Safety Needs on Agenda for Area

Published 12:37 pm Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Safety concerns for three area counties will be addressed soon by a community organization.

“Safe Children, Safe Communities” is the vision adopted by the newly formed Safe Kids Riverbend Coalition representing Martin, Tyrrell, and Washington Counties.  The Coalition has met three times since March, already has letters of commitment from more than a dozen local agencies that are interested in child safety, and expects to be chartered by Safe Kids North Carolina soon.  The objective of the Coalition is to coordinate safety efforts and activities already in place by the individual agencies and groups and to seek resources to increase these efforts.


Friends of MTW Public Health, Inc. will serve as the Lead Agency for the Safe Kids Riverbend Coalition.   Elected to the Coalition Board include the following: Chairman, Stacy Pippin of the Williamston Fire / EMS; Vice Chair, Steve O’Neal, Plymouth Police Chief; Secretary, Laura Stone of  Williamston Fire / EMS; and Treasurer, Janet Ambrose who is Treasurer for Friends of MTW Public Health.


Four areas of concern that the Coalition will address in its first year: Child Passenger Safety with Vickey Manning of the MTW District Health Department as Chair. Poison Prevention with Chair Tim Manning, Chief Deputy for the Martin County Sheriff Department; Fire Prevention/Safety, with Chair Wayne Lilley of the Washington Fire Marshall Office; and Bicycle/Pedestrian Safety with Chair Officer William Coley of the North Carolina Highway Patrol.

“We are still in the organizational stages right now. We are forming our strategic plan and our committees,” said Vickey Manning, a Martin-Tyrrell-Washington District Health Department official involved with the formation of the group.

Manning said the target age for safety for kids are those in the five to fourteen age ranges.

She mentioned a prescription drop-off that area law enforcement agencies were heavily involved in creating.

“Tyrrell County Sheriff’s Department,Plymouth Police Department, Martin County Sheriff’s Department now have a prominent drop box in each of their facilities. People might have expired or old medications, which they now have a safe place to bring them to. Now law enforcement can take care of destroying them,” Manning said.

Manning mentioned that the group will meet next on July 19 at the Plymouth Police Department on Water Street in downtown Plymouth.

“The different committees are supposed to get together and come up with what their action plans are going to be. We are also in the process of gathering letters of commitment from all of the community agencies,” said Manning.

Part of the group’s chartering activities involves getting letters of commitment from agencies who are willing to show their support.

Once the group is chartered, they hope to attend community events demonstrating safety ideals.


Safe Kids North Carolina is a part of Safe Kids Worldwide, a global nonprofit organization founded in 1987 with a mission to prevent unintentional childhood injury, a leading cause of death and disability for children ages 1-14.  Programs combine education, awareness, environmental changes and safety device distribution to get communities more involved in child safety and keep families and children safer.  These programs address major risk areas for children: traffic crashes, drowning, burns, falls, and poisoning.

“We hope that our Coalition will become even more broad-based with other area agencies, businesses, and churches joining to help us accomplish our goals,” stated Stacy Pippin.  The next Safe Kids Coalition meeting will be Friday, July 19, at 10:00am at the Plymouth Police Department Station on 132 East Water Street.  Persons interested in learning more about the Safe Kids Riverbend Coalition may contact Jacqueline Beth Manning of the MTW District Health Department at, or call 793-1631.