Skip to main content
Rural Health Information Hub

Staffing and Resources for Unintentional Injury Prevention Programs

Rural communities may need certain types of staff and resources when implementing an unintentional injury prevention program.


Rural program leaders can extend their workforce by recruiting volunteers to lead classes, workshops, and community events. Programs may consider partnering with other organizations, such as hospitals and health centers, universities and local school systems, Extension programs, and community-based organizations, to identify and recruit volunteers. Partners may also be able to contribute experienced safety experts or other professionals to support program activities. For example, local Extension programs and universities may be able to offer additional staff capacity and staff with evaluation expertise.

Training and Certification

Staff for unintentional injury prevention programs may be required to have specialized training or certifications to lead classes. Examples include national child passenger safety certification to conduct child safety seat checks and training through the ATV Safety Institute to become a licensed ATV instructor. Programs should consider how frequently trainings need to be completed and the level of commitment of personnel before investing in training opportunities. Some licensed injury prevention programs require program staff to take an initial training course followed by "booster" training courses periodically to stay certified to lead classes.

Staff training and certification sessions may be hosted in distant locations that require travel or may require an expert instructor to be brought in to lead the training session. Programs should consider ways to reimburse staff and volunteers for training-related expenses, including cost of travel and food. Some options to cover these expenses include grant funding and support from a sponsoring organization. The train-the-trainer model can also help reduce training travel and costs. Program staff can get certified as "master trainers," allowing them to lead training for new class leaders in their community.

Resource Considerations

Rural areas with limited resources and staff may consider self-led educational models. For example, Safe Kids Benton-Franklin created toolkits for various injury prevention topics that community groups can borrow to host their own educational events. The toolkits include all materials, educational resources, and instructions needed to conduct an interactive lesson. Educational resources, as well as any program and outreach materials, should be developed in plain language and offered in multiple languages based on community needs to ensure materials are widely accessible.

Unintentional injury prevention programs may need to allocate funding for other resources, such as licensing fees and incentives. Licensed programs, such as exercise-based fall prevention programs, generally require programs to pay a licensing fee. The licensing fee provides access to all materials needed to run the program and may include small incentives for program participants to encourage attendance. If resources allow, programs may consider providing additional incentives to encourage participation, such as free meals.

Certain unintentional injury programs require specific equipment, such as helmets, child safety seats, or life jackets. Programs may be able to source equipment from donations from community members, local businesses, or corporate sponsors. Providing equipment at no cost, low cost, or on a sliding fee scale based on income can be a helpful strategy to increase program participation. In some instances, programs may need to consider how to strategically distribute equipment so that the equipment can be used multiple times or will be given to people who do not already have these resources. Programs interested in offering resources and activities virtually may need to consider the availability of digital devices and broadband access among program participants. In some instances, programs may consider purchasing digital devices for program participants to use or borrow.