Taking an outsider around the county and viewing the community through fresh perspective is always an eye opener.  For Daniel Hahn, Santa Rosa County emergency operating center plans chief, this opportunity met with success. 

Santa Rosa County is being recommended to receive the SAFE Community designation. The evaluation by the National Safety Council was a realization of a vision for Hahn.  Evaluator Sara McKee, Chicago, said Santa Rosa County has a lot to teach other communities to keep their citizens safe.  

The designation is a program of the National Safety Council.  It is a proven approach to community injury reduction structured around a broad coalition of community partners, involving business, civic organizations, local government, non-profits, and local residents.

Hahn escorted the evaluators to visit the Sheriff's office, Benny Russell Elementary, the Emergency Operations Center, the Santa Rosa County Administration office to meet with Jim Williamson, county commissioner and County Administrator Hunter Walker, Lifeguard Ambulance Service, County Health Department, Gulf Power, City of Gulf Breeze, Gulf Breeze High School, and United Way.

Hahn says the evaluators were impressed with many aspects of Santa Rosa County, but especially with the avenues of communication between organizations designed keep county citizens out of harm's way. 

Hahn says more is going on within the county "than even I knew about." He says, "it makes me proud to be here." 

Cooperation between faith based organizations within Santa Rosa County is something the evaluators said they don't see often, and they recommend continuing this aspect of the community.