Marketing Public Fire Education: A Fire Prevention Success Story

Over the past couple of years and, more recently, within the last six months, we have observed a confluence of thought from many fire service organizations. That thought is almost unanimous agreement that the most effective way to diminish the...


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Finally, there are three kiosks with "Burning Questions" about fire prevention. The kiosk shows the well-known NIST video of a Christmas tree in a single room from the incipient stage of a fire to flashover. The guests have 45 seconds to complete the questions before the room goes to flashover. Guests are then given the option to take pamphlets, which review all of the fire safety instructions they have learned during the experience.

The story of how the "Where's the Fire?" experience was created may be a unique example of alliance creation, but the process of alliance development between private enterprise and the fire service is in its infancy. Vision, passion, persistence and a clear understanding of mutual benefit can make alliance development one of the most effective initiatives for marketing the fire service - all while protecting the citizens, businesses and institutions it protects.

BEN MAY, a Firehouse® contributing editor, has been developing the discipline of fire and emergency services marketing management for more than 15 years. He has been a firefighter for Montgomery County, MD, Fire and Rescue and fire commissioner for the Woodinville, WA, Fire and Life Safety District. May holds a bachelor's degree in public affairs from the University of Oklahoma and a master's degree in international communication from the American University in Washington, D.C. He has been a vice president of two international marketing firms over the last 25 years, and now is responsible for business development for Epcot at Walt Disney World Resort.