Reaching Those Who Teach

Luckily for Americans, in every community there are extraordinary, gifted people who have chosen public service as a way of life. Among these local heroes are the caring and giving folks who work in fire and life safety education. People like...


Luckily for Americans, in every community there are extraordinary, gifted people who have chosen public service as a way of life. Among these local heroes are the caring and giving folks who work in fire and life safety education. People like you!

Luckily for Americans, in every community there are extraordinary, gifted people who have chosen public service as a way of life. Among these local heroes are the caring and giving folks who work in fire and life safety education. People like you!

We know you're out there, and we know the majority of safety educators work in fire departments. But up to now, there's been very little specific information available about where public safety education fits into U.S. fire service strategy, or about the individuals who are carrying it out locally. That's all about to change.

2006 National Survey of U.S. Fire Departments In collaboration with Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and as part of a 2005 FIRE Act Grant, the Home Safety Council is conducting survey research to assess the state of fire and life safety education across America. Through this unprecedented national survey of fire departments (rural and urban; volunteer and career) we hope to gain a detailed national picture of fire and life safety education. Among the key issues to be addressed are:

  • How many departments are conducting fire and life safety education?
  • How many departments are using NFPA-1035?
  • What is the budget for fire and life safety education?
  • What programs are departments using?
  • What high risks populations are being targeted?
  • What are the barriers?

In May 2006, Chief Dennis Compton (International Fire Service Training Association and Oklahoma State University's Fire Protection Publications) led a focus group among representatives of nearly a dozen national fire and life safety organizations to help determine survey methodology and questions. This impressive group's input was instrumental throughout the process.

The survey findings will be used by HSC to help strengthen safety education resources and training opportunities through targeted program and materials development. The survey will be fielded in fall 2006 with the findings to be unveiled at the All-Ways Fire Safe at Home Conference in Washington, D.C. January 10-12, 2007. This important research will then be shared publicly, so other national advocacy organizations and agencies can also help the fire and life safety education community increase and improve outreach at the local level.

HSC believes that fire and life safety education is a critical public service that should be a parallel component of every U.S. fire department. And we recognize that given the fiscal challenges of all but a small percentage of fire departments, that is a goal that will be hard fought but can be won. HSC is determined to help meet that goal.

The national fire department survey is just one part of HSC's ongoing commitment to building capacity for fire and life safety education. Another component is a national conference to bring together fire department educators from across the country in a forum to explore and share best practices in home fire and burn safety education.

All-Ways Fire Safe at Home Conference:
Best Practices in Fire and Life Safety Education

As part of HSC's 2005 FIRE Act Grant, HSC will host the All-Ways Fire Safe at Home Conference: Best Practices in Fire and Life Safety Education. This unique gathering - to be held January 10-12, 2007 - will help to showcase the outstanding fire and burn safety programs that have earned FIRE Act Grant funding, particularly those that target high-risk populations. Those successful programs, along with new research and innovative technology, will be highlighted with additional presentation opportunities for organizations, researchers, and practitioners. Most importantly, the Conference will provide a platform for sharing educational programs and their tangible materials and methods among local educators.

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