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'Good' and 'Free' Material for Fire/Rescue Public Educators

While 86 percent of U.S. fire departments report that they perform some type of fire and life safety education outreach, most fire chiefs say they want to do more.

When the Home Safety Council (HSC) teamed up with Johns Hopkins to benchmark the state of fire and life safety education in America's fire departments, we found that most of the public education outreach conducted by U.S. fire departments is handled by personnel who are juggling multiple duties. Sound familiar?

While 86 percent of U.S. fire departments report that they perform some type of fire and life safety education outreach, most fire chiefs say they want to do more. The identified barriers to providing fire and life safety education included lack of funding and time and competing priorities. Not surprisingly, the need for free community education materials was reported loud and clear.

The HSC is working hard to address that need. If you are among the fire and life safety educators who want to offer your community more and better safety educational materials, read on!

You have a powerful ally in the Home Safety Council's Expert Network. Membership in the Expert Network is free.

Just in time for National Disaster Preparedness Month in September, the Home Safety Council is providing each fire service member of the Expert Network with three free copies of the Get Ready with Freddie! disaster preparedness education program. This print/DVD kit, developed by HSC with Weekly Reader, will help you teach children in your community how to work with their families to prepare for unexpected emergencies.

And just right for your October Fire Safety Month outreach, HSC is offering U.S. fire department public educators a variety of valuable teaching materials at no cost, through October 31, 2007, and while supplies last. Shipping and handling charges start at just $7.50 for one to three items. Full details are available online. Here is a sampling of the free materials:

  • All-Ways Fire Safe at Home Toolbox
    Print and DVD materials to teach fire safety to preschool, elementary and middle school students as well as older adults.
  • Home Safety Literacy Project Kit
    Highly illustrated print and DVD materials designed to reach adults who are learning to read English.
  • Be Safe and Sound
    An eight-page brochure packed with home fire safety infomation, available in English and Spanish.
  • A Burning Issue: Is Your Family Safe?
    Hosted by Ron Hazelton, home improvement editor for ABC TV's Good Morning America, this video focuses on fire prevention and fire and life safety systems. It is available in both DVD and VHS and in either English or Spanish.

More than 5,200 safety advocates have already joined the Expert Network, including Peggy Harrell, with the Plano, TX, Fire Department. Peggy made the Expert Network her first stop in planning Fire Safety Month this year. "I couldn't achieve the level of outreach that we have here in Plano without the Expert Network," she says. "But it's not just having something free; it's also having something we can be confident in using. When it comes from the Home Safety Council, we know it's right."

As Peggy knows, free is good, but good and free is even better! You'll find that the free materials we provide for you through the Expert Network are of the highest quality. Join us and find out.

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Meri-K Appy is President of the Washington-based Home Safety Council, the only national organization solely dedicated to preventing unintentional home injuries. Since joining the Council in 2003, Appy has redefined the organization's mission and strategic vision with a sharp focus on organizational partnerships to reduce home injuries and with a renewed commitment to investing in research.