Over the last eight week’s I have honestly learned a lot. I have a new appreciation for Community Risk Reduction Programs, since I didn’t realize what the events and programs that firefighters do in their communities were. Growing up firefighters come to your school and it is a fun distraction from the classroom, but it is a CRR event to spread the word on fire safety. I also have a larger appreciation for fire departments, yes, I knew they did a lot for the community, but until this class it seemed more fire related and not about utilizing the communities help to prevent fires.
While I currently don’t have a career in a fire department, when I do, I hope they have an amazing Community Risk Reduction Program. This class has taught me how important it is to reach out to the communities in the area to gain support in many ways for the fire departments. I would want a CRR Program that would target as many age groups, demographics, and the greatest number of people it could. To bring the community together and lower the risks would be a huge goal in a fire department I was a part of.
If Community Risk Reduction remains an important part of the US Fire Service, it can help communities. I think CRR will eventually grow enough for every fire department out there to have a good program. I believe that eventually every fire department can have the budget and staff for a good CRR program. I hope fire departments individually and collectively advocate for a CRR program in every fire department. There will always be community risks, but a CRR Program helps lower them.
I thought I knew the basics of a community risk reduction program and what the process was to successfully run the program. However, there is more to it than just identifying the risks associated in your jurisdiction and ways to minimize emergencies with those risks. However, with the required reading these past 8 weeks, there is a lot to the program and ensure you are reducing risks, not just risks that you have identified.
For instance, the Vision 20/20 website provides a detailed outline of possible ways to reduce risks. Risks that can be determined by analyzing data from previous months emergency responses and finding trends. Trends that can include the type of response, or the area of responsibility, or even the time of day majority of responses are taking place. Taking the results from this data you can collaborate with your department and find ways to educate the public in order to reduce these risks.
Fortunately, my department already captures this data through the use of our database supplied by the DoD. This information is captured and included in our Standard Of Coverage report. I believe with the continued advancement in technology as well as new construction, our risk reduction program will continue to change. In addition, the continued arrival of new military folks and families, we will have to continue to educate. Sadly, a new regulation has arrived that suggests for fire extinguishers to be removed in sprinklered facilities. This, however, is with approval of the Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) which would be the fire chief. This would ultimately reduce the number of fire extinguisher training that is conducted at our fire station. We will also have to ensure that if approved, we educate the masses on fire reporting procedures and what to do in the event the fire suppression system is out of service.