Earlier this week, we heard from Doug Kridler the President and CEO of the Columbus Foundation. We touched on a concept that has always fascinated me, especially in the last year coming from the Columbus Partnership to the Columbus Foundation. As Doug mentioned, “The Columbus Way” is probably said around 10 times a day across offices in the 614. This phrase refers to the amount of collaboration in Columbus. It is a culture amongst sectors and competitors to work together for a better quality of life in Columbus. As with anything, people have questioned how true and effective “The Columbus Way” really is, but this week I was able to work in it.
For over thirty years, Safe Place has been operating at all our fire stations in the city. But, the partnership between the Division of Fire and us has been less communicative over recent years. I reached out to the Division of Fire to reconnect on Safe Place, and how Huck House can best support them in keeping our youth safe. When I heard back from them, I was really surprised and excited to hear that I was going to meet with the Chief of our city’s Division of Fire. I really did not think someone as busy the fire chief would stop and chat with me about Safe Place. However, I could tell within just a few minutes, Chief O’Connor was very serious about keeping our city safe. Our firewomen and men do much, much more than put out fires. They truly put themselves in the community to keep everyone safe and healthy as possible. Chief O’Connor and I were able to chat about how to improve our Safe Place program, as well as working on ensuring all 1,500 firefighters know our Safe Place procedures. They are helping us create a training video just for our firefighters, to make sure that every youth seeking a Safe Place is helped. I am so incredibly happy this week to work so closely and collaborate with our fire department on Safe Place. This week was filled with the “The Columbus Way” to keep our youth safe!