Wednesday Fire Safety Programming Tip 3/16/11

This week there have been many wonderful resources that have become available to educators. I couldn’t wait to share some of them with you on the Playing it Safe blog here on firehouse.com!  
"Never Leave Your Child Alone in a Car" Initiative 
 
The first program is expanded national education and awareness program designed to help reduce the number of child deaths in cars and trucks caused by heat stroke. This initiative was launched this week by Safe Kids USA and their partner, the General Motors Foundation.
 
According to information on the initiative released yesterday, there were a record number of 2010 deaths that demanded expanded efforts. In addition, Safe Kids USA conservatively estimates there are thousands of near-misses every month. Their information stated that just one week ago the first child vehicular death of 2011 occurred when a mother accidentally left her child in the car during a long work day. Last year 49 children in the U.S., from ages two months to six years, died from heat stroke while unattended in vehicles – the worst year on record.  
 
In reading the Safe Kids USA press release, and in visiting their website, it was alarming to learn that not only have the number of heat stroke related deaths risen in number, but that these tragedies can happen anywhere at any time. For example, did you know that child deaths in cars and trucks from heat stroke have occurred as early as February and when the outside temperature is as low as 57 degrees F? Pretty frightening!
 
The Safe Kids coalitions are mobilizing quickly to educate parents in their communities across the U.S. to help alert the 250 million vehicle owners to the dangers. The "Never Leave Your Child Alone in a Car" program will unite and mobilize a wide range of partners, from police and fire, hospitals, to governmental agencies, child care centers, businesses and others, as well as to share with parents and other caregivers prevention messages to address the dangers to children in vehicles. The program will include an advertising campaign of billboards, print ads, web banners and radio announcements as well as tip sheets. What is also valuable is that the materials are available in both English and Spanish.
 
If you are into stats like I am, you can find a plethora of data HERE that provides more statistics to help you understand this growing problem in the US. To find more information, including tips to help you with your fire and life safety education efforts, visit the “Never Leave Your Child Alone in a Car” website
 
You may read the press release in its entirety HERE.
 
Fire Exchange Message Board and Discussion Forum
 
I received a note from my friend and colleague, Michael McLeieer, who, like many of us, wears many hats. Michael is a National Fire Academy Adjunct Instructor and Training Coordinator for the Youth Fire Intervention & Fire Prevention Programs in Massachusetts. Michael sent me an email with some information on a new Youth Firesetting Discussion Forum that has just been been released. This is a free resource provided by the Massachusetts State Police Fire and Explosion Investigation Section and the Massachusetts Department of Fire Services.
 
The new Fire Exchange Message Board and Discussion Forum was developed in conjunction with the release of the new pilot Youth Firesetter Intervention and Prevention course conducted at the National Fire Academy in Emmitsburg Maryland a couple of weeks ago. This new networking opportunity is available to everyone involved in youth firesetting issues. 'Fire Exchange' is a message board/discussion forum that has been set up at www.fire-exchange.org exclusively for youth firesetting professionals in the fire service, law enforcement, juvenile justice, mental health and arson investigation communities.
 
The purpose of the site is to exchange of ideas when dealing with the ever-changing face of youth firesetting. The site also serves as a venue for conference and workshop announcements as well as conference and workshop revues, suggestions and comments. What is of benefit on the forum are the sections dedicated to mental health clinicians, arson investigators, interviewing and law enforcement and the new trend of kids making bombs. There is even a section entitled 'Help' that is intended for use if you need immediate assistance in dealing with a youth firesetting issue. When you see the list of topics, you are going to be pleasantly surprised at the information available on this forum!
 
Something that I have to give the developers of the forum kudos for is that they want to make sure that they get your feedback, so feel free to visit the section in which you can suggestions about the board itself and how it can be improved. Be a part of the process!
 
Fire-Exchange is totally free (great to hear in these challenging economic times) and all you have to do is register. Please note that to help keep the site free of spammers and kids that shouldn't be there, each user will be manually approved before they can post (this may take an hour or so after you fill out the short registration information page).
 
Stop by the site, look around and sign up. This is another valuable resource for your toolbox! Thank you, Michael, for contacting me about this wonderful initiative and for letting me share the great news with the Playing it Safe Blog readers!
 
Newly released Everyone Goes Home media segment
 
Today, Everyone Goes Home released a media segment on pre-inspection and pre-fire planning. You might be asking yourself, “Why is this important to me, I am a fire safety educator, I don’t deal with those topics.” As an educator, it is important to remember to broaden your knowledge base and to be aware of the wonderful downloadable resources out there.
 
Using variations of the Courage to Be Safe ®...So Everyone Goes Home® field program, along with material from the Firefighter Life Safety Initiatives Resource Kit they have developed and deployed a new online learning segment each month. What is an added bonus, is that you can watch them by yourself on your own time! You know how very busy we can be as fire safety educators, so it is wonderful that a resource is available when you want and how you want to expand upon your personal and professional development!
 
I especially found this media section helpful, as it provided in the presentation other valuable resources available, such as a video on a home structure fire from ignition to involvement, as well as links to other helpful sites.
 
The direct link to segment may be found HEREYou can also sign up to receive the Everyone Goes Home e-newsletter that alerts you to new developments and resources.
 
Hope that you have enjoyed the latest programs that I have shared and hopefully they will become a part of your Fire and Life Safety Educator toolbox.
 
If you have a program that you would like to share on the Playing it Safe blog, we would love to hear from you! Please contact me at daynark@gmail.com.
Am sharing one of the latest pictures of Siren. One of his facebook friends, Karla Howell, made him a new "Fire Safety Dog in Training" vest. Isn't it adorable? You are welcome to join Siren on his Facebook page and follow his adventures in becoming a fire safety dog. To date, he has over 1,100 friends. He hasn't quite met the mark of Sparkles' Facebook friends (4,100 friends), but he's getting there! In addition to following the adventures of the fire safety dogs, you may pick up some tips on things that we do in our fire safety programming efforts that we find useful.
 
Until next time, stay safe!

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