New free recruitment video available from FIRE 20/20

FIRE 20/20, a nonprofit helping fire and EMS to recruit and retain qualified, diverse, inclusive and safe firefighters and paramedics, will make available their new targeted recruitment video called ‘Why I Chose Fire’ to fire departments and college fire science programs beginning on September 18, 2008 at no cost.

The six-minute, upbeat video is designed to educate, inspire and motivate 15-21 year old women of all cultures and men of color to explore a career as a firefighter and paramedic. ‘Why I Chose Fire’ features animation, popular music and interviews with diverse firefighters and paramedics talking about why they love their jobs.

Fire Departments will be able to freely stream or fill out a form to download one copy of the “Why I Chose Fire” video and a User Guide at no charge beginning on September 18, 2008 from the FIRE 20/20 Web site, http://www.fire2020.org/WhyIChoseV.html. For a small fee, fire departments can work with FIRE 20/20 to customize the opening of the program with their logo, contact information, and message from their chief.

“We learned in a recent research study in Seattle, Milwaukee and Austin that many young men of color and women of all cultures in our communities were simply unaware of what a great career the fire service provides,” said Larry Sagen, Executive Director and Founder of FIRE 20/20. “We created ‘Why I Chose Fire’ as a tool that fire and EMS departments can integrate into their recruitment programs and use when they speak to schools, youth organizations and community groups.”

The International Association of Fire Chiefs has endorsed the program. “We are committed to recruiting and retaining a qualified, diverse, safe and competent fire service. Our Human Resources Committee and our Board of Directors have reviewed FIRE 20/20’s ‘Why I Chose Fire’ video. We feel it is an excellent piece that articulates key recruitment messages,” said Steven Westermann, IAFC Immediate Past President.

Fireengineering.com, International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC), National Association of Hispanic Firefighters (NAHF), Black Woman in the Fire Service and Fire & Emergency Services Higher Education (FESHE) and numerous other orgranizations and magazines will help to distribute the link to fire and EMS departments; community colleges and universities that teach fire science, EMT and paramedic programs; fire academies and Explorer and cadet programs.

“Why I Chose Fire” is made possible by generous support from Lion Apparel (www.lionapparel.com), Scott Health and Safety (www.scotthealthsafety.com), TenCate/Southern Mills (www.tencate.com) and PBI Performance Products, Inc. (www.pbigold.com).

FIRE 20/20 is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit based in Bremerton, Washington. In 2007, FIRE 20/20 completed a DHS Fire Prevention and Safety Research & Development Grant studying firefighter and civilian safety in multicultural communities. FIRE 20/20 also completed the first ‘Diversity by Rank’ survey collecting diversity numbers in 108 of the metro departments. Findings have been presented at major conferences and are available on FIRE 20/20’s site at www.fire2020.org/MHSRP.html. For more information contact info@fire2020.org.

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