market in your neighborhood doesn't carry fresh produce, I encourage you to speak with the manager about making this option available to you and your neighbors.

Help Stop Water Pollution

The annual Confluence Trash Bash is scheduled for this Saturday, March 26 from 8:30 a.m. to Noon, with lunch and celebration immediately following. Volunteers will depart from Old Chain of Rocks Bridge, 10950 Riverview Drive, to clean local streams and neighborhoods. If you are interested in participating, please register by visiting or calling Natalie at (314) 436-1324 x123.

Project Blitz 2011 Begins

Project Blitz, Operation Brightside's annual campaign to clean up city neighborhoods begins this weekend in Region 4 North (bounded by the City Limits on the north; Mississippi River on the east; W. Florissant, Grand & Palm on the south, & the City Limits on the west) and Region 4 South (bounded by Forest Park on the north; Gravois, Kingshighway, Chippewa, Macklind, Arsenal, Kingshighway on the east; the City Limits on the south, and the City Limits on the west). Join your neighbors on Saturday, March 26 and Sunday, March 27 to clean up the streets, alleys and vacant lots in your neighborhood. The year 2011 marks the 30th year for this annual City-wide clean-up effort. For more information, visit or call (314) 772-4646.

Living the Dream: MLK Today

Living the Dream, an original theatrical play that illustrates how the nonviolent principles of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., apply to the current challenges of youth within the home, at school and within the community, will be presented at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, March 26 at Carpenter Branch Library, Grand and Utah. Youth ages 6 – 21 use the power of theatre, music and dance to put a human face on the challenges of youth today. For more information, call (314) 721-6556.

 Earth Hour 2011

 At 8:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 26, Earth Hour will celebrate a worldwide commitment to ongoing change for the betterment of our planet. Millions of people across the world have signed up to do their part to conserve energy and reduce their carbon footprint. In St. Louis, the Gateway Arch will go dark for the hour and other organizations will be participating as well. To learn more about this effort, visit .


The Department of Public Safety's City Emergency Management Agency (CEMA) provides free emergency alert service through Nixle ( . When you register for the service, you will receive our informative and timely text messages on your cell phone and/or as e-mails on your computer. Visit the Nixle website and sign up for the free service today. If you have any comments about the service, please let me know.

Will you be having an event in your neighborhood that we can support? If so, either email the information about it to me at or to Cathy Smentkowski at .

And remember, if you see something in the neighborhood that just doesn't look right, REPORT IT!

Charles Bryson

Director of Public Safety

City of St. Louis


Related Stories

Was this page helpful?      

Comments are helpful!
500 character limit

Feedback is anonymous.