Put Yourself in Our Boots

Enhancing Safety on Campus for First Responders

Where does “Put Yourself in Our Boots” come from?

The “Put Yourself in Our Boots” campaign was born as an extension of the work of the John Petropoulos Memorial Fund (JPMF) which was created after the line of duty death of Calgary Police Service Constable John Petropoulos on September 29, 2000. The JPMF offers public education, safety information, and other programming to help ensure that emergency service workers make it home safely.


How does it affect the University of Alberta?

As we all know, the UofA is a huge and diverse community which includes many different, and potentially dangerous, buildings and areas. Many of these areas a frequented throughout traditional business hours by staff, students, and outside contractors who have training specific to those areas, as well as an in depth knowledge of the physical spaces associated with them. However, afterhours or in the event of an emergency requiring building evacuation, University of Alberta Protective Services (UAPS) and other emergency responders often attend these same areas without the protection of that training and knowledge. What this means is we are often placed in situations where we are blind to the potential hazards around us.

By the numbers:

The UofA community consists of approximately 50000 people between staff, students, and other residents. As provincially appointed Peace Officers, UAPS members respond to a wide range of calls, and liaise regularly with other emergency responders such as the Edmonton and Camrose Police Services, Edmonton Fire Rescue, Camrose Fire Department, and Emergency Medical Services. In 2012, UAPS responded to approximately 2000 calls for service that were classified as requiring an immediate member response. These calls encompass a wide range of activities; however the common thread is that they have been identified as situations where there is reasonable cause to believe that the safety of emergency responders, citizens, or property is at stake. These are calls that would likely lead UAPS members into areas and situations where our surroundings could play a role in our personal safety.  In addition to these and other calls, UAPS members perform routine patrols and checks of the UofA on a 24/7 basis.

I want emergency responders to go home safe! What can I do?

The JPMF offers free safety presentations in Alberta. The presentations can be personalized and consist of a 45 minute presentation followed by a 15 minute question and answer period with a local emergency service worker.  In addition to these presentations, the JPMF offers free materials such as posters, videos, and brochures that can be distributed to interested parties. Most of these resources are available off their websites, www.jpmf.ca and www.ourboots.ca. UAPS is willing to attend for that 15 minute period to help make the presentations as applicable as possible to campus. For more information contact Peace Officer Daniel Tallack daniel.tallack@ualberta.ca