The 25th anniversary of the Happy Land Social Club fire in NYC which killed 87 people largely due to the disregard of fire codes is here, and we are also recognizing the one year anniversary of the two Boston firefighters who died in a fire that was caused by the disregarding of fire code and safety procedures.

Are we using these two tragedies to educate our firefighters on the importance of fire prevention, fire codes, code enforcement; and their role in reducing not only civilian deaths (which is our whole purpose) but also the lives of our brothers? Have we taken this opportunity with all this national attention to gain the support of our citizens on the need for strong prevention programs and funding, along with the aggressive prosecution of those found in violation of fire codes?

This is an opportunity to plant the seeds of needed culture change in the fire service and support from the public for prevention. While every firefighter may not become a fire prevention zealot, they are now knowledgeable and educated, and that is a powerful combination when instilled in a firefighter.