Firefighters take weekly screenings at senior center

Madison firefighters serve selflessly every day but on Fridays they volunteer for some vital work.

For about 14 years, employees in the Madison Fire and Rescue Department have visited the Madison Senior Center to take blood pressure readings for the members. “They have faithfully done this every Friday, unless they are on call or at a training meeting,” activities coordinator Joy Edwards said.

Former center director Judy Meiers asked the fire chief if firefighters could help with this screening, Edwards said. Numerous firefighters on all three shifts have answered the request for all these years.

“One fireman will do BP checks, while another one writes down the information on a card that the senior keeps in his or her wallet,” she said. “Then, he also records it on a sheet on file at the desk.”

In addition, another firefighter weighs the center members. “Those figures are recorded, too,” Edwards said.

For several senior citizens, the blood pressure checks are the main reason that they visit the center on Fridays. About 25 members get the screenings each week.

“We really like for the firemen to come over,” Edwards said. “They are handsome young men and are very friendly to everyone.”

Center member Rosemary Brocato said the visits are an enormous help. “I’m 73, so I’m not as old as some of the people at the center. The checks are very important to the older members,” Brocato said.

Brocato takes blood pressure medicine. “I want to check my blood pressure so I can keep it from going up and down,” she said.

If a center member has an exceptionally high blood pressure reading, the firefighters contact the spouse or other relative. “It really helps for the firemen to do this for us,” Brocato said.

Like other members at Madison Senior Center, Brocato appreciates the firefighters’ visits. Each year around Christmas, center members present them with a basket of goodies and snacks.

Madison Senior Center’s address is 1282 Hughes Road. For more information, call 256-772-6242.

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