April 19, 2012 — The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) today kicked off a new program to help fire departments fund the purchase of life-saving fire safety educational materials. Sparky’s Wish List™: Partnering for Fire-Safe Communities invites fire departments to create a free online wish list for Fire Prevention Week materials. Businesses and the public can fulfill departments’ wish lists and provide these critical educational materials for their communities.
"Fire safety education saves lives, but with current budget pressures, it’s hard for many departments to pay for a range of educational materials,” said Jim Shannon, NFPA president. "Sparky’s Wish List is designed to help close the gap between what fire departments can afford and what they need to educate on fire safety.”
Every year, fire departments in the United States respond to more than 350,000 home fires resulting in at least 2,500 deaths and more than 12,000 injuries.
The official launch of Sparky’s Wish List was held at the Fire Department Instructors Conference (FDIC) in Indianapolis where thousands of firefighters were among the first to learn about the new site.
“Every year, we see fire-related injuries that might have been prevented if the victims had received fire safety tips, installed functioning smoke alarms or practiced an escape plan,” said Chief Brian Sanford, Indianapolis Fire Department who was among the first to sign up his department. “Our first line of protection is educating the community. Sparky’s Wish List will allow us to work with community members to provide these critical educational resources.”
Fire departments create a wish list by creating a profile and clicking the boxes to indicate the materials they need. Donors can purchase those materials by searching for their hometowns and opening their department’s registry. The materials will be sent directly to the fire department.
Visit the NFPA website or www.sparkyswishlist.org and follow step-by-step directions. Tools and resources are also available for departments to learn how to spread the word to the community and engage potential donors.