The Institution of Fire Engineers USA Branch (IFE-USA) is launching a new Web-based Vision 20/20 Fire Prevention Advocacy Toolkit that gives local fire departments the tools they need to prove the value of fire prevention in saving lives and reducing the impact of fire on a community and its economy. Available at www.strategicfire.org, this program was funded by a DHS Fire Prevention and Safety Grant to IFE-USA to demonstrate the value of investing in fire prevention in these difficult economic times.
The Vision 20/20 Fire Prevention Advocacy Toolkit was developed under one of the five Vision 20/20 strategies, Strategy 1 Fire Prevention Advocacy. This strategy is led by Alan Perdue, Emergency Services Director Guildford County (NC), a member of the Board of Directors of the International Association of Fire Chiefs and a member of the Vision 20/20 Steering Committee, and supported by Peg Carson of Carson Associates, Inc.
“In this economy, community officials and fire chiefs are confronted with tough decisions when it comes to what services to save and what services to cut,” said Perdue. “We all know that fire prevention saves lives and money, but it’s been somewhat difficult to justify these programs economically. Every day, a fire department responds to a fire every 23 seconds, someone is injured every 31 minutes, and every three hours someone dies. Annually, across the nation, fires cause $15.5 billion in property damage and these new tools can demonstrate the terrible impact that a fire can have at a local level on people, a community and its economy. A catastrophic fire can not only cause injuries and deaths, but it may also mean that businesses close their doors, resulting in losing both jobs and tax revenue. It’s really quite simple – prevention pays.”
Included in this toolkit, among others, are resources such as…
- Fire prevention advocacy strategies
- Community investment in fire prevention
- Implementing an advocacy program
- Working with the local media
- Evaluating your program’s impact
- Reaching audiences
“There has never been something like this that local fire chiefs can use to prove the value of fire prevention programs,” said Vision 20/20 Project Manager Jim Crawford. “The Vision 20/20 Fire Prevention Advocacy Toolkit gives them the information that they can use in reaching out to community leaders, city officials and other decision makers to prove the impact that fire prevention programs have in not only saving lives but making communities economically sound and viable.”
The Vision 20/20 Fire Prevention Advocacy Toolkit can be found at www.StrategicFire.org. You can also learn more by following us on Twitter @strategicfire and Facebook at www.Facebook.com/strategicfire.