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Independent Thoughts: HFD initiative aims to prevent falls in winter

by | Dec 14, 2023 | Featured, Featured: Features

Sand & Socks for Seniors

Members of the Hopkinton Fire Department shovel sand into buckets in preparation for the Sand & Socks for Seniors program. PHOTO/HOPKINTON FIRE DEPARTMENT

The Hopkinton Fire Department’s latest safety initiative, called Sand & Socks for Seniors, has a simple goal, according to Fire Prevention Officer Tom Poirier: “Try not to slip in the house, and try not to slip outside.”

Expounded Poirier: “We have grippy socks so people can avoid slipping inside, and we’ll drop off a bucket of sand so people can use it on their walkways and driveways.”

The program, run in partnership with the Hopkinton Senior Center, is part of the department’s community risk reduction strategy. “We want to get ahead of issues before they happen,” Poirier explained.

The HFD’s community risk reduction team, which meets monthly to come up with ideas to make a difference for residents, “is made up of a bunch of firefighters who want to do extra in town,” Poirier said, adding that the program did not cost anything.

“A lot of these efforts that we’re doing aren’t really funded efforts,” he said. “We’re just trying to do good things with what we can come up with.”

The socks are items the department purchased with a grant a while ago, Poirier explained, while the buckets were donated by Lowe’s, and the sand comes from the Department of Public Works.

The program, which began with the first deliveries the week after Thanksgiving, serves an additional purpose, which is to connect with community members who might need additional assistance.

“While we’re there, we’ll offer the resident a home safety inspection,” Poirier said.

That might lead to the installation of a free smoke alarm, which is another program that the department has been running (although the supply is expected to run out this month).

While the target of these efforts is seniors, Poirier said anyone who needs help is welcome to reach out. For more information, call the HFD at 508-497-2323, ext. 4.

Phipps plans for 102nd

Russ Phipps is closing in on his 102nd birthday on Dec. 28, and his family is hoping to include the town in the festivities.

The past two years, there were drive-by celebrations in front of his house on Winter Street. Phipps still lives in the home he built after serving in the Army Air Corps in World War II.

Last year’s event featured a Sherman tank, hauled in on a flatbed truck from the American Heritage Museum in Hudson.

This year, the plan is to have the tank and other historic military vehicles on display at the Town Common where the public can stop by and take a look.

Phipps’ daughter, Marci Caporizzo, said she’s also hoping to schedule a flyover with vintage military aircraft, but it’s not yet clear if that will be possible.

“Everything is in limbo and weather-permitting,” she said. “If the weather turns bad, we’ll just say, ‘We’ll see you at the 103rd,’ and have a party at the house for friends.”

The event is tentatively scheduled for Thursday, Dec. 28, around 11 a.m. However, anyone interested in attending should check HopkintonIndependent.com for updates that week.

UPDATE: The Dec. 28 event has been canceled due to logistical issues.

Domino’s dominates Khumalo

The exodus from Town Hall continued this month with Town Manager Norman Khumalo’s announcement that he soon will be leaving for a job with a sustainable energy company.

Khumalo’s resignation was announced the same day we published a story online about the new Domino’s that is set to open on Main Street. Khumalo, never one for self-promotion, should be pleased to learn that the Domino’s story got twice as many views on our site as his resignation announcement.

A number of commenters on social media criticized the Select Board for approving the Domino’s license, but to be fair, the Select Board can’t randomly deny a license just because residents would prefer a different kind of restaurant.


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