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  1. #1
    Forum Member EnvisageNow's Avatar
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    Question If the public only did one thing to make your lives safer, it should be ...

    I work for a company in Indiana (Envisage) that builds software to help first responder organizations ensure they are trained, equipped and ready to respond. We are also working to improve the news and analytical content we publish online.

    One of my tasks at the moment is to create a series of infographics, aimed at the general public, detailing ways citizens should respond to emergency events to help improve the safety of the officers and agents on scene. One example we use in discussions a lot is being pulled over on the highway. We would identify 5-7 things to consider in such situations that will help the authorities do their jobs as safely as possible.

    Since firefighters are one profession of interest to us, we would like input from you on what information would be most helpful for the general public to know. We are still in the brainstorming phase of this project, so you could offer a specific bit of wisdom the public should know, or describe a situation that is made more difficult by citizen mistakes or inaction.

    What are the most important things the public could do to make your lives safer when you are doing your job?


  2. #2
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    Install smoke alarms outside each bedroom and inside each bedroom

    And check them monthly

    Change the batteries twice a year

  3. #3
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    Don't leave candles unattended.

    Or food while it's cooking on the stovetop.

    Clean out lint from dryer vents.

    If possible, close doors when leaving a fire area.

    Don't overload electrical outlets or cords. Don't run cords under carpet.

    Don't smoke in bed.

    INSTALL AND MAINTAIN SMOKE DETECTORS. CO detectors too.

  4. #4
    Forum Member Bones42's Avatar
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    Listen. That's the biggest thing the public can do. Just listen to what is being said.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

  5. #5
    Forum Member EnvisageNow's Avatar
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    Thanks. Reflecting back what I just read:

    1) Keeping firefighters away (Home and business safety)
    - Install smoke alarms outside each bedroom and inside each bedroom
    - Install CO detectors
    - check alarms monthly and change batteries twice a year
    - Don't leave candles or food cooking on the stovetop unattended.
    - Clean out lint from dryer vents
    - Don't overload electrical outlets or cords, or run cords under carpet
    - Don't smoke in bed

    2) Preparing for firefighters to arrive (Moving to safety and clearing a path when a fire breaks out)
    - listen to what is being said
    - If possible, close doors when leaving a fire area

    Some follow-up questions for #2:
    * When should someone call the fire department?
    * Should that call always be 911?
    * What should someone try to save (i.e., records, pets, dvd collection)?
    * How far away from the house should people move?
    * Should vehicles be moved out of the way?
    * What is the most common mistake people make that delays you once you arrive on the scene?

    Are there other calls you take, like medical emergencies, where people can help prepare for your arrival, get you there faster, or most contribute to someone else's survival?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by EnvisageNow View Post
    I work for a company in Indiana (Envisage) that builds software to help first responder organizations ensure they are trained, equipped and ready to respond. We are also working to improve the news and analytical content we publish online.

    One of my tasks at the moment is to create a series of infographics, aimed at the general public, detailing ways citizens should respond to emergency events to help improve the safety of the officers and agents on scene. One example we use in discussions a lot is being pulled over on the highway. We would identify 5-7 things to consider in such situations that will help the authorities do their jobs as safely as possible.

    Since firefighters are one profession of interest to us, we would like input from you on what information would be most helpful for the general public to know. We are still in the brainstorming phase of this project, so you could offer a specific bit of wisdom the public should know, or describe a situation that is made more difficult by citizen mistakes or inaction.

    What are the most important things the public could do to make your lives safer when you are doing your job?

    While all the fire safety tips are good I think it goes deeper than that. The public today needs to make the transition from paying for just a suppression orientated fire service to one that balances prevention. Communities need to support and be willing to fund, and in fact demand, a stronger prevention based fire service.

    When budgets are cut prevention programs and personnel are first to go. This then results in more fires and more costs. Other countries have proven time and again that focus and support on prevention cuts costs and strengthens communities.

    Prevention today goes beyond "stop, drop, roll" and "don't play with matches," but now involves plans review, fire inspections, training, etc. The US is falling way behind in global fire service approach. We have the suppression down better than anyone, but we need to do more as a service and need the communities awareness and support.

  7. #7
    Forum Member EnvisageNow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Byrne View Post
    While all the fire safety tips are good I think it goes deeper than that. The public today needs to make the transition from paying for just a suppression orientated fire service to one that balances prevention.
    This is excellent, Daniel. Exactly the kind of areas of public awareness I'm hoping to surface through this discussion. Thanks.

    Reflecting back what I just read, I'm adding the following to the list above:

    3) Fostering Prevention (Cultivating a community that supports prevention-based fire service)
    - Understand what resources are funding personnel and prevention programs
    - Follow the examples of other nations who support prevention

    Follow-up questions for #3:
    * Daniel mentions training, plan reviews, fire inspections ... Are these all actions internal to the profession or department, or are there ways the general public can be proactive in contributing resources (e.g., volunteering to participate in training exercises)?
    * Budget cuts are pervasive and damaging to first responder programs. Are there specific actions citizens can take to help craft or lobby for favorable legislation and government funding?

  8. #8
    Forum Member DeputyChiefGonzo's Avatar
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    Pulling over to the right for emergency vehicles.

    Making the public aware that if you see one emergency vehicle, chances are good to excellent that there will be another one coming right behind it or shortly thereafter.

    On the road, when you see fire apparatus, police cruisers and ambulances, move over and give them room.

    Don't stop and gawk, or they may become part of the incident.
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
    Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

  9. #9
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    [
    Follow-up questions for #3:
    * Daniel mentions training, plan reviews, fire inspections ... Are these all actions internal to the profession or department, or are there ways the general public can be proactive in contributing resources (e.g., volunteering to participate in training exercises)?
    * Budget cuts are pervasive and damaging to first responder programs. Are there specific actions citizens can take to help craft or lobby for favorable legislation and government funding?[/QUOTE]

    Plans reviews & fire inspections may or may not be part of the fire department and thus the problem. While other countries that have a considerable less fire problem then the U.S. require their fire officers to have 5 years in prevention before assuming command of a fire station/company, here in the U.S. we still have departments who put their injured, or firefighters awaiting discipline, in the prevention program.

    NO THIS DOESNíT MEAN ALL!! But even the fire departments that have a professional prevention division will tell you they are grossly understaffed to meet the fire preventions demands of their community properly. Even today when departments get approved for new positions they are put on the fire trucks and in suppression in lieu of fire prevention. So they are putting more firefighters to fight more fires in lieu of preventing them.

    Now in defense of Fire Chiefs. That Chief could prevent 100 fires that year, but let one building burn because of manpower or equipment issues and what do you think happens to that Chief? This is where community awareness and support comes it.

    When made aware of the situation most citizens will act but the educational element is not there. They hear the business owners talk about "pesky" inspectors who make it difficult to run their business and why they charge so much, they hear builders pray on their fears of housing by claiming putting in sprinkler systems would make affordable housing impossible.

    As a fire service we do a POOR job in educating our public. We have been the modest heroes who "awe shucks ma'am just doing my job" for too long. Fire departments need to get active in their community at grassroots level and make the public aware.

    If fire inspectors could write tickets for violations imagine the revenue generated? Then as fires drop imagine the costs saved. This isn't my imagination. Tridata has studies showing and proving this works.

  10. #10
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    So I think not only the public, but good training for Fire Departments and firefighters on how to develop good public relations programs, educated on basic codes, sprinkler systems, how to work with the medic, do a simple press release, etc.

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