Firefighter Training

CPSE Conference Challenge: Reduce Fire Deaths by 40 percent in Five Years

Phillip Schaenman, President of TriData Division, System Planning Corporation, challenged the attendees of the Center for Public Safety Excellence (CPSE) 2011 Excellence Conference to evaluate, adapt, and implement initiatives proven successful from around the globe that would reduce the U.S. fire death rate by 40 percent in five years.

Mr. Schaenman has been an innovator and researcher in the fire and emergecy services industry for more than thirty years. His professinoal research career began in the space program and led him to serve as Associate Administrator of the U.S. Fire Administration. There, he founded the Analysis Division and was instrumental in the development of the National Fire Data System. In thirty years, he and his colleagues at TirData have conducted 170 organizational studies and conducted independent and colaborative research into virtually every area addressing the US fire problem.

Mr. Schaenman presented data to the attendees of the CPSE 2011 Excellence conference in Orlando, Florida establishing the U.S. fire death rate as the highest in the western world, and nearly the highest in the entire world. He presented the following global concepts that are having dramatic effect in other countries:

  • Administrative consolidations to improve the ability of fire orgainzations to implement change and adopt, on a regional basis, appropriate programs and measures for the regions unique fire problem;
  • Make more time for and institutionalize the application of fire prevention efforts among all work units, especailly the local fire company;
  • Promote citizen self help through training and organization for neighbors to help neighbors;
  • Prevention efforts must be targeted carefully, requiring a real and dynamic understanding of a communites unique hazards and risks;
  • Conduct evaluations at least annually at the unit and community level, of the effects of prevention efforts and target resources and programs with percision for the best results; and,
  • Provide better management of fire and injury prevention on the institutional level.

The single best global idea which the U.S. fire service could initiate for the greatest overall impact upon the fire problem is home safety visits for all homes, using a strategic approach to begin with those residences most at risk. This one intitiative, applied in many countries, has reduced the overall fire death rate by 40-60% in four to five years.

Mr. Schenman and TriData Systems Planning has made available a three part study on Global Concepts in Residential Fire Safety on their webpage.

The Center for Public Safety Excellence Inc. (CPSE) is a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization established in 1996 to award accreditation to fire and emergency service agencies and to pursue scientific research and education in the public interest. In 2000 credentialing was developed to facilitate in the professional development and career planning for fire and emergency service personnel.

The Center for Public Safety Excellence primary concentration is on its accreditation and credentialing models. The accreditation model identifies and maintains optimal levels of fire and emergency services for agencies. The credentialing model elevates and sustains the professional standards for those persons responsible for managing and delivering essential fire and emergency services.

The Center for Public Safety Excellence conducts workshops and publishes materials specifically designed to achieve and maintain a continuous path for quality improvement for both fire and emergency service agencies and personnel. CPSE has a consulting service to help the fire and emergency service community meet the new public expectations to achieve and measure standards of effectiveness for the cost and methods of delivering essential fire and emergency services.