By Maria-Jose Subiria
Today Clayton County residents will have an opportunity to educate themselves on how to live a safe and healthy lifestyle, said a fire safety educator for the Riverdale Public Safety Department.
Carol Epton-Keitt said the department, in partnership with Walgreens in Riverdale, will sponsor a free "SAFETY, HEALTH & WELLNESS EXPO," on Saturday, Nov. 20, from 10 a.m., to 2 p.m., at the Riverdale Police Department, 6900 Church St., Riverdale.
"This is the first [expo of its kind]," said Epton-Keitt, during a telephone interview. "We hope to have a series of the same type of event next year. We hope to have it every quarter with different topics."
Epton-Keitt, who has been with the department for two years, said various vendors will attend the event to educate the community about healthy living. Some of the topics that participants will learn about include food and nutrition, exercise and stress relief.
Epton-Keitt said the Association of Black Cardiologists, Inc., will be on hand to educate about heart health, preventing heart attacks and strokes and how to keep blood pressure at a normal level.
In addition, representatives from the Clayton County Board of Health will teach visitors the proper installation of child safety seats according to a child's age and height, she said.
The fire safety educator said the City of Riverdale Fire Services, and the Riverdale Police Department will be present, to lecture about crime and fire prevention.
Pharmacists from Walgreens, located at 6665 Highway 85, Riverdale, will answer various questions about prescription and over-the-counter medications, at the event, she added.
"Most of the vendors are from Riverdale," Epton-Keitt said.
During the event, participants will be able to register for free educational courses provided by the Riverdale Public Safety Department, she said.
One course, the "Citizens Public Safety Academy," informs participants about the City of Riverdale Fire Services, and the Riverdale Police Department, said Epton-Keitt. Participants will also be able to ride inside a police vehicle and fire engine. The educational event will take place on a selected day, in February.
The Riverdale Public Safety Department will also conduct a free Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) course, funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and Clayton County. The course educates about disaster preparedness, she said. The date for this event will be determined when the department receives at least 25 registrants.
Background checks will be required for both courses, said Epton-Keitt.
Raffle tickets will also be distributed during the event, she said. Participants will be able to win health-related prizes.
"We [Riverdale Public Safety Department] wanted to let people have the opportunity to learn about the alternatives that they have for health and wellness," said Epton-Keitt.