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Virtual LAMP POST
October 16, 2009
IN THIS ISSUE:
| || |
· Best Practices Report Part 1 (PDF)
· Best Practices Report Part 2 (PDF)
· Best Practices Report Part 3 (PDF)
Fire officials in the State of
A new "best practices" report shows virtually the entire world does a far better job at reducing fire causalities than the
The final installment of a three-year study examining how 10 nations handle fire prevention in their countries was recently released. The report, commissioned by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), was researched and written by System Planning Corporation's TriData Division in
"It's not that other nations are doing anything that we haven't tried, it's just that the scale in which they do it is just spectacular compared to what we do here in the United States," said Schaenman, who in the late 1970s and early 1980s, served as the U.S. Fire Administrator in charge of the National Fire Data Center.
"Unfortunately, our fire service has not been excited about prevention."
But that, Schaenman says, has to change if the
The report, totaling more than 300 pages, was rolled out in three parts since 2007. Part I looks at best practices in Europe (
Since the report has been available, it's been downloaded 12,000 times, according to James M. Kudla, System Planning Corporation vice president of communications.
One of the most exciting things about the report, according to Schaenman, is that the best practices identified could help reduce fire deaths and injuries in the
By way of example in
"It proved that fire education worked," Schaenman said. "It proved the wrong thing for them, but it was very interesting."
For the British negotiating with the firefighters, it gave them the opportunity to push the rank and file into fire prevention. Schaenman said the firefighters were offered a 17 percent raise with the understanding the rank and file were going to have to do more "white collar" fire prevention work.
"Fire prevention became part of their job," he said.
Schaenman said firefighters in the
"We're going to have to reduce some of the work load we expect of firefighters and increase other duties," he said. "There are a lot of best practices that are doable here and doable without any increase in cost."
Some firefighters in
Another big trend Schaenman discovered was developed nations partnering with social service agencies, such as Meals on Wheels and similar organizations that have people in homes of high risk populations, like the elderly.
"They're in touch with the real shut-ins, the high risk populations," he said. Those agencies report to the fire departments hazards and unsafe conditions for fire department intervention before fatal fires occur.
The report reveals that kids in
"It turns out students in
There are some technological best practices out there too that help prevent fire deaths, he said.
Unattended food burning on a stove is another leading cause of fatal fires and, Schaenman said there are devices in
For the very high risk elderly and shut-ins who may have physical disabilities that make it difficult to evacuate in the event of fires, Europeans have portable temporary sprinkler systems that can be installed in the person's home for $2,000 to $3,000. When the person dies of natural causes, or moves, the system can be installed in another person's home for protection, he said.
"That is just spectacular," Schaenman said, noting that it took 10 years to pass the legislation.
Other highlights from the report include information about mobile home safety fire vans used in
And Schaenman is convinced that education, provided by the rank and file firefighters, is the most effective tool the
"They are very interested in it which is very encouraging," he said. "They recognize its importance."
There are literally hundreds of ideas in the report -- some are familiar in the
"Much of what we found can be adapted to the
Schaenman, who has been studying and researching the fire service for more than three decades, is convinced that real progress in fire safety can be made in the
"We can save many lives in the
The United States Fire Administration recommends everyone should have a comprehensive fire protection plan that includes smoke alarms, residential sprinklers, and practicing a home fire escape plan.
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