ALEXANDRIA, Va., August 6, 2007 - The United States Branch of the Institution of Fire Engineers (IFE - USA) was awarded a $238,000 grant from the Department of Homeland Security to develop and distribute a National Strategic Agenda for Fire and Life Safety that can be used by federal fire and life safety agencies and organizations. In partnership with federal and private entities, the IFE will identify and bring together organizations with commitment and expertise in fire prevention to execute a gap analysis and establish recommendations for a National Strategic Plan for Fire Prevention in the United States.
"This is a unique opportunity to bring together the many fire safety organizations in this country to develop a cohesive, unified strategy to address the vital needs of fire prevention," said Jim Crawford, chairman of the initial steering committee proposing the grant application and fire marshal in Vancouver, Washington. "President Truman first called for a strong focus on fire prevention at the President's Fire Prevention Conference of 1947, and this call has been repeated in the report American Burning and its subsequent updates. By bringing together the 'best and the brightest' from throughout the United States, we will have the power to develop a strategy that will help to protect our citizens through a proven tool - fire prevention."
This project comes at a time when a number of states and communities across the country are seeing a higher rate of fire deaths, which points to the importance and the need to focus on strong prevention efforts. Each year, approximately 3,500 people are killed by fires in the United States, which is one of the highest, per capita, in the industrialized world, according to the U.S. Fire Administration.
The Institution of Fire Engineers - USA is an organization dedicated to promoting and encouraging the improvement of the science and practice of fire engineering, prevention and suppression. The IFE is a British based fire engineering organization with 36 branches (chapters) and 11,000 members worldwide. More information can be found at www.ife-usa.org.