It will remain a high priority for the U.S. Fire Administration and should be a key focus for the fire service. Education and enforcement of fire and building codes will continue to save lives. The fire service is being asked to do more, with less and less funding, and staffing, and quality fire and life safety education will be the best way for the fire service to continue to be proactive, vs. reactive; preventing fires before they start through education.
Any last thoughts?
New or seasoned fire service professionals need to remain committed to their passion and this should include education. It's not somebody else's job. It's every firefighter's job to educate and re-educate the public! Especially during tough fiscal times, administration may or will cut or eliminate fire and life safety education, but by keeping good records and proving what we are doing is working (i.e. a reduction in fires, reduction in property loss, reduction in loss of life, etc.), we will be able to argue our case and justify our needs and existence to the elected officials. I never thought I would become adjunct faculty and teaching for the National Fire Academy when I entered the fire service 15 years ago. As Dr. Denis Onieal, NFA Superintendant, told me after I was approached to become an instructor for NFA, "You will change America, here's your opportunity" and I try to do that with every class I teach and every firefighter I have the pleasure and honor in meeting. We ALL have the ability to rise above the financial crisis and should not become easily discouraged. It's up to us to make a difference and change behavior both within the fire service, and among the general public.
To learn more about Michael's fire safety programming, please contact him at 978-346-4731 or michael.mcLeieer@merrimacfire.com.