News in Brief: December 2019

Fire Industry News
Community Risk Reduction (CRR) Week

By Wendy Giannini-King

Like many great ideas in the fire service, CRR Week ( was hatched over a cup of coffee. Early this year, risk reduction-minded folks from various (and very different) fire departments across the country sat down and began brainstorming a basic framework for the United States’ inaugural CRR Week. The idea is taking off! CRR Week is a national grass-roots effort developed to raise awareness within the fire service about the role of CRR and to promote using CRR concepts at the station level. Departments of every shape and size can adopt the CRR approach to make their communities and firefighters safer.


Could Community Risk Reduction Be a Suicide Preventer for First Responders?

City of Midland (TX) Fire Department: Taking an Active Role in Community Risk Reduction

All risk is local, and diversity in CRR is expected. Risks vary from department to department and, for that matter, station to station. No matter what your department looks like, CRR’s targeted approach works. No two departments’ approach to CRR Week will look exactly the same because the idea is to address your department’s specific risks.

CRR Week 2020 is set for Monday, January 20, through Sunday, January 26. The kick-off to this week incorporates Martin Luther King Day, which is designated as a national day of service, and can be a great opportunity to initiate a CRR program component, such as installing smoke alarms in your community. CRR Week encourages fire service personnel to look for opportunities to integrate CRR into their service delivery and implement interventions. Safer citizens, safer firefighters.

CRR Week is structured around the five E’s of prevention: Education, Engineering, Enforcement, Economic Response, and Emergency Response. A sample CRR Week agenda follows.

Monday: Education. Since we know that most fires occur in homes, get out there and make home safety visits. Knock on doors. Meet with homeowners to spot and remedy potential hazards in individual homes. Install smoke or carbon monoxide (CO) alarms when necessary!

Tuesday: Engineering. Take a safety walk. Visit buildings and businesses to learn more about the design of the structures and their fire protection systems. Discuss as a company and with the building management how the structure and the life safety systems impact residents, visitors, and firefighters.

Wednesday: Enforcement. Engine companies can shadow a fire inspector and learn what they are looking for and how they work with local business owners. Or, drive by local big box stores and encourage compliance in the fire lane by talking with drivers parked in the fire lane. If you can’t write a ticket, share a polite reminder about the potential fines of parking in a fire lane.

Thursday: Economic incentive. Make connections, and build partnerships. Can you find any businesses or civic groups willing to provide free or reduced-cost life safety devices such as bicycle helmets, CO alarms, car seats, or printing services?

Friday: Emergency response. Share run data and call types with your community. Perhaps canvass residences to see if the house numbers are legible from the road; explain to the homeowners that emergency response is delayed when the address cannot be easily seen from the road.

Saturday and Sunday: Volunteer efforts. Promote any of the 5 E’s in your community!

Additional information and helpful resources, including model language for a proclamation you can submit to your state governor or local administrators, can be found at and on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @CRRWeek.

Wendy Giannini-King is the Community Risk Reduction coordinator for the Wilmington (NC) Fire Department (WFD). Her inspiration comes from the firefighters with whom she works. Her goal is to create and apply strategies that reduce the number of preventable calls, which will help keep her WFD family and the city of Wilmington safer.

USFA releases 2018 Firefighter Fatality Report

In 2018, 82 firefighters died while on duty, according to the U.S. Fire Administration 2018 Firefighter Fatality Report. The breakdown is 44 volunteer, 33 career, and five wildland firefighters.

Cardiovascular events took the lives of 33 firefighters. Nine firefighters were stricken while participating in training activities, and 10 died while responding to or returning from emergency incidents. The remaining fatalities were related to activities at an emergency incident or a fire scene. The total of 82 includes 14 firefighters who died under circumstances that were part of inclusion criteria changes resulting from the Hometown Heroes Survivors Benefit Act.

The complete report may be downloaded at

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September 26. Firefighter-Paramedic Scott R. Neumann, 52, Martin County Fire Rescue, Stuart, FL: cause unknown.

October 2. Captain Paul Rotondaro, 36, CAL FIRE, Merced County Fire, Gustine, CA: motor vehicle accident.

October 4. Fire Engineer Paul Edwin Quattlebaum, 42, Lexington County (SC) Fire Service: injuries sustained from being struck by a semi-truck.

Source: USFA Firefighters Memorial Database

More Firefighter Fatalities

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