Stay safe this holiday season with St. Vincent’s One Nineteen

Published 3:31 pm Thursday, November 12, 2015

St. Vincent's One Nineteen is offering a free safety program on Nov. 18. (File)

St. Vincent’s One Nineteen is offering a free safety program on Nov. 18. (File)

By MOLLY DAVIDSON / Staff Writer

NORTH SHELBY—With meals to cook, presents to buy and houses to decorate, there are a lot of things to think about during the holiday season. Through the hustle and bustle of the holidays, it’s important to keep safety in mind too.

“During the holidays, crime, especially theft, goes up because everyone is out shopping and everyone is out spending money,” Hoover Police Officer Brandon Harris said.

On Nov. 18, St. Vincent’s One Nineteen is offering a Safety Tips and Self Defense program featuring Harris and Tae Kwon Do master Justin Scarsella to teach people tips and techniques to stay safe.

“We take care of the whole person, and we feel like safety is of the utmost importance,” St. Vincent’s One Nineteen registered dietitian Donna Sibley said. “We just felt like this time of year it was really important to get everyone’s antennae up.”

Harris will discuss the SAFE method, which stands for see, alert, formulate and execute. The SAFE method is Harris’s own philosophy of situational awareness, which he has developed from his experience as a U.S. Marine and a police officer.

The SAFE method helps people stay safe by teaching them to look out for a potentially dangerous situation and have a plan ready to put in action to protect themselves and those around them.

“As a mom, you need to act quickly to keep your children safe,” Harris said, noting the SAFE method teaches people to prepare for any situation and act quickly. “It’s not a mentality of paranoia, it’s more a mentality of awareness.”

Following Harris, Scarsella will demonstrate self defense techniques.

The program will last from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m., and a light breakfast will be served. The program is free, but reservations are requested. To reserve a spot, call 408-6550.