Get the news that is important to you in This Week in Palm Beach. November 16, 2018 edition.
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Civic Association News Video [4:12]
By Michele Dargan, Special for the Civic Association -- The Port of Palm Beach Commissioners Thursday deferred a vote on a temporary agreement that would allow Palm Beach County to take over maintenance of the Peanut Island Coast Guard facilities, which are owned by the port.
The vote was deferred to December’s meeting after Executive Director Manuel Almira informed the commission that there are outstanding code enforcement violations.
“I’m sufficiently confident that we will be able to work this out and confident that we can bring this back next month,” Mr. Almira said.
The facilities, including the Coast Guard Station, Kennedy Bunker and a boathouse, are in disrepair and have been closed to the public. Most of the 80-acre Peanut Island is a county park and is maintained by the county’s Parks Department.
Both the port and the county want to renovate the facilities and reopen it to the public. But in order to do so, they need to secure grant money. Both entities are hoping that once they ink the temporary agreement, it will lead to a longer-term agreement, which would allow the county to secure funding from a variety of grants.
Karen Marcus, a Civic Association consultant and former county commissioner, urged the commissioners to consider the agreement this month, because she is confident the code issues will be worked out.
“This is simply mowing the grass and making sure it looks good for a minimal amount so that we can move in the next direction,” she said. “The buildings are closed. Nobody has public access.”
According to the agreement, the port will pay the county $5,500 a year to cover the maintenance and the port maintains jurisdiction over the facilities, including operating and maintaining all security cameras affixed to any structure. The agreement can be terminated by either party with 30 days-notice.
Once the port commission approves the agreement, the next step is to bring it before the Board of County Commissioners for final approval.
The President will return to Palm Beach to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday at Mar-a-Lago, continuing a family tradition he had before moving to the White House.
Flight restrictions associated with a presidential visit in Palm Beach will be in place next week from Tuesday, November 20 to Monday, November 26th, according to an advisory issued by the Federal Aviation Administration.
That means Ocean Blvd. will be road-blocked around Mar-a-Lago and limited lanes of traffic over the Southern Blvd. bridge.
The tropical wave dissipated while we were sleepng last night.
Significant development of this system is not expected due to unfavorable upper-level winds and interaction with islands of the Greater Antilles. However, this system could produce locally heavy rainfall over portions of the Leeward Islands, the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, and Hispaniola during the next day or so as it moves generally west-northwestward. This rainfall will then spread across portions of the Turks and Caicos Islands and the southeastern Bahamas by Thursday as the system turns northwestward.
* Formation chance through 48 hours...low...10 percent.
* Formation chance through 5 days...low...10 percent.
There is a good chance that the approaching cold front will deflect the tropical storm away from Florida.
Get the news that is important to you in This Week in Palm Beach. November 9, 2018 edition.
To subscribe to This Week in Palm Beach and receive it in your inbox, CLICK HERE
Civic Association News Video [4:02]
By: R. Michael Brown, Civic Association Communication Director -- Fire-Rescue Division Chief Sean Baker was named the Palm Beach Employee of the Year at the Palm Beach Chamber of Commerce breakfast meeting at The Breakers.
Chief Baker received a $3,500 check donated by the Civic Association and the Citizens Association.
Sean is known for his “honesty, creativity, vision, compassion” and his outreach to the community, among other qualities, Mayor Gail Coniglio told the crowd of over 600.
“He’s always focused on the residents and providing customer service at the highest level,” said Mayor Coniglio. “The Fire-Rescue Department couldn’t be prouder than to nominate such an outstanding employee.”
The town will post a framed photo of Chief Baker on the Town Hall’s Wall of Fame along with the 40 other Employees of the Year.
“I was stunned. My jaw is on the ground,” Chief Baker said. “It was absolutely humbling.”
Fire-Rescue Division Chief named Palm Beach employee of the year Palm Beach Daily News
By: Dr. Earl J. Campazzi, Jr., Special for the Civic Association -- At first glance, it appears that the Town of Palm Beach Fire-Rescue is trying to put itself out of business. Not so, according to Division Chief Sean Baker. Rather, they are expanding their community services to educate the public on how to prevent emergencies.
The Palm Beach Civic Association asked me to tell you about these programs to companion with the Civic Association Fire Safety brochure. The brochure, produced by the Civic Association with advice from Palm Beach Fire-Rescue, was the idea of George Cohon, Civic Association Director, and is being mailed to residents this week. It’s sponsored by Bruce Gendelman Insurance Services.
The brochure is also available to the public on the Civic Association website as a PDF download [CLICK HERE]. This year, the Civic Association is celebrating 75 years of informing and assisting the residents of Palm Beach.
PB Fire-Rescue has four major public education initiatives in addition to its emergency duties:
1. Fall Prevention
2. Increase the use of Automatic External Defibrillators
3. No appointment needed blood pressure and pulse checks at all three fire stations
4. A January 12 “brown bag” health fair at all fire stations
For healthy Palm Beachers, falling is your number one health risk. It might surprise you that head injury from falls is, by far, the most frequent injury seen at St. Mary’s Trauma Center. For PB Fire-Rescue, falls are the second most frequent type of call behind “sick” calls which is a very broad category.
One easy way to decrease your risk of falling is by calling Cesar Lora at 561-227-5420, the PB Fire-Rescue Community Education Coordinator. A little known benefit of living in Palm Beach is that Fire-Rescue will walk through your home and make fall risk recommendations specifically for you. I have priced this service with local home nursing agencies. It is a $175 value; but, our Fire-Rescue offers this service for free to residents.
Only 127 out of approximately 5,000 PB homes have AEDs. AEDs provide a shock that can “restart” the heart especially if it used in the first couple of minutes that your loved one is unconscious. According to ScienceDaily , AEDs almost triple the chance for survival (2.7x).
Image: AED for Home
PB Fire-Rescue has an extraordinary response time of four minutes (average) compared to the national average of fifteen minutes . However, the real problem when your heart stops is that your brain does not get oxygen from blood circulation. A simple way to realize the minute-to-minute necessity of oxygen to the brain is to time yourself holding your breath. Virtually no one can hold their breath for four+ minutes, so it makes sense for everyone to have an AED in their home.
If you register your AED with Fire-Rescue, they will teach you how easy it is to use this device. You simply put a big sticky pad on the patient’s chest and another on their back, stand back and press the button. AEDs monitor the patient’s heart though their pads and will only shock if needed.
Fire-Rescue will also track and advise you when the batteries and pads expire and need replacement. Neither the Town nor I sell AEDs which cost approximately $1,200, so there is no conflict of interest in this advice.
Additionally, Fire-Rescue will advise you about supplies to stop bleeding. The military has developed fantastic products – foams, bandages, and tourniquets to stop bleeding. These work much better than a wet towel especially when the patient is on blood thinners which is very common among Palm Beachers. Supplies to stop bleeding should be kept next to your AED for simplicity.
Blood Pressure Checks
You are always welcome at your fire station. Paramedics will gladly check your blood pressure and pulse. If you have a home monitor, they encourage you to bring it along to check its accuracy. They will write down the results for you to take to your doctor. As a practicing physician, I know the value of a patient bringing several accurate blood pressure readings from outside of a doctor’s office.
Choice of a hospital – Fire-Rescue matches your needs to the capabilities of local hospitals. Often, you will need to go to the nearest hospital. Seconds, let alone minutes, matter especially for stroke, trauma, and cardiac issues. If you are having symptoms of a stroke, you will be transported to one of the area’s stroke centers: Good Samaritan Medical Center has a Primary Stroke Center and St. Mary’s and JFK Medical Center have Comprehensive Stroke Centers . You are welcome to request a hospital. Fire-Rescue’s decision will be based on your medical condition and their available resources.
When should you call 911? Chief Baker said that unlike some other communities, Palm Beachers do not abuse 911. He encourages you to err on the side of caution and call if you only think maybe you should. Certainly call 911, if you or someone you are with, is having chest pain, shortness of breath, abdominal pain, altered mental status, or uncontrolled bleeding. Weakness and fever may also be good reasons to dial 911. This list is not all-inclusive.
Trauma Hawk – Helicopter transport is for patients needing to go to a local Level 1 Trauma Center – St. Mary’s or Delray Medical Center. The decision on whether to use the helicopter is based on many factors including travel time. North of Sloan’s Curve, it is usually faster for Fire-Rescue to drive. South of Sloan’s Curve, the helicopter is often needed to expedite transport.
Lift Assist – If someone falls and cannot get up, Fire-Rescue will assess the patient for injuries or complications from a fall. If all is OK, they will lift the patient back to their feet without requiring transport to a hospital.
Contingency Plans – Each fire station has a rescue truck (used to be called an “ambulance”) staffed with a 3-person crew 24/7. For serious calls, five paramedics can be sent immediately. If the southern truck is in use, one of the two northern crews will relocate to the southern station. Fire Rescue is staffed and equipped to easily handle simultaneous medical calls. Beyond that, the City of West Palm Beach or Palm Beach County provides mutual aid back-up.
Fun facts -- Bridges are kept down for Fire-Rescue use regardless of schedule or boat traffic. Traffic signals not only turn green for Fire-Rescue, but they do so a minute or two before the emergency vehicle arrives to clear the road and intersection.
A Thank You to All PB Fire-Rescue Personnel
They are doing great work for the Palm Beach community. I hope that you will benefit by knowing more about their services.
Earl J. Campazzi, Jr., M.D., M.P.H
Campazzi Concierge Medical Services
Public Safety is one of our Civic Association committees and this summer they had a project to create a fire safety brochure for residents in town.
The idea came from George Cohon, a Civic Association Director, and it was designed by Christina Kramer.
We got advice from Palm Beach Fire-Rescue and It covers evacuation plans, electrical fire hazards, high-rise building fires, and more. We are greatful to Bruce Gendelman Insurance Services for sponsoring the project.
The brochure is being mailed town-wide so look for this envelop in the mail.