Fire Prevention Planning
You’re right —this isn’t fire prevention month.
But planning for the week in October that’s the focus of many of our annual fire prevention activities should start now. To have high impact in your district, fire prevention activities should be imaginative, identifiable, relevant, educational, somewhat entertaining, and accepted by most of your public. That requires a great deal of planning. We can no longer afford merely to open the fire house doors for seven days each year and rely on our citizens to wander in. There they would only receive a sketchy message from an unprepared firefighter who, in reality, wishes the detail was over.
The changing image and measure of the fire service’s worth to those budget-conscious skeptics demands that we expand our roles; we must have more interaction with the public. There are many truly entertaining and educational programs that effectively cover all aspects of fire prevention from many sides. They have been designed by people just like you and have proven their worth.
We don’t have to rely only on canned, purchased programs delivered in a voice that is not our local sound, though it may be a good place to start. The nation’s fire departments, from the largest metropolitan to the smallest rural, have “knocked out” their populace with innovative and valuable programs that get the message across. Many of these programs are profiled within the pages of fire service publications that you receive from national and local sources. I’m sure that all of the departments with successful fire prevention programs would enjoy assisting others in taking that first giant step toward dynamic community involvement.
The name of the game is communication. So why not communicate?
The how’s, why’s, when’s, and who’s of these programs are readily available. The frustrations of lesson-gathering and problem-solving, the failures and successes, are all yours for the asking.
If your fire prevention activities need help, reach out to those who have “pulled it off in spades.” Communicate! Don’t reinvent the wheel. Isn’t that how the fire service family should operate?