1. #1
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    Default Importance of Fire Prevention & Safety

    I was wondering how important everyone thinks that FP & Safety was. I have noticed that the questions asked in this forum usually don't get answered. Just curious!
    Just someone trying to help! (And by the way....Thanks for YOUR help!)

    Aggressive does not have to equal stupid.

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    FireNut....

    Let me give you an idea how important firesafety education is ...

    The US stands at the bottom of the industrailized world in fire deaths per capaita at around 16 per 1,000,000. The leaders, which are in the Scandinavian countries and Switzerland stand at about 2-4 per 1,000,000. Many of the European countries and Japan run in the mid to high single digits per 1,000,000. We have gotten better since the 70's dropping down from the mid 20's per 1,000,000, but they have also dropped .... and we still remain 12th out of 13 industrailized countries, so while the numbers have gotten better .. we still run almost dead last worldwide.

    Why are we so bad and they are so good ? The simple reason is everywhere else in the industrailzed world public education is important. The other countries mention spend from 15% to 23% of thier budgets directly on public education and staffing, plus much more of the supression staff's non-firefighting time is spent on public education functions. We spend on average, 1% (yes.. that's not a typo) of our budgets on pub ed, and often it is raided to make up for shortfalls in the supression budget. The best they have in terms of management personnel is put into pub ed rather than just the chiefs "finishing out thier time" as is often the case here. Mangement is trained specifically at the University level to BE PUB ED CHIEFS. Thier staffing are just not light duty firefighters or firefighters riding out thier careers but often include trained civilian educators who have a background in education and KNOW how to teach children and deliver programs. Pub Ed is not a dead end function .. it is a critical part of the operation in most other countries and offers substancial career advancement possibilites.

    Thier programs are well planned and targeted at specific fire problems in specific parts of the community. They do not just "shotgun" and throw a bunch of stuff out there unlike many of the US departments. For example, a few years ago the Loundon FB spent over $1,000,000 to show firesafety adds at specific times to specific audiences addressing specific issues. In the US, if an ad is developed, it is usually handed to the stations to run as a PSA (which the stationsw run free whenever they want) and will usually be run at the slowest times for advertising .. which is often VERY late night or early morning.

    The bottom line is .. it is important becuase in other sountries, where the fire service takes it seriously, it does work. At some point, hopefully we will realize that.

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    Sorry about the rant .. as you can tell this subject gets my blood boiling.

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    Rant on!!!! I love ANY kind of reply in this section.
    Not only are the higher-ups are not putting much weight into fire prevention, they are teaching others that it is OK for them to do the same. A change must start somewhere. I think if more FF bought into it and then moved up the chain (while not giving in to peer pressure to put it aside) could possibily make a change. Never mind.......just me ranting!!!!

    Take care and stay safe!!!
    Just someone trying to help! (And by the way....Thanks for YOUR help!)

    Aggressive does not have to equal stupid.

    ** "The comments made here are this person's views and possibly that of the organizations to which I am affiliated" **

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    Yes Nut, it is pretty sad to the lack of interest in firesafety on this forum. it's especially disturbing when you see pages and pages in a thread on red lights or what kind of flashlight would you buy. Unfortunatly, there is in most departments a lack of TRUE interest in reducing fires, and I think we can all speculate on the reasons why (less fun, they'll lay my boys off if we get to slow, etc.). Unless there is a radical change, I fear that the next generation of fire service leaders will have the same mentality, dooming to this country of another 20-30 years of lip service to public education.

    How can we change it? Well it won't be easy, and quite simply I don't have a lot of ideas except psh.. push .. push. Every chance you have talk to your guys.. especially the young ones. Find incidents in the paper where public education made a difference. Use the media .. invite them to events ... and maybe the "big bossess" will see the positive PR from the coverage and push for more events. Write articles on what you are doing. Make pub ed important in the department .. recognize those who are envolved (picture boards, awards, etc.). Push for management positions in Pub ED .. even if it's as simple as a team leader. Apply for grants ... get that easy money. Get envolved in the budgeting process ... make them at least hear your voice.

    It won't be easy but I beleive it can be done. I believe it HAS TO BE DONE.
    And yes, it will take some pushing ... but keep it in the ears and eyes and minds of everyone in your department.

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