Many personnel in the fire service view suppression and responding to fires as the primary job duty. Other activities, namely prevention which includes community risk reduction, are not viewed as something that should be a priority. The changing of this mindset is taking place slowly across the US Fire Service. This week we will explore the attitudes of fire service personnel in regard to prevention and community risk reduction activities.
For this week’s forum, do the following:
1) Read Line Firefighter Attitudes Towards Fire Prevention
2) Assess your fire department and the general attitude of line personnel regarding prevention and community risk reduction. In regard to organizational change, answer the following:
-If you feel your department needs improvement, list and describe two initiatives that could be implemented to improve your department’s attitude toward CRR. Explain why you think they would lead to an improved attitude toward CRR efforts.
-If you feel your department does a good job in this area, list and describe efforts that were implemented that helped to instill a positive attitude toward CRR. Explain why you feel these activities were successful at your department. (If you’re not currently on a fire department, use this option. Research a fire department online with a good CRR program, and answer the questions as if you were a member of that department.)
Please write a minimum of 250 words for your initial post due by 11:55pm ET on Thursday.
This weeks article was very interesting and I think it hit on all the marks that can be accompanied by conducting home fire safety visits. The concerns of those conducting the inspections were addressed as well. There was a significant amount of the population that would be willing to allow fire departments to conduct fire safety within the home. As far as personal safety and liability goes the article illustrated the following “Home safety visits are conducted only with the concurrence of the residents in homes. The visits are not mandatory, and not called inspections.”(Vision 20/20,p.13). This article also mentions having Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) for these inspections and addresses having low statistics on assault through data collection. Additionally, safety in conducting inspections would be as simple as being required to work in pairs/groups (2 or more) when conducting visits.
One major piece that grabbed my attention, other than the stats and the participation audience, was the section on page 13 that referred to the dentist office opposing fluoridation because it would reduce the overall business for dental offices. This isn’t something I would expect to be a concern within the fire service as the primary objectives are to save people, property, and environment. Prevention has been a growing presence over the years and I believe this type of visit could greatly reducenthe negative effects of fire or home safety hazards. The fire department may have to shoulder more duty tasks with less money and less personnel in this case but I think other tasks can be reduced or eliminated if needed. Especially, if these visits cause a reduction in fire responses.
My department conducts 100% building inspections on an annual basis, with the exception of base housing, and some facilities have a more frequent inspection occurrence. Base housing isn’t generally a high call volume statistic because all residents are forced to comply with health, safety, and fire safety standards. Every home goes though annual fire detection system checks and residents can call maintenance personnel to deal with faulty detectors, which also can result in fire department response based on resident knowledge of systems. The responses are generally due to CO detectors or smoke detectors beeping from low battery alarms. In the event we get a response we conduct a walk thru of the residence and educate the occupants on the importance of conducting monthly checks and reporting discrepancies to the housing maintenance section for repairs.
I work for the Department of Defense, more specifically the Air Force (AF), and risk management, personal safety, property conservation, and prevention are at the forefront of all resources that fall under its scope. I suppose I am fortunate in that capacity. I always tell the group of guys I work with that this career, within the AF, is a double-edged sword in regards to what we do. We all want to be active in accomplishing our jobs and gaining experience that will better prepare us, not just through training, however nobody wants to see someone lose something. For instance, nobody wants to witness a loss of life, property, or environmental damage, especially if it is a child or someone you know.
I have worked within many fire departments over the past 13 years and have witness home fire safety education within homes and directly aimed at home fire safety. In fact, the past few years for the annual fire safety message was linked pretty close to such topics and heavily focused on fire notification/detection devices in the home.
Below is a link to those that may want Annual Fire Safety Messages from NFPA.
Vision 2020. (2015). “LINE FIRE FIGHTER ATTITUDES TOWARDS FIRE PREVENTION”. Accessed July 8, 2019. http://strategicfire.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/V2020-National-FP-Survey-of-Fire-Fighters-09.10.15.pdf