Cincinnati Fire Department Meeting to Discuss Strategies for Community Risk Reduction

A meeting of a dozen local and national organizations was held at Cincinnati Fire Department headquarters on March 6 to discuss a collaborative approach to improving fire safety in the aftermath of the January 1 fire that claimed the lives of University of Cincinnati seniors Ellen Gardner and Chad Kohls.

The meeting was initiated by the Institution of Fire Engineers-USA Branch Vision 20/20 project’s Quick Response Team (QRT), which is designed to provide assistance to communities in the aftermath of significant, tragic fires. Vision 20/20 has been actively involved in helping to develop Community Risk Reduction (CRR) programs in a number of communities over the past 3 years and the QRT is a new mechanism to assist communities when a tragedy strikes. The QRT project is funded by a grant from the Department of Homeland Security Fire Prevention and Safety grant program.

The goal of CRR is to encourage partnerships between the fire department and social service organizations in doing community outreach. By creating these partnerships, it is possible to serve a broader demographic with home fire safety visits that focus on identifying and addressing the most serious issues facing the people of the community. The organizations that took part in this meeting included:

    American Red Cross
    Cincinnati Fire Department
    Cincinnati Community Development/Building Official
    Cincinnati Police Department
    Cincinnati Vice-Mayor’s Office
    Cleveland Fire Department
    Fathers for Fire Safety
    Institution of Fire Engineers-USA Branch
    Ohio State Fire Marshal’s Office
    University of Cincinnati
    Xavier University

“By bringing these community partners together, a strong coalition can be built that will help improve community safety,” said Ed Comeau, the project manager for the IFE Vision 20/20 QRT project.  “This meeting served as a catalyst for discussions on preventing future tragedies such as the fire that claimed the lives of Ellen and Chad.”
“It was incredibly encouraging to have all of these organizations come together with such a common goal of making our city safer,” said Cincinnati Fire Chief Richard Braun. “Fire safety is the primary mission of the men and women of the fire department, but by partnering with others, we can reach even more people with information and smoke alarms that will save their lives.”

2011 United States Fire Facts according to the National Fire Protection Association

    3,005: civilian fire deaths
    17,500: civilian fire injuries
    61: number of fire fighter deaths
    1,400,000: number of fires reported
    $11,700,000,000: property damage caused by fire
    2/3: Number of fatal fires without a working smoke alarm
    23 seconds: A fire department responds to a fire
    65 seconds: A structure fire is reported
    30 minutes: Someone is injured in a fire
    2 hours and 55 minutes: Someone dies in a fire
    Cooking: Leading cause of home fires
    Smoking: Leading cause of home fire deaths

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