You hear a knock at the door. Who is it you ask yourself, probably just another salesperson ready to tell you their sales pitch. Actually, it’s your local fire departments firefighter trying to discuss some fire safety tips. How effective can this actually be though? Jane Jerrard (2011) states “the Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service in the UK has reduced fire deaths by close to 60% in the 10 years they’ve focused on home visits” (para. 3). However, this article is not just about the success of the door-to-door firefighter.
Jane Jerrard covers the Vision 20/20 and how it was created to assist departments and their CRR. Jerrard (2011) provides an example of two different sized departments by sharing:
“Some departments are more sophisticated than others, and have [staff with expertise] in doing risk assessments. But if you don’t have those resources, you can still do an assessment informally. Just ask the firefighters about the area they’re called to the most. They already know the risk picture; after that, the steps are the same” (para. 5).
The article goes on to talk about the committee of the Vision 20/20 program and how they have funds to visit five departments annually. The article is summed up by discussing the possibilities of technology such as iPads during the aforementioned door-to-door visits. Having documents electronic alleviates the needs to print/organize and then go back to the department and type in what was handwritten. For more information regarding the Vision 20/20 program, the website is https://www.strategicfire.org/
Jerrard, J. (2011, October 01). Community Risk Reduction through Vision 20/20. Retrieved from https://www.firerescuemagazine.com/articles/print/volume-6/issue-10/fire-prevention-and-education/community-risk-reduction-through-vision-20-20.html
This article is very recent (6/9/19) and was written by Brent Faulkner and published on the International Fire Chiefs Association website. The title caught my eye and after reading it I think the point Faulkner is making is very relevant. Essentially the author is stating that Community Risk Reduction should be a part of all the departments responsibility as opposed to being lumped in with only the staffing and budget that is allotted to fire prevention. Typically, the operations section of the budget represents a huge majority and if the CRR responsibilities are grouped with only fire prevention it gives everyone in operations license to ignore any involvement in CRR, which should not be the case. The goal should be for all the members of the fire service to work together as a unit to advance CRR programs and protect the community.
I chose this article because when I looked through the local fire department budget I noticed the imbalance and the vast majority of the funding and staffing was directed to operations. On many levels this makes sense, but fire prevention and CRR are also important to the health of the department overall and it seems like it makes the most sense for each member of the whole department to take ownership of their role in fire prevention in the community and move those programs forward together using their combined resources and influence.
It seems that the hot topic on the internet dealing with Community Risk Reduction is the Vision 20/20. The great thing about this is that it is made up of people from all over the United States. The program is to reduce everything through education.
The Vision 20/20 project is defining Community Risk Reduction as a process to identify and prioritize local risks(CRR). By training and certifying the local fire departments to conduct thorough risk assessments you greatly increase their power in receiving grants and other monetary donations to use towards risk reduction. The money is going to be easier to account for if you know exactly where you need it to go.
Also through this project, the training that you will get will make sure that everyone is looking at the same things. There is nothing worse than going somewhere with five different people and you come out with five different things because no one is looking for either the same things, or the right things. We can not assume that everyone knows what to look for in prevention. We all have our own ideas, but this project will train you what to look for and how to get down in the weeds.
It is also always updating, with the first meeting in 2008 they have since grown and expanded. Making the United States a much safer place. To see the fire departments getting out into the community is a great change from where we were 20 or 30 years ago.
CRR, retrieved from http://riskreduction.strategicfire.org/introduction/community-risk-reduction/
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