By Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna

The Emerald Society is a group of Irish public safety officers with the main goal of protecting Irish firefighter traditions, as well as keeping the culture alive in other areas of public safety. In true Irish tradition, it was founded on St. Patrick’s Day in 1956. Started in New York, they now have over 7,500 members around the country. St. Patrick’s Day parades across the country are a common tradition with Firefighters and Police Officers.

Firefighters and Police Officers also want to remind you of some safety tips while you’re out celebrating St. Patrick’s Day!

Predetermine a safe way to get home for you and your friends. Whether you’re watching a parade or going to or hosting a party, ensure everyone in your group has a safe means of returning home if you plan to drink. Select a designated driver, arrange for a cab, plot a bus route, or figure out a nearby place you can crash for the night. It’s a good idea to keep route maps of local public transportation, as well as the numbers for taxi companies handy during the day.

Eat. Drinking on an empty stomach is a good way to end your St. Paddy’s day a lot earlier than planned. Make sure to get some nutrients in you to help absorb that alcohol.

Stay hydrated. Getting enough water will also help keep the party going on longer, and decrease the likelihood you’ll have a March 18th hangover.

If you feel impaired, don’t get behind the wheel. In the eyes of the law, impaired driving is drunk driving, and even if you feel fine, a breathalyzer might not concur. With all the checkpoints on the roads, it’s best to play it extra safe. If you have even the least bit of doubt, don’t drive.

Be extra cautious on the roads. Just because you’re a safe and sober driver doesn’t mean other people are. A disproportionate of traffic accidents on St. Patrick’s Day are caused by people driving under the influence. Whether you’re driving or just crossing the street on foot, keep your awareness levels high.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day, Please Be Safe!

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