1. #1
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    Default public fire prevention education by vol dept

    I belong to a volunteer dept with 51 active members. We provide fire prevention education to 2 schools grades k-2 & 3-5 along with several preschools, a senior center and 2 senior housing buildings. We visit therm several time s a year as well as any other community activities we might be invited to. There is a concern that if I ever give up the fire prevention program that there will be no interest to continue it. One dept in our area has a group that handles these assemblies. i am wondering how other volunteer depts handle this type of education. Any input would be greatly appreciated

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    I do my schools 2 times a year through the physical education department. Usually each class is composed of 2-3 classrooms, which is a manageable size group and each school can be done in one day.

    In the past I have also done it classroom by classroom. Obviously the advantage to this is a much smaller class in thier own enviroment. However, the down side is the time required unless you are lucky enough to have 2 instructors that can double up on classes in the same time block.

    I prefer not to do my educational program in large assemblies. Not enough control, limited ability to recieve feedback and to many distractions are all downsides which makes the time savings of large group presenations simply not worth it.

    I understand your fear about the fate of your programs if you leave. The reality is that in most volunteer departments there isn't more than 1 or 2 people truly committed to public education. In some cases there may be folks who are interested but simply aren't available during the day, when most (not all) programs take place. In career departments, the post is often occupied by some one who was forced off the street due to an injury or the like, and is simply there because they needed to find him or her "a place" in the department, or someone who took the job because it was a promotion, not because they actually care about pubed.

    I know the program I built in my last department has become far less active since I left. It is difficult to see something you built decline, but unfortunatly, there isn't much we can do about it if there is nobody interested in succeeding you.
    Last edited by LaFireEducator; 11-29-2007 at 10:01 AM.

  3. #3
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    Hello cfdtrainer,

    I Feel the same way. I am the Fire and Life Safety Public Education Coordinator for Thornapple Township Emergency Services in Middleville, Michigan. I provide this service to 5 different elementary schools in our service area, as well as the assisted living and retirement homes and daycare centers in our area. I cover topics such as fire safety during Fire Safety month to CPR classes year round to bike safety and basically any thing a member of community requests. I have been doing this for about 7 of my 13 years on the department I started with me going and reading to my kids class and as the other schools got wind of what I was doing they wanted me to come and talk to their kids. For the first 5 years I accomplished this feat by my self and I can tell you it wasnt easy. I would start in July planning for a months worth of activities for October. Eventually I was approached by one of the newer female rookies who was fresh out of school and had a passion for dealing with children. things became a little more easy for a couple years but recently due to time constraints she is unable to commit any more, so I found myself back at square one. So during one of our quarterly meetings I made the announcement that the Public Education Program that had as of late become so successful and gave our Department such great publicity, was going to come to an end. Well than everybody wanted to help. So basically if it is something that the schools in your area really want, than discuss it wih your Commanding officers, ask for their input and poll the people of your Department and find out what kind of interest you can get. But under no try and tackle everything alone, because like the Fire Service and EMS it will burn you out. I hope that answers your question. If you are looking for some Ideas what to do let me know, I have a whole program worth .

    Good Luck

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