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  1. #1
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    Default March Firehouse Article

    In the March issue of Firehouse Magazine I have written an article titled “Fighting Fire with Fire!” where I discuss the use of using live fire when education children in fire safety. This is a very hot topic.

    What are your thoughts and why?


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    Quote Originally Posted by Education1st View Post
    In the March issue of Firehouse Magazine I have written an article titled “Fighting Fire with Fire!” where I discuss the use of using live fire when education children in fire safety. This is a very hot topic.

    What are your thoughts and why?
    It's sitting on my desk and I haven't had a chance to read it, but I am going to try today as my schedule is sorta light.

    Just some thoughts off the top off my head, It is my opinion that one of the reasons kids play with fire today is that because it's used so little in society, they don't get to see it used as a tool.

    In skimming your article last week, I beleive you stated that you were not in favor of using it in public education. Without being able to comment further on the article, as I haven't fully read it, I would likely disagree as I could see several educational scenarios where live fire could be a valuable prop.

    I will get back to you on this thread after I read the article, which hopefully, I'll be able to do today.
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    Interesting article.

    Just to give you a little information about myself. I am a Public Educator I & II, JFS Intervention Specialist I & II as well as an Instructor I & II. I was a specialist Instructor in my former state teaching Public Education and Juvenile Firesetting at regional fire schools and statewide conferences, as well as a member of the state firefighters association public education committee, regional and state juvenile firesetting task forces and chairman of my region's fire and life safety educators commitee. I have been involved as the public education officer for the past 16 years for both my current and past departments (one all volunteer and one combo primarily-volunteer), and have assisted another department in the role of acting public education officer while they developed thier own in-house public education leadership staff.

    I will address several points starting with the fact that I do agree the children are cooking at younger ages as supported by the NFPA data, which you state in your article, indicates that cooking related injuries do start to increase at age 10. That is why when I developed my 4th and 5th grade firesafety classes about 5 years ago for my current department, the cirriculum took the path it did.

    My department currently teaches kitchen fire prevention and response to stovetop and oven fires in the 4th grade. We recognized that 4th graders were doing some cooking on thier own, and felt that this needed to be addressed. While we do not teach 4th graders how to use extinguishers as I feel they are too young for that skill, we do teach them to turn of the heat, if possible, put a lid on the fire and leave the structure, calling the fire department, in all cases, from a neighbors. We also teach them to unplug the power from an electrical fire as well.

    The 5th grade program is concerned with basic first aid - burns, bleeding, spinal immobilzation in falls and traumatic accidents, heat emergencies, snakebites and water rescue (throw and tow) as often they may be with younger children without adult supervision.

    This year I was given a 3rd 30-minute block, which has allowed me time to introduce 4th grade to basic fire science and 5th grade to expanded information regarding shock, and recognizing heart attacks.

    Could live fire be useful in teaching how to extinguish cooking fires? While you don't seem to beleive so, I disagree and feel it could be quite useful as it would bring an element of realism to the teaching scenario. As we conduct these classes in the gym, due to state fire regulations that is currently not possible, but certainly if an outdoor teaching location was available, and a prop was developed where a small repeated live fire was possible, I feel it would be an excellent addition as a demonstration tool. Certainly there would need to be a discussion on the unpredicatability of the situation, and maybe even a demonstration of such , such as adding water to the fire, but overall, I don't feel using live fire in that situation would send a message that would not be consistant with the educational goals.

    Other situations where live fire may be useful with older juveniles (above 10)would be a demonstration on the combustability of the light grasses and forest liter found in this area, especially during periods of drought. Again, that would need to be coupled with a discussion about the concequences of wildfires including timber loss, property loss and firefighter safety issues, as well as discussion about the concequences of arson or intentionally set wildfires as we would want to ensure that this demo would not encourage a potential post-class firesetting event.

    Part of the reason I say this is, in many cases, children in many parts of the country are not exposed to fire as a tool like they were years ago, and may never have been exposed to any, or quite minimal, live fire in thier lives. Even older children in many places througout the country have a very minimal understanding of the effect of fires, and have never experienced a significant fire-related negative event as they have little experience with actual fire of any kind.

    That being said, it has been my observation that in the area of the south (north LA) where I am currently located, children are exposed to fire as a tool far more than they were in the areas in the northeast where spent both my childhood and the first 23 years of my fire service career. In many rural areas here, fire is very much a part of daily life from burning the trash and yard debris to regular open air grill and BBQ cooking. I think the same may be able to be said in other rural areas where fire is still a part of life, especially in areas where open burning and open-air cooking is still the norm.

    I have also have experienced far less juvenile firesetting activity in this area than I did up north, especially curiousity firesetting. The number of children in my program, the reports of JFS from other agencies, and our own run data supports this statement.

    My suspecion is that children in this area, see parents using fire very often a pArt of daily life. They are not only used to seeing fire used to burn brush, trash, cook on outdoor BBQsi, but they are also actively involved in using fire in those settings under supervision at a much younger age and much more frequently than the children in the areas in the north where I previously served. In my opionion, this use of fire as a tool has an effect on them not experimenting with fire, or using it as a toy.

    While I have no direct evidence of reduced juvenile firesetting in areas where fire is used regularly as a tool, the fact is there seems, at least in my limited experience, to be a connection between the use of fire as a daily tool and not only juvenile firesetting, but also the amount of respect and knowledge a child has about fire. Would using live fire as part of a comprehensive educational program have the same affect and increase the effectiveness of the education? Honestly I don't know, but it certainly is a possibility.

    To a limted extent, the use of fire as a daily tool in the lfe of the children in my fire district is changing somewhat as my fire district is experiencing growth through the development of tightly packed subdivisoins where fire, unlike in the more rural areas of the district, is not a part of the daily lives. It will be interesting to see if we experience a rise in juvenile firesetting as we become more developed and the nature of the fire district begins to change. This data may not become evident for several years however.

    It has been my experience that children are quite capable of lifesaving actions if given the proper instruction. I am quite lucky in that I am able to teach 4 30-minute classes per year in kindergarten through 3rd grade and 3 30 minute classes per year in grades 4 and 5. It has taken me 4 years of proving the value of fire and life safety education to the principals to get the amount of time I have in the classroom each year, and it has allowed me to expand my cirriculum far beyond where it was when I first started the fire and life safety programs here 6 years ago.

    Over those 5 years, we have gone from 23 structural responses in 2005 to 16 in 2009. We experienced a spike last year when we responded to 20 structure fires, which was attributed in part to a an increase in heating related fires due to unusual cold and several structural fires as result of runaway burning due to drought and unusually warm temps.

    In conclusion, we agree on much in that article, but I do disagree on the value of live fire in public education. I feel, in the proper cirriculum and supported by the right messages, it could be very useful in the delivery of an effective presentation.

    It would be interesting to discuss this with you at greater length.
    Last edited by LaFireEducator; 03-11-2011 at 03:17 PM.
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    Default The right track!

    Thanks for your detailed response. These are the types of discussions we, in the prevention field, need to start having. My article was edited just a bit for space, but in my original submission I contrasted the difference between operations and prevention. Operationally we are talking, looking outside the box, pushing for change, researching, etc. Yet in prevention many departments approach it today as they did 30 years ago. So I am glad we have opened it up which is always my goal when I write.

    In the article I do state I am not in favor of using live fire “at this time” and if it is then it needs to be done by educators trained in how to use it – as with any prop. To just be used without guidelines and training could cause some serious damage and the risks are just too great. I remember a haunting photo of a firefighter on firefighterclosecalls.com in bunker gear that lit himself on fire using gasoline in an occupied elementary school to show “stop-drop-roll.” So by no means did I want anyone to read my article and just go out there and do it.

    I start teaching cooking safety as young as kindergarten, if only for them to recognize that mom or dad has left the stove on and to tell an adult. To young? Not true. The key is repetition and I meet with most kids every year until middle school. I then keep that up until 5th where I introduce putting a lid on it and not throwing water and, yes, even fire extinguisher training. I have found, and statistics support, that children this age (who believe they’re invincible) are more likely to try and “handle” the situation and a small fire in a pan looks manageable. In the absence of training and education, they will revert to what instincts tell them which is to (1) throw water on it or (2) try to carry it out of the house. I was once told I was crazy for teaching 5th graders because they do not have the cognitive skills to work a fire extinguisher… but our burn injuries to children dropped after we started this program and by high school fire extinguisher skills are now second nature. REPETITION!

    They key to it all is to stop approaching public education in the same manner as we always have AND realize we cannot approach training a young child to escape a fire in the same manner we teach them their multiplication tables. Prevention training requires a different and specialized approach.

    I also think you are onto something! In communities where fire is being used as a tool routinely, vrs communities where fire is not used as a tool but for entertainment, what are the statistics of juvenile started fires? This would be a VERY interesting study, but I think you are onto something there!

    You have a very interesting approach to public education that goes beyond fire safety. Please tell us a bit more about the structure of your department and how you are able to do all you are doing. Your comment here as spawned another thread I am going to post. Tell us about some of your most successful programs and success stories.

    Please keep the dialog going and invite others. It’s the only way we will grow!
    Last edited by Education1st; 03-12-2011 at 06:26 PM. Reason: Forgot a comment I wanted to make

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    Very interesting and informative reading!

    Coming at this from another 'angle' - that of a parent of a just-turned 6 year old.

    When my daughter was old enough to start toddling, we assigned her a 'cooking spot' in the kitchen, which is where she was to stand when in the kitchen with mom and dad....well away from the stove and any potential spills etc....she was taught from that time to keep away from the stove - AND we also let her 'feel' how hot the stove/oven gets while it is on - holding her and guiding her hand into the radiating heat....giving her the knowledge that it can be hot even when the stove doesn't look it.

    We did the same thing with the campfire- set boundries, and showed her how warm/hot it gets as you get closer.....also showed her what happens to things when they burn.....

    This spring, she will be taught how to get out of her room if the smoke alarms go off in the house, and how to check her door etc (she already knows stop-drop-and-roll)....she already knows her meeting place, and WHY it is there.....her swingset is AWAY from the driveway and any responding vehicles.....911 has been taught - how many times have you seen news articles about a 2 or 3 year old calling 911 and saving a family member because of it.....I personally think a cihld can start to learn almost from the beginning...and the earlier the better.

    At this time in my career, I deal more with building inspections and fire prevention as it relates to adults - but so many things that are taught to children bear being taught to adults too - they tend to NOT remember what was taught in school.....

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    Default Good tips and good point

    “The cooking spot,” very interesting angle to kitchen safety, I may “borrow” that if you do not mind. Very simple concept that even the youngest of children can understand. These are the simple tips that I think can go a very long way in keeping our children safe that we all need to hear.

    You also hit on another extremely important aspect of the overall fire safety concept – adults. Adults must also receive fire safety training for several reasons:

    First of all it is the adult who controls fire prevention. All too often we focus on children and fire survival, then wonder why our fires are not decreasing, and claim prevention is a waste of time. Children programs are geared – mostly - at fire survival and adults at fire prevention. It’s a package deal.

    Second, just like what you describe, if the adults in the home are not aware of the messages we are giving to the children, then our efforts will be thwarted. All it takes is mom or dad to dismiss the sounds of a smoke detector, due to overzealous cooking, in front of the children to totally erase everything we tried to teach young ones.

    A good prevention program will target ALL age groups with consistent and cognitive fire safety training and education.

    What are some of your adult programs?

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    Please borrow away!.....yes, it is a very simple concept - but it works!....we also have a 'cooking chair' now that our daughter is older - she uses that so she doesn't have to reach up to the counter if we are baking, mixing etc.....

    As for adult education - I deal mostly with adult professionals in the workplace. We teach mostly General Fire Safety and Evacuation Training (including a video of the Station Nightclub fire), and Tenant Safety Organization Training. Each class is tailored to specific buildings that we cover, as the evacuation plan, route etc is different.....

    Training is offered almost continuously - some Agencies have (finally) made it mandatory for employees to attend at least once every 2 years. We also hold evacuation drills 2 times per year for each building - these are actually required by law.....

    And last but not least, when we respond to an alarm in one of 'our' buildings, we try to EDUCATE the offender as to why the alarm went off, and how to #1 - avoid it happening in the future, and #2 - the proper response if/when an alarm activates. We deal with a lot of 'false' alarms due to unattended cooking, but those numbers have dropped over the past few years due to education and relocation of cooking devices from close proximity to smoke detectors.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Education1st View Post
    Thanks for your detailed response. These are the types of discussions we, in the prevention field, need to start having. My article was edited just a bit for space, but in my original submission I contrasted the difference between operations and prevention. Operationally we are talking, looking outside the box, pushing for change, researching, etc. Yet in prevention many departments approach it today as they did 30 years ago. So I am glad we have opened it up which is always my goal when I write.

    [COLOR="Red"]I fully agree that as educators, we do need to have more discussions about what we do. We, as educators also need to develop statewide relationships that in many places do not exist, or exist in a very limited way when compared to the organizations which have been developed by fire chiefs, training officers or arson investigators, as examples.[COLOR]

    In the article I do state I am not in favor of using live fire “at this time” and if it is then it needs to be done by educators trained in how to use it – as with any prop. To just be used without guidelines and training could cause some serious damage and the risks are just too great. I remember a haunting photo of a firefighter on firefighterclosecalls.com in bunker gear that lit himself on fire using gasoline in an occupied elementary school to show “stop-drop-roll.” So by no means did I want anyone to read my article and just go out there and do it.

    I again, fully agree that the use of live fire in public education training can be a double edged sword. If not used and presented correctly as a part of the cirriculum as a teaching tool designed to send a specific message and/or teach a specific skill or skill set, the use of live fire could in fact send the message to some that in fact, it is viewed by the fire service as a toy simply used as an entertainment prop within the program. However, if used as a integrated educational component of the program, I beleive that it can have great value within our presentations. As I stated, I think that live fire could have great potential as a general audience tool to juveniles in both cooking and wildland presentations. I do currently use live fire as part of my juvenile firesetting intervention programs to teach about both flammable liquids and burns, and have found it to be quite effective in those specific lessons.

    I start teaching cooking safety as young as kindergarten, if only for them to recognize that mom or dad has left the stove on and to tell an adult. To young? Not true. The key is repetition and I meet with most kids every year until middle school. I then keep that up until 5th where I introduce putting a lid on it and not throwing water and, yes, even fire extinguisher training. I have found, and statistics support, that children this age (who believe they’re invincible) are more likely to try and “handle” the situation and a small fire in a pan looks manageable. In the absence of training and education, they will revert to what instincts tell them which is to (1) throw water on it or (2) try to carry it out of the house. I was once told I was crazy for teaching 5th graders because they do not have the cognitive skills to work a fire extinguisher… but our burn injuries to children dropped after we started this program and by high school fire extinguisher skills are now second nature. REPETITION!

    Your concept about introducing kindergartners to kitchen and cooking safety is quite interesting, and has made me think about how it could be integrated into my program. I do talk about hot things when discussing SDR, but it's possible that a very quick stinpet about cooking and kitchen safety could be plugged into my current program when talking about hot things in the kitchen.

    They key to it all is to stop approaching public education in the same manner as we always have AND realize we cannot approach training a young child to escape a fire in the same manner we teach them their multiplication tables. Prevention training requires a different and specialized approach.

    I also think you are onto something! In communities where fire is being used as a tool routinely, vrs communities where fire is not used as a tool but for entertainment, what are the statistics of juvenile started fires? This would be a VERY interesting study, but I think you are onto something there!

    I do feel that it would be an interesting study, and honestly, I would love to know if there is a correlation. That being said, there also could be other factors including the nature of the culture which may also be having an effect on what I am observing. These differences could include less reliance on the fire department by the community to handle this issue or the fact that small fires are simply not reported to the FD here until they become a larger issue. In all honesty, I don't know, but a study could certainly provide some answers that may be able to increase the effectiveness of fire safety education programming.

    You have a very interesting approach to public education that goes beyond fire safety. Please tell us a bit more about the structure of your department and how you are able to do all you are doing. Your comment here as spawned another thread I am going to post. Tell us about some of your most successful programs and success stories.

    I'll cover my program in greater detail in a separate post.

    Please keep the dialog going and invite others. It’s the only way we will grow!
    There has been very little pubed dialogue on this forum. maybe this will be a start.
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    You have a very interesting approach to public education that goes beyond fire safety. Please tell us a bit more about the structure of your department and how you are able to do all you are doing. Your comment here as spawned another thread I am going to post. Tell us about some of your most successful programs and success stories.


    Current department is a primarily volunteer combo department with 2 career firefighters per shift, a career Deputy Chief and myself which supports a volunteer force of about 70 officers, firefighters, support members, dispatchers and junior firefighters. We cover an area of about 170 square miles from 6 stations running ALS EMS first response, supression, technical rescue and operations-level haz-mat.

    I have several roles, the primary being the delivery and management of the public education program Previous to 3 years I ago, I delivered and managed the program as a volunteer. I was hired on full-time 3 years ago, and also have training, grant writing, pre-planning and administrative responsibilities.

    The department is very supportive of my programs, both administratively and in terms of line personnel.

    In addition, I also do much of the pubed for the 2 neighboring fire districts that we work very closely with.

    My department currently runs the following programs:

    Pre-School, Headstart and Pre-K - We use the NFPA Learn Not to Burn Program. The department delivers the first lesson on Monday, and the last lesson on Friday. The classes on the middle 3 days are delivered by the preschool staff. In addition, we bring a truck on the last day of the class.

    We deliver a training class each year to the daycare staff in a train-the-trainer format at our station or on site. Most of the preschools and Headstarts have attended the sessions, and the material has been reviewed with the pre-K teachers as well during in-service sessions at the schools.

    Grades K-3 - We deliver 4 30-minute sessions per year through both single class classroom and multi-classroom PE formats.

    Grades 4-5 - We deliver 3 30-minute sessions per year with the first being in the classroom and the 3nd and 3rd sessions in a PE class.

    Library Pre-School Firesafety Programs

    Juvenile Firesetter Intervention

    Grade 6 - New class this year on the dangers of hanging around wellsites and battery tanks. Currently working on a Grade 7 High Risk Activity Awareness program to be implemented next year.

    Commercial Fire Safety Programs
    Employee Extinguisher Training
    Train the Trainer Extinguisher Program
    Workplace Fire Survival
    Workplace Fire Prevention
    Workplace Fire & Life Safety Planning

    Not a popular as I would like but most businesses here are quite small, and unfortunately, most do not recognize the need for this type of training, or simply cannot afford to take employees off the clock to attend training, but I keep plugging away.

    Community CPR

    Community Outreach delivered through community groups, church groups and other avenues.
    Senior Fire Safety & Fall prevention
    Smoke detectors & Home Fire Escape
    Wildland Prevention & Response
    Home Fire Extinguishers
    Severe Weather & Tornado Preparedness/Response
    Home Fire Prevention
    Kitchen Safety & Kitchen Fires
    Home Burns & Scalds
    Home Electrical Safety
    Season Firesafety
    Juvenile Firesetting
    High Risk Activities (Teen Groups)

    Smoke Detector Installation

    Home Fire Safety Reviews

    Community Emergency Response Training - 16 hour class based of CERT with a rural as compared to urban focus that talks about fire prevention, fire extinguishers, first aid, hands-free CPR, and disaster response including utility management, light rescue and light search. Class also discusses water rescue, backcounrty first aid including shooting and snakebites, and light rescue at MVAs.

    Open House.

    Working on implementing a 12-hour community Home First Aid class in the fall.

    Media Program - Submits articles and letters to the editor regarding firesafety 2-3 times per year.

    Not the most comprehensive program but it seems to do the job as we went from 24 structure fires in 2005 to 16 in 2010. We did rise to 21 last year, but we had a very cold winter and very dry summer which caused a spike in both heating related and fires caused by uncontrolled burning.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Education1st View Post
    “The cooking spot,” very interesting angle to kitchen safety, I may “borrow” that if you do not mind. Very simple concept that even the youngest of children can understand. These are the simple tips that I think can go a very long way in keeping our children safe that we all need to hear.

    You also hit on another extremely important aspect of the overall fire safety concept – adults. Adults must also receive fire safety training for several reasons:

    First of all it is the adult who controls fire prevention. All too often we focus on children and fire survival, then wonder why our fires are not decreasing, and claim prevention is a waste of time. Children programs are geared – mostly - at fire survival and adults at fire prevention. It’s a package deal.

    Second, just like what you describe, if the adults in the home are not aware of the messages we are giving to the children, then our efforts will be thwarted. All it takes is mom or dad to dismiss the sounds of a smoke detector, due to overzealous cooking, in front of the children to totally erase everything we tried to teach young ones.

    A good prevention program will target ALL age groups with consistent and cognitive fire safety training and education.

    What are some of your adult programs?
    Reaching adults is probably the most difficult part of my job.

    We are a primarily rural community with some subdivisions but no real gathering points and very little local specific media.

    We have a regional paper which serves the Bossier City and Shreveport area, but it's difficult for any of the surrounding fire districts to catch their attention as they are very much focused on the two cities, and almost beleive that they are the only two fire departments. if they are looking for a story or need information, they go to them so there is very little of the rural angle of fire and life safety issues.

    There is a much smaller daily paper that is specific Bossier City, and while they pay a little more attention to the neighboring rural areas, it again relys on the city fire department for almost all of it's fire and life safety information. It will periodically run one of the press releases I submit, but often, they simply will not citing space and that the majority of their readership lives within the city.

    We do have several fast-food restaurants, small-box stores and one large supermarket. However most of them will not put up posters or other informational flyers due to corporate rules. There are a few that will, but they tend to be the smaller mom and pop places with a limited clientele.

    So those are the challenges.

    How do I work around them?

    One of the most successful ways is this use of roadside signs with rotating messages. A few years ago, I purchased one for our Central Station, and it's been quite successful. However, the majority of the folks in the district don't drive by it as they live in a pocket in the western corner of the district and usually just drive west into the city for work and to shop, and rarely pass our main station. Last year, I purchased another sign for another station which provides messages for part of our rural population.

    One of our other stations, which serves our largest 2 subdivisions and serves as the other access route to our rural area is not currently able to accommodate a sign due to the layout of the road, however, road work has just begun in that area, and once completed, the new layout of the road should be able to accommodate a sign in front of that station. That will make a tremendous difference in the reach of my "drive-by messages".

    Unfortunately there will still be 3 large subdivisions that will not be exposed.

    I have also made our programs very open to homeowners associations within our subdivisions. On average, I deliver 6-8 programs each year with a total of probably 150-200 attendees. While not a big chunk, it's a segment and hopefully some of the information presented gets passed around the neighborhood.

    I also deliver 4-5 senior programs through church groups and the library per year. Again, I hope that those attendees talk to tier neighbors, which given the neighborhood structure, and I am confident that happens to at least a limited degree.

    We also hold an Open House in the fall, which unfortunately has not had the attendance the Open House held each year by my previous northern department has had, but, it gets the message out to some adults.

    I distribute flyers through the library and the churches, which are a very powerful medium around here. There have even been a few occasions where the churches have allowed me to set up a display before and after services. That is something fairly recent and I plan to pursue that avenue to a greater extent in the future. It may be an option worth exploring in your area as it's likely that churches are a strong part of the community there as well.

    I also set up a small display at my schools Open Houses each fall. Not only does it give me the opportunity to get brochures and handouts in the hands of the adults, but it also publicizes our school programs and gives me the opportunity to get from feedback from parents.

    Unfortunately all 3 schools have the Open House on the same day at the same time, so I can only hit one school a year and have to rotate between all 3.

    We also have a website where I use the signs to direct folks to that resource.

    I hope this provides you with a little bit of information.
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    Default My compliments

    My compliments! You have quite a program that comes at what I imagine is a very high personal sacrifice! But it is personable and direct! I imagine your department receives a great deal of support from this community as well.
    How has your programs made an impact? Have you had any saves? Have you had a reduction in the number/type of fires? Where do you get funding?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Education1st View Post
    My compliments! You have quite a program that comes at what I imagine is a very high personal sacrifice! But it is personable and direct! I imagine your department receives a great deal of support from this community as well.
    How has your programs made an impact? Have you had any saves? Have you had a reduction in the number/type of fires? Where do you get funding?
    It has taken quite a bit of work to expand the program since taking over about 6 years ago. As I stated earlier, I have had tremendous support both from the administration and the membership in terms of both participation and funding.

    My budget is actually quite modest when compared to the department budget as a whole. The truth is I request very little when compared to what I do, in part because the overall funding levels of my previous department taught me to seek out free resources as much as possible, utilize other agencies and simply be smart with my money. I purchase very little in the way of gadgets and handouts, and videos are only purchased if they are specific and interoperable to my program's goals, objectives and content.

    The biggest expense in terms of pubed for the department is obviously my salary and benefits. I know of no other department our size that has a full-time public educator on staff. I would say that about 40% of my time is spent on public education delivery and management within my district, about 10-15% is spent on public education delivery in the two adjoining districts, about 20% is spent on developing and delivering suppression staff training and the remainder is spent on miscellaneous department admin tasks including report QA, pre-planning and grant writing.

    As far as making an impact, I'm sure you know as well as I do that tracking the success of a prevention program is much like catching a greased pig as it's impossible to quantify the number of incidents that you have prevented.

    As far as simple statistics, structure fires have progressively dropped every year from 26 in 2005 to 16 in 2009. last year we surged back to 21, however, the exceptionally cold winter and exceptionally hot and dry spring, summer and fall played a role in that as heating fires were the number two cause of structure fires and uncontrolled burns was number one with both being well above average.

    We have also seen an slight overall drop in brush fires, with the exception of last year, and vehicle fires, however, I don't beleive the latter has anything to do with our educational programs.

    In addition, we have had several situations over the past 5 years where young children have awoken parents and siblings allowing them to escape, called 911 reporting fires or medical issues/injuries, or small fires that were extinguished by children. In some of these cases, their actions were directly attributed to our programs.
    Train to fight the fires you fight.

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