IBHS Grants Will Fund Wildfire Public Education Efforts of Volunteer Fire Departments

Tampa, Fla. (August 29, 2011) –  The Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) announced today it will provide grants of approximately $500 – $1,000 to fund Ready, Set, Go! homeowner protection (RSG) programs for small and rural volunteer fire departments.

The program, designed by the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC), teaches individuals who live in high-risk wildfire areas how to best prepare themselves and their properties. Program materials provide fire departments with the tools, resources and guidance necessary to deliver simple, actionable safety message to residents.

“The Ready, Set, Go! Program aligns perfectly with IBHS’ core mission, which is to identify and promote effective actions that strengthen homes, businesses, and communities against natural disasters and other causes of loss,” said Julie Rochman, president and CEO, IBHS. “We are very pleased and proud to be partnering with the IAFC to make sure this program can be implemented in as many communities as possible.”

The grants are designed to assist small and volunteer fire departments that are often strapped for time and resources. “Budgets are extremely tight across the country, and nobody is feeling that financial pressure more than small volunteer and rural fire departments,” Rochman said. “We hope this partnership will lead to more opportunities for the fire services and the property insurance industry to work together to make our communities safer.”

“The IAFC applauds the generosity of IBHS and their support of the hard work of small volunteer and rural fire departments across our nation,” said Chief Jack Parow, president and chairman of the board of the IAFC.  “These grants will help small departments take that extra step as they work to engage with their residents about the local threat of wildland fire and achievable personal preparedness steps.”

The grants are criteria-set and requests will be made through a formal process that is peer-reviewed to ensure effective use and need. The RSG program works in complimentary and collaborative fashion with Firewise and other existing wildland fire public education efforts to amplify their message.

The RSG Program was developed by the IAFC, with support from the U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Fire Administration (USFA), U.S. Department of the Interior, the Firewise Communities Program and IBHS.  For more information about the RSG Program, visit www.wildlandfireRSG.org.  Fire departments interested in working with their residents are encouraged to visit the site and join the program. 

To arrange an interview IBHS, contact Joseph King at 813-675-1045/813-442-2845, jking@ibhs.org or via direct message on Twitter @jsalking.

 About IBHS
IBHS is an independent, nonprofit, scientific and educational organization supported by the property insurance industry. The organization works to reduce the social and economic effects of natural disasters and other risks to residential and commercial property by conducting research and advocating improved construction, maintenance and preparation practices.

 About IAFC
The IAFC represents the leadership of firefighters and emergency responders worldwide. IAFC members are the world’s leading experts in firefighting, emergency medical services, terrorism response, hazardous materials spills, natural disasters, search and rescue, and public safety legislation. Since 1873, the IAFC has provided a forum for its members to exchange ideas, develop professionally and uncover the latest products and services available to first responders.

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