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A Kent County safe sleep program looks to expand in Michigan

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Seventeen agencies across the state have been certified for the Infant Safe Sleep Program so far

In Michigan, a baby dies every two to three days due to sleep-related causes. Advocates have long been promoting safe sleep practices, and they’ve had success in training first responders in fire, police, and ambulance departments. Those crews go into homes for a variety of reasons, and if trained, can spot potential problems and address them on the spot.

“Offering the ABCs of safe sleep, removing hazards and setting up a safe sleep space – we can really make a difference from that singular moment we’re in the home.”

Dr. Samantha Mishra is the EMS for Children Coordinator for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. The Grand Rapids Fire Department was the first to be certified in the state’s Infant Safe Sleep Program in 2022. It has since performed more than 35 interventions, recognizing and addressing potentially unsafe sleep practices.

“Because safe sleep is something that can be changed immediately and that baby can go to sleep safely from that point forward, I believe the program is extremely well-received by first responders because they can do something right there on scene.”

Seventeen agencies across the state have been certified so far. Because of the success of the training in Grand Rapids and Kent County, Mishra is encouraging more departments to adopt the program.

“I really believe first responders are the missing link, the connection from the family to the community in many situations.”

The program is accessible to any state EMS agency or fire department. Details can be found on the MDHHS website.

EMS for Children Page:


Infant Safe Sleep for EMS and Fire:


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