The Watering Hole Blog

What Does it Take to Reach 4700…


What’s does it take to reach 4700 people with a safety message they are actually open to hearing?


Jody photo podium 2013
Jody Laird, Edmonton, AB 2013

A lot of presentations…60 in the past year, to be precise.

Since the $5000 raised from the 2013 John Petropoulos Memorial Fund’s 29 Day Challenge is going towards the Safety Presentation Program, I thought a snapshot of what the JPMF has accomplished in the program over the past year was in order:

– We delivered 60 presentations throughout Alberta

– We reached approx 4700 people with our safety messages

– We spoke at 3 significant conferences in Montreal, Calgary and Lethbridge

– Our audiences included companies, safety associations, post-secondary institutions, high schools, junior highs and elementary schools

For November 2013, we already have 12 presentations booked and more requests are  coming in daily…word is spreading 🙂

I say “We” but it’s not ME out there delivering workplaces safety presentations anymore. Rather, it’s an amazing crew of dedicated individuals who care deeply that emergency responders make it home safely after every shift.

Here is a bit of background about two of our speakers:

Jody Laird
Jody Laird

Jody Laird, the JPMF’s main presenter, is a 911 dispatcher for the City of Calgary and is passionate about public speaking. Since graduating in 2000 with a degree in social work, Jody has presented keynote speeches, presentations and seminars across Alberta on a wide variety of topics. Jody lives in Airdrie with her two children and her husband, a Calgary police officer and JPMF Board Member.

Lindsey Jepson
Lindsey Jepson

Growing up as the daughter of a Calgary police officer, Lindsey Jepson had a strong appreciation of emergency responder work from a very early age. After having three children, she began her career with Calgary Metro EMS. Recalling very clearly the day that Calgary lost one of “our finest” in such a senseless way had a large impact on Lindsey. The opportunity to help further John’s legacy by sharing workplace safety messages is a true privilege.

The purpose of the JPMF’s safety presentations is to help people see workplace safety from a different perspective: that of emergency responders. We are succeeding; here is some sample feedback on our presentations:

“I had not considered first responders when I thought of safety initiatives…thank you for providing a new way of thinking about workplace safety.”

“It was helpful for me to learn and now recognize the various dangers in a building after hours.”

“Your presentation drives a strong message and we will incorporate this material into our safety awareness presentations.”

“Hearing the JPMF’s safety presentation really brought to light the hazards that emergency responders face while working to protect all of us. We may think of the usual dangers associated with their jobs – but are less likely to recognize the hazards in their way when they come onto our worksites to help us out.”

“On a personal note, my father was killed in a workplace incident many years ago because of something – like so many workplace fatalities – that could have been easily changed or rectified. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for continuing to convey the importance and simplicity of this message.”

“I’ve seen the commercials on TV and I remember the John Petropoulos incident but was not aware of the Memorial Fund and the excellent message they are presenting.”

“The speaker was very good at making the necessity of maintaining safe workplaces a human subject, rather than a dry matter of policy.”

Please click here for further information on the JPMF’s Safety Presentation Program.

If you would like to book a JPMF speaker to deliver a personalized safety presentation to your Alberta company, organization, school, etc, please contact the Safety Presentation Program Coordinator, Sarah Hourihan, at

To make a donation to the JPMF, a registered charity, here is the link

Thank you for helping us spread the word that EVERYONE has the right to make it home safely from work!

Maryanne Pope is the Board Chair of the John Petropoulos Memorial Fund. She is the author of A Widow’s Awakening and the CEO of Pink Gazelle Productions Inc.

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4 thoughts on “What Does it Take to Reach 4700…”

  1. The message that every place is the workplace of emergency responders is starting to get through, thanks to the important safety presentations you, Jody, and Lindsey are sharing with the public. It is my fervent hope that preventable workplace injuries and fatalities become a non-issue for emergency services personnel as a result of the public ensuring their workplaces are safe for everyone, all the time.

  2. Sounds like the JPMF’s Safety Program is proving to be an excellent way to promote their program on injury prevention and safety for all! Keep up the awesome work!!

  3. As a police officer, I truly appreciate the effort the JPMF Safety Program has put into raising the awareness of workplace safety. All businesses need to create an environment that is safe, even when regular staff aren’t there. Awareness is the first step, education and change come next. Keep up the good work.

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