Put Yourself in Our Boots campaign
Police, firefighters and paramedics don't have a set workplace. Every place is their workplace. And they say a lot of those places are unsafe.
A new public awareness campaign urges businesses and homeowners to make sure their places are safe for emergency workers who might have to come in one day.
On Monday, a new public service announcement will begin.
It is a re-enactment of a real event. In 2000, police officer John Petropoulos died when he fell through the ceiling of a building while investigating a break and enter complaint.
His death changed the way many officers approach the job
"I pay a lot more attention to the things I didn't pay attention to before. I'm certainly a lot more sensitive to the work environments that I am in," said Darren Leggatt with the Calgary Police Service.
"The hazards that are familiar to you will be completely unfamiliar to them," said John Petropoulos Memorial Fund Board Chair Maryanne Pope. "And often if it's an emergency, it's going to be less lighting, there could be fire so it's unfamiliar and there's going to be more hazards than will normally be there. So things can be in the way and exits can be blocked. We are trying to get people thinking about workplace safety in a new perspective."
Firefighters and paramedics agree saying workplace safety should be a 24 hour concern, even for businesses not open 24 hours a day.
"Think about the fact that at any time during the night it could be a police officer or a firefighter or a paramedic inside your building walking around, and if you have left an unsafe condition then it's a hazard for us," said Fire Chief Bruce Burrell.
"If it's a hazard that can be a danger in the daytime setting, imagine it to a first responder at night, in the dark, unescorted, in a completely unfamiliar environment, how that danger becomes immediately elevated," added Stuart Brideaux with Calgary EMS.
The public service announcements begin Monday.