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Safety and Security at Pennswood Village

Posted on October 9, 2015 in General, Staff Profile
Dawn Miller

Dawn Miller-Champalou, Director of Corporate Compliance and Risk.

There are many advantages to living at Pennswood Village. But, one of the most popular reasons retirees choose community living is the safety and security that comes along with it.

Fire Prevention Day was October 9, and a good day to recognize the many ways Pennswood Village prevents and prepares for emergencies under the guidance of Dawn Miller-Champalou, Pennswood’s Director of Corporate Compliance and Risk.

“We always plan for the ‘what if’ factor,” says Dawn.

Dawn has been working at Pennswood Village for the past 11 years in the areas of compliance, risk management, and overall safety programs and procedures. With 15 years of managing disaster relief with the Red Cross, Dawn has a strong background in emergency management.

Emergency Preparedness

“We take emergency preparedness here at Pennswood very seriously,” Dawn says. “We have a robust fire safety program, with more than 75 annual fire drills throughout the community, safety committees, and fire safety training for all staff members.”

With an entire staff committee dedicated to risk management, and a separate, resident-led safety committee, Pennswood Village is trained to handle emergencies of any kind.

But it’s not just the staff that gets involved with Pennswood’s emergency preparedness. Residents and the surrounding community play a big role as well. Residents lead the Resident Safety Committee, a meeting where residents can voice their concerns, suggestions, and volunteer their efforts to make Pennswood the safest place possible, for residents, staff, and the entire community.


Externally, Pennswood Village holds several mutual aid agreements with other community organizations, including Friends Services for the Aging and The Delaware Valley Health Care Coalition. These agreements are formal commitments to help one another in a time of crisis. These organizations become strong resources for one another when it comes to sharing information, assistance and planning.

The township fire marshal also has a close relationship with Pennswood Village, and often visits the campus for practice exercises with our staff, township fire personnel, and local responders. The goal of these practices is to familiarize bother staff and the fire crews with the campus and campus procedures.

Safety Services

SONY DSCIn addition to emergency preparedness, there are many day-to-day safety and security services offered to residents at Pennswood. For example, maintenance staff and in-house first responders monitor the campus 24 hours a day, and are always ready in case of an emergency.

When a new resident has settled into their new home at Pennswood, Dawn personally has a one-on-one home walk-through orientation to go over campus security procedures, fire emergency procedures, and how to request medical assistance at any time. Residents can schedule additional meetings with Dawn if they ever want to review any of the safety procedures.

Additionally, the risk management committee publishes safety tips and information regularly in the Pennswood weekly bulletin. Keep an eye out this month for fire safety and prevention information!

For more information on safety and security practices at Pennswood Village, call us today at 866-740-4977.