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Thread: Red Cross Beware!!

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    Default Red Cross Beware!!

    All,

    Recently the American Red Cross has joined the fire service to install smoke detectors. On the surface this is a good thing, however they are skillfully utilizing the media to capitalize on this to the detriment of the fire service. First they are performing a duty the fire service should have been doing all along and filled the void - but that is for another forum.

    We have got to start working with the media and controlling the ARC and their media releases. What the public sees and reads tells they what their fire service is doing for them in relation to their taxes. If you watch the national news the Red Cross is now in the fire protection business and bringing the fire service along.

    It is time to stop being the modest heroes we have been and start having a voice in the public on what we do or we will soon see ourselves playing second fiddle to other entities who have no problems telling their stories.

    Below are just SOME excerpts from an ARC media release. As you read this step away from being a firefighter are read this as one of your citizens will. Why did the Red Cross start a blitz why didn't the fire service? Who is leading this drive to protect us the Red Cross or the fire service? Who do I turn to for fire safety and protection information?

    Read and think about it. Do to the ARC website and search fire safety and see if it refers to the fire service or fire department anywhere. This is what is appearing in papers all over the country:

    This Blitz is a continuation of Nationwide Fire Safety Campaign launched by the American Red Cross in October 2014. The goal of the campaign is to reduce deaths and injuries from home fires by as much as 25 percent over the next five years.

    Since the campaign launched last year, teams of Red Cross volunteers and fire officials have installed more than 2,200 smoke alarms and provided fire safety information in neighborhoods across South Carolina.

    To learn more about fire prevention visit Redcross.org. To learn more about becoming a volunteer or donating to help people affected by disasters like home fires visit www.redcross.org/EasternSC or call 843.477.0020.

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    well if the fire service would focus a little more on fire prevention might help?


    Recent story:::


    http://www.firehouse.com/news/118628...ector-position


    I am all for anyone that will get smoke alarms in homes!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by fire5555 View Post
    well if the fire service would focus a little more on fire prevention might help?


    Recent story:::


    http://www.firehouse.com/news/118628...ector-position


    I am all for anyone that will get smoke alarms in homes!!!
    Agreed 100%. This is not a knock against the ARC as much as it is a wakeup call for the fire service. We need to start getting out there and working with our public before someone else does and gets some of the funding we cannot afford to lose.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Byrne View Post
    Agreed 100%. This is not a knock against the ARC as much as it is a wakeup call for the fire service. We need to start getting out there and working with our public before someone else does and gets some of the funding we cannot afford to lose.
    OK, that sounds great.

    But also I have learned Partnering can be a valuable tool in many ways.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fire5555 View Post
    OK, that sounds great.

    But also I have learned Partnering can be a valuable tool in many ways.
    Absolutely. Partnering and planning. This is where the fire service drops the ball in the prevention arena. Lack of planning which includes things like the media.

    This is a great program!! It is just not being delivered in a favorable way in relation to the fire service and public perception.
    slackjawedyokel likes this.

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    problem #1 the fire service would rather tell everyone they are heros while sitting in their recliners in the dayroom at the station instead of getting out in the public eye.

    Yes there are cases of good publicity garnered by helping the public on occasion beyond what is required by the job.

    Problem #2 is the ARC has a huge PR operation to blitz the media whenever they do anything . They spend millions every year to blow their own horn in the media.

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    Quote Originally Posted by islandfire03 View Post
    problem #1 the fire service would rather tell everyone they are heros while sitting in their recliners in the dayroom at the station instead of getting out in the public eye.

    Yes there are cases of good publicity garnered by helping the public on occasion beyond what is required by the job.

    Problem #2 is the ARC has a huge PR operation to blitz the media whenever they do anything . They spend millions every year to blow their own horn in the media.
    Gotta disagree with the first part -- while there are blowhards - I still think that the majority of fireman underplay their contributions. I agree 100% with the 2nd -the red cross has a huge pr wing. I have partnered with everyone from meal on wheels to home school organizations to install smoke detectors, but again for better or worse I tend to let them have the majority of the lime light.

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    Quote Originally Posted by islandfire03 View Post
    Problem #2 is the ARC has a huge PR operation to blitz the media whenever they do anything . They spend millions every year to blow their own horn in the media.
    You don't know the HALF of it. I used to be a paid employee of the ARC Disaster Services when I was younger, my pre-career FF days. I was deployed to the midwest United States for the floods in 1993. I'm not going to get involved in details but I was involved in the rescue of a woman from her car, who got washed into a drainage ditch during a sudden, massive rainstorm in Sioux City, Iowa. She was in a bad spot and I (and my partner) happened to be in the right place at the right time. We got her out of the situation and dropped her off at her home. We didn't make anything of it. Next day I get called to the ARC Field Headquarters....Was told I was being interviewed on the news. When I refused, and after they got over being incredulous (the PR people couldn't believe that I did NOT want to get interviewed and be on the news) I was ORDERED to do it. I said "ok, but I might have a bad attitude during the interview or let it slip that I was FORCED to do the interview when all I want to do is be left alone." Well....You would have thought that the earth was going to come to an end the next day because thats precisely how the PR folks both there and back in Philadelphia were acting.........It all comes down to the dollars. Every time the ARC gets press, they press for donations.........And the better the press they get, the larger the dollars they get.........

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    Quote Originally Posted by slackjawedyokel View Post
    Gotta disagree with the first part -- while there are blowhards - I still think that the majority of fireman underplay their contributions..
    Yes and no. Yes firefighters as a whole WAY underplay what they do! YES!! That's my whole point here. We need to stop being the modest heroes and start talking like every other agency ahead of us in the funding line...

    I would not use the term "blowhards" but I do feel the fire service as a whole refuses to acknowledge the societal change in values and feel that our role of rushing into fires for the save is enough to carry us through every budget cycle. That is not the case any longer. People appreciate that - but have no idea all that goes into that which brings us back to the first point of modest heroes. They want to know what we do for them today... right now... in-between fires....

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    Quote Originally Posted by FWDbuff View Post
    .It all comes down to the dollars. Every time the ARC gets press, they press for donations.........And the better the press they get, the larger the dollars they get.........
    Exactly! They are the master at PR which is why they survive and thrive. A a department PIO I have been on the other end of abuse when I pushed firefighters who accomplished something into the limelight. It was good for them, for the department, fore the fire service, and good for them AGAIN when the department got funding for pay raises and other benefits.

    One of my guys who actually complained to the chief about how I was embarrassing him when I put him in for awards and did a PR on it. I mean acted like a complete child - is now in charge of a fire department and his resume is FULL of all the awards I got for him.

    PR works. We need to get serious about it.

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    radio news report , on a fatality fire --- "the red cross is taking care of a family that had a fatal fire Wednesday in __________ "
    I have no doubt that they (the red cross)haven't furnished the family with a few days in a motel, given them a wal mart voucher for a tooth brush and some clothes, but "taking care of the family" little bit of a stretch there.

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    Watched the 10 oclock news tonight --The Red cross was installing smoke detectors in high risk neighborhoods -there was a fire apparatus in the back ground while they were interviewing the red cross director , but NO mention of the local fire department.

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