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Fire Service Resources

Preventing the Preventable

It has often been used as hyperbole that there is nothing new under the sun.  When it comes to firefighting, there are many older truths which are as relevant today as they were 100 years ago.  Among these is the fact that manual fire suppression technology is and most often will be employed when there is a failure in fire prevention and life safety education.

The National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF) has embarked on a renewed effort to continue to reduce firefighter deaths and injuries through a new program known as Preventing the Preventable.  Consistent with the NFFF mission, Preventing the Preventable highlights Life Safety Initiative #14 (Public Education) and Initiative #15 (Code Enforcement and Sprinklers).

The theme of this renewed effort is simple— by preventing the incident, or mitigating the effects, we not only enhance the safety of the public, but also that of firefighters.

There is no honor in responding to an incident that could have been prevented in the first place.

The NFFF has developed a 4-hour training program which will be delivered through the Everyone Goes Home® Advocate community.  Strategies included in the course can be used to tailor a fire prevention and life safety education program to meet the needs of the specific fire department.

In order that this program be successful, fire departments must commit to making a pivotal shift toward establishing an organizational culture of prevention.  It has long been recognized that fire prevention and life safety education is an effective way to establish “fire safe” behavior among people of all ages and abilities.  However, it is not as clear that firefighters have fully embraced fire prevention and life safety education programs in the context of “self-survival.”

The NFFF believes that elevation of these programs as a priority needs to begin with proper direction and support from the fire chief, who must also aggressively seek support from:

This organizational culture of prevention must include:
This organizational culture should no longer accept:

All involved must be committed to “practicing what we preach” on a personal and professional level.

Preventing the Preventable espouses a variety of Community Risk Reduction (CRR) best practices and information, developed from Project Vision 20/20, USFA, NFPA as well as similar organizations, states, and localities whose programs are recognized as “models” among CRR leaders.  

As the program expands, participants will have web and mobile device access to: