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Strategy 1: Prevention Advocacy

Tools and guidance are being updated to help the fire service implement a local advocacy strategy for increasing resources for fire prevention. The Advocacy Toolkit, produced with 2008 AFG funding, is an online resource available at www.strategicfire.org. With 2011 AFG funding we are able to update and add new content providing more resources for fire prevention personnel. A short video tutorial will be added as an introduction. This will provide users a bird’s-eye view of the steps for developing an advocacy plan: 1) demonstrate need, 2) demonstrate results, 3) develop relationships, and the many resources that are imbedded in the toolkit to help them get started. The updated Advocacy Toolkit will be available at our website by the end of August, 2013.

Strategy 2: Prevention Marketing

  • Two successful rounds of research and message testing have been completed with social marketing experts Salter Mitchell helping us to create the Fire is Everyone’s Fight™ theme, now being executed under the leadership of the U.S. Fire Administration, and a supporting message on safe cooking “Keep an Eye on What You Fry.” Our focus the last six months was to develop an equally simple and powerful message to inspire the public to have working smoke alarms in their homes. But, given the breadth and complexity of smoke alarm messaging, the results were inconclusive.
  • First Alert has stepped up to fund a third round of Salter Mitchell message testing to revisit the smoke alarm issue. In it we will tackle the challenge of finding a compelling, overarching and relevant smoke alarm message that can break through existing behavioral barriers, including denial that a fire will ever happen to their family. This testing phase will build upon existing research and include key informant interviews with members of the Alexandria and Tallahassee Fire Departments, plus in-depth interviews to test concepts with focus groups drawn from our identified high-risk populations in each of those cities. Message testing is underway, with results scheduled for release in early August 2013. Our goal is to come away with a message that allows us to:
    •  Interrupt
      • What motivations will have the greatest potential to disrupt the crowded risk environment?
      • What messages best frame smoke alarms in a new and unexpected way, shedding the established “given” of their existence and reestablishing their importance?
    • Interact
      • What message concepts connect with what residents are already seeking or doing?
      • What behaviors are best to frame the message within in order boost compliance and safety?
    • Engage
      • What channels are best to convey the message?
      • What exposure approach provides the best opportunity for the message to be absorbed and acted upon?
      • How do we carry the message through non-media outreach (i.e. neighbors, fire departments, family, etc.)?

Strategy 3: Prevention Culture

Delivery of 10 one day workshops across the nation to promote the use of CRR within the fire service. These classes are underway in each FEMA region of the country. At the end of each class, a train the trainer will be conducted so that each FEMA region has an instructor that can carry the material forward independently.

CRR Online Training. The one day workshop material is being adapted to an online training format which will provide an overview of the CRR concepts for anyone who has a computer and an internet connection – free of charge during the length of the grant cycle. We are continuing to look for sponsors who can subsidize online training materials so they can continue to be offered free of charge.

Fire Chief’s Advocacy Task Group. A task group of current and former Fire Chiefs is being recruited to serve as advocates on a nationwide plan to have CRR concepts institutionalized within the fire service. Currently, there are many fire service leaders in the task group, it is being expanded to at least 100 from around the nation. Once recruitment is complete, a more specific advocacy strategy will be developed to take advantage of the resources and energy devoted to this effort.

Fire Service Recruit Model Curriculum. Model firefighter recruit curriculum has been developed to teach new firefighters the concepts of CRR. Currently, local fire departments are being recruited to pilot test the curriculum.

Other Presentations to promote CRR. Other presentations on CRR have already been made to the International City Manager’s Association via a webinar, and at the NFPA meeting in Chicago. Others are in the works, including a presentation at the Executive Fire Officers Symposium scheduled for September of 2013 at the National Fire Academy.

Simple Risk Assessment Resources. A small task group has formed in partnership with Esri (www.esri.com) to develop simple risk assessment resources that will help the fire service understand the value of a good risk assessment, and how to conduct one. These resources will be made available to fire departments across the nation free of charge thanks to a donation from ESRI to the Vision 20/20 project.

Strategy 4: Prevention Technology

The final report from Eastern Kentucky University on cooking fires is requiring some revision and should be available later this summer.

Dan Madrzykowski has several webinars in mind, the first being conducted June 24 on the changing severity of home fires, a follow up to the USFA symposium of that name.

Strategy 5: Prevention Codes and Standards

The future of Strategy 5 Task Group was discussed. Some stated that it may be time to end the Strategy 5 Task Group given the group has met the goals of the strategy and has no pending tasks on hand and that there is enough going on with other groups, e.g. IAFF, IAFC, ICC, NFPA, etc. that the Strategy 5 Task Group is not needed. After much discussion the group decided that there still issues for the Task Group to address. Some of the issues discussed were:

  • Provide a meeting for fire service at code hearings, a meet and greet, to discuss fire service positions at the hearings. Sean DeCrane and David Kerr agreed to work on providing a venue at the Dallas ICC Code Hearings for a meet and greet.
  • Provide training and mentoring with new people at the hearings. It was mentioned that both ICC and NFPA are doing this now.
  • Strategy 5 could help provide a better working relation between fire service and building officials.
  • Provide assistance at the local and state level for the adoption of codes and standards. To train fire service on lobbying state and local officials for code adoption. Bruce Johnson stated that there is a new coalition working on that issue. Coalition for Current Safety Codes: http://www.coalition4safety.org
  • Work on developing some informational bulletins/handouts that AHJ’s could use to help support their internal requests to participate in the various processes (ICC, NFPA, etc.). Providing documentation may help them with the internal fight and be allowed to even participate.
  • Strategy 5 serve as a conduit to work with all the fire service groups, providing a neutral turf.

Model Prevention Evaluation Measures Task Group:

The model evaluation measures project is nearing completion of the 10+ field workshops, and will soon embark on the “train the trainer” effort to make sure the material can stand on its own for each FEMA region.

The online training for model evaluation measures is being migrated from the BlueVolt site to the Resource One location at the International Fire Service Training Association. Minor revisions are being done to the course material as part of this migration.

Models in Prevention Symposium:

With award of 2012 AFG funding, we have initiated planning for the Models in Fire Prevention Symposium III. Programs representing all areas of fire prevention, with special emphasis on community risk reduction, will be highlighted during the 3-day symposium planned for March, 2014. Programs selected for presentation will pass peer review and must demonstrate success through uniform model performance measures: formative, process, impact, and outcome. Funding allows us to sponsor one representative per state who will assume commitment for sharing information and resources with their in-state colleagues. Registration will be available to other prevention personnel on a first-come basis. A call for presentations and invitation for nomination of state representatives will be distributed through partner organizations and announced at www.strategicfire.org.

Vision 20/20 Quick Response Team:

The Vision 20/20 Quick Response Team has had a shift in focus over the course of the project based on our experiences. Our original efforts were towards smaller jurisdictions where there had been significant loss of life and offering the resources of our teams to come in and assist with Community Risk Reduction efforts. We reached out to a number of communities in Ohio, Texas, North Carolina, Kentucky, Indiana and Massachusetts, but, surprisingly, we received little traction except for Ohio, Kentucky and North Carolina. In both Kentucky and Ohio we had team members in place, which demonstrates the value of having people on the ground in the areas to help facilitate our efforts.

In Kentucky, there had been a significant number of fatal fires since the beginning of the year, raising a level of concern within State Fire Marshal William Swope’s office, and he convened a task group of over 40 organizations to discuss the issue. Vision 20/20 was an active participant in assisting with this meeting and three QRT members attended and presented. In a followup, smaller meeting, more detailed discussion was held as to the next steps forward. The state is going to work towards developing a “fire-safe community” certification and will be pilot testing it in a number of communities this fall.

Working with the Kentucky State Fire Marshal’s Office, QRT is going to be going into the field and meeting with small communities to learn more about their fire prevention needs and how we can best assist them in developing and delivering CRR. This fieldwork will provide a wealth of information as to how tailor CRR for the small, rural, volunteer fire departments in a way that will best serve their needs.

In North Carolina, following a tragic fire in Guilford that killed 2 children, one of the QRT members based in North Carolina reached out the fire department and offered to come in and do a one-day training program, which was accepted. This training will be done in late June. Again, both this incident and the work in Kentucky demonstrate the value of having advocates in the areas that can help in reaching out and coordinating activities.

In Ohio, two university students were killed in an off-campus house fire and, working with the Cincinnati Fire Department, the V2020 QRT sent several members to a meeting with a wide variety of partner organizations participating. We did a presentation on the lessons that we had been learning in other communities, in particular, Cleveland, which had a very successful CRR program.

The QRT concept is being shown to be a valuable one, but one that we are learning more about as we progress forward. Being flexible and adjusting to the findings in the field are vitally important, and the information that we will be compiling from the fieldwork can serve as a pilot for other communities and states to use in integrating CRR into their daily fire department operations in a wide range of communities.

Fire is Everyone’s Fight ™ IFE Article

Fire is Everyone’s Fight™ is a new initiative led by the U.S. Fire Administration with the intent to unite the fire service in a collaborative effort to reduce home fire injuries, deaths and property loss. It invites fire departments, safety advocates, community groups, schools, etc. to rally behind a common and compelling theme. This will assist us in communicating and reinforcing key lessons from proven fire safety and prevention initiatives and programs.

USFA is asking partners to use the Fire is Everyone’s Fight™ graphic with new and existing materials. This will give the fire community the opportunity to present a consistent message to the public. We currently have 146 individuals and groups who have signed up to use the trademarked graphic.

USFA brought together a stakeholder team of fire and safety personnel to help review materials. They are assisting us in creating simple, literacy-appropriate, and focused messages that are easily understood and particularly helpful for our high risk populations. We are using these messages to create customizable materials for organizations to use in their outreach efforts.

The Fire is Everyone’s Fight ™ network will grow as momentum builds with the support from many different organizations, communities and the public. We know that it takes a wide range of fire safety and prevention resources to communicate the importance of taking action to protect families and loved ones. This is why Fire is Everyone’s Fight™ is designed to be customizable to not only individual fire departments, but also to fire and life safety organizations.

If you would like to know more about Fire is Everyone’s Fight™ and how to sign up to be a partner, please visit www.usfa.fema.gov/FireisEveryonesFight. Watch this web page and other announcements for a growing list of resources and for registration information for an upcoming webinar later this summer.


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