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F-M educator addresses opioid prevention at national conference

Fayetteville-Manlius School District educator Melanie Bauder recently attended a national conference to discuss strategies for implementing opioid prevention programs in schools.

In November, Mrs. Bauder teamed up with Manlius Fire Department Lt. Chris Halliday and Adam Feck, who serves as the department’s assistant chief, to present “Life Safety Education in Response to the Opioid Epidemic” during the during the 2018 Volunteer and Combination Officers Section (VCOS) of the International Association of Fire Chiefs Symposium in the Sun conference, which was held in Clearwater Beach, Fla.

The presentation unveiled how F-M staff and local fire department leaders are working together in support of a school-based opioid awareness program for the district’s eighth-grade students. The initiative, which includes interactive activities, educational presentations and guest speakers, has been offered to F-M students in June for the past two years.

“The opioid prevention program is shining example of the district’s unique approach to the nationwide opioid epidemic,” Mrs. Bauder said. “It also demonstrates positive community collaboration between the F-M School District and Manlius Fire Department.”

During their presentation, Mrs. Bauder, Lt. Halliday and Mr. Feck discussed the national opioid epidemic’s effect on communities, the benefits of prevention programs, and how schools and communities can implement programs similar to the one being offered at F-M.

VCOS Symposium in the Sun is a four-day national conference devoted to the leaders of volunteer and combination departments, according to its website. Colleagues gather to network, exchange ideas and discuss relevant topics, which this year in addition to opioid awareness included firefighter safety, cultivating unity and leadership, improving communication and interactions, combatting negativity, recruitment and retention, and treating post traumatic stress disorder.

VCOS provides chief officers who manage volunteers within the fire, rescue, and emergency medical services system with information, education, services and representation to enhance their professionalism and capabilities.

This is an image of Mrs. Bauder and two Manlius Fire Department members

Fayetteville-Manlius School District health educator Melanie Bauder stands with Manlius Fire Department members Adam Feck, left, and Lt. Chris Halliday, center, during the 2018 Volunteer and Combination Officers Section of the International Association of Fire Chiefs Symposium in the Sun conference.