When a fire starts, every second counts. Fire extinguishers can help save lives when used quickly and effectively. Yet an astonishing 70% of fire extinguisher owners say they would not be comfortable using an extinguisher in the event of a fire according to recent research. For this reason, First Alert and the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) have developed a new fire extinguisher training course for volunteer fire departments nationwide, supplemented by an extinguisher donation program for community outreach initiatives. Called “Home Fire Preparedness: Fire Extinguisher Best Practices,” the course educates volunteer fire department personnel about the role fire extinguishers can play in fire safety, and how proper extinguisher placement and maintenance can help reduce the risk of severe fire incidents. Cooking fires are the leading cause of home fires, with ranges or cooktops accounting for 63% of home fire incidents according to the National Fire Protection Association. Many small kitchen fires could likely be resolved with a fire extinguisher if caught early. home safety plan The training provides insight about the different types of fire extinguishers and when and how to use them However, research revealed 50% of fire extinguisher owners have never operated one, while 60% of respondents stated they would very likely use one in the event of a fire. “Operating a fire extinguisher can make people feel uneasy, which is why First Alert provides tools to help educate the community through local fire departments,” said Tarsila Wey, director of marketing for First Alert, a trusted brand in home safety. “Fire extinguishers are an integral part of a home safety plan, along with smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) alarms and having – and practicing – an escape plan.” The training provides insight about the different types of fire extinguishers, when and how to use them, and detailed information on proper maintenance and appropriate placement of fire extinguishers. Participants will also learn the importance of knowing when not to use an extinguisher, but to instead call 911 and exit the home safely. This training will enable volunteer firefighters to educate their community on how to properly and safely use this important line of defense. In the home, a simple way to remember how to operate a fire extinguisher is with the acronym PASS: Pull the pin on the extinguisher Aim the nozzle low toward the base of the fire Squeeze the trigger Sweep the nozzle from side-to-side CO alarm installations To complement the training, First Alert donated 500 rechargeable 1-A:10-B:C fire extinguishers to volunteer fire departments to help them make an immediate impact in their communities. Departments that receive the extinguishers are part of the NVFC’s Fire Corps program, which utilizes community volunteers to assist resource-constrained fire departments with non-operational tasks such as community education and smoke and CO alarm installations. “The education provided in this fire extinguisher course, combined with First Alert’s donation, helps our volunteer departments keep communities safe,” said NVFC Chair Steve Hirsch. “We are thankful for the commitment our volunteer firefighters make to keep their own neighbors safe from threats of fire and carbon monoxide.” The “Home Fire Preparedness: Fire Extinguisher Best Practices” course is now available in the NVFC Virtual Classroom. The course will be free for the first 500 participants, compliments of First Alert.
The National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC), an organization representing the volunteer fire, emergency medical, and rescue services, has been awarded a federal Fire Prevention & Safety (FP&S) grant from FEMA to focus on responder behavioral health initiatives. The $278,900 grant will allow the NVFC to develop new tools and resources to help volunteers who are experiencing issues impacting their mental wellbeing. Need For Support Services And Resources Firefighters have a high rate of many behavioral health issues, including PTSD, depression, and addiction. The Firefighter Behavioral Health Alliance reports that more firefighters and EMS providers die from suicide each year than in the line of duty. To address the need for support services and resources, the NVFC launched the Share the Load program in 2014. This program includes outreach materials to raise awareness about the signs, symptoms, and options for those in need of support as well as a toll-free helpline that responders and their families can call for help with any behavioral health issue. Tools And Training With the new grant, the NVFC will be able to expand the Share the Load program by working to further reduce the stigma in the fire service surrounding behavioral health as well as make support more accessible. Firefighters and EMS providers experience things on a regular basis that can significantly impact their mental wellbeing" Working with partners including the American Psychological Association, the NVFC will develop tools and training for departments to help them create psychologically healthy workplaces. A national directory will also be created of counselors, psychologists, and other qualified healthcare providers who have experience working with first responders. Health And Safety Initiatives “Firefighters and EMS providers experience things on a regular basis that can significantly impact their mental wellbeing,” said NVFC Chair Steve Hirsch. “Having tools and resources to help them cope with the challenges and get assistance if needed is critical in supporting our nation’s fire and emergency services. We thank FEMA for awarding us this grant so that we can continue to help departments address behavioral health and provide real solutions to our brothers and sisters in need.” The FP&S grant is awarded by FEMA to support projects that enhance the safety of the public and firefighters from fire and related hazards. Previous FP&S grants have assisted the NVFC in developing and implementing groundbreaking health and safety initiatives including the Share the Load program, Heart-Healthy Firefighter Program, Serve Strong outreach campaign, and cancer awareness and risk reduction resources.
Anheuser-Busch will deliver approximately 300,000 cans of emergency drinking water to 26 of the country’s volunteer fire departments, in partnership with the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC), to provide critical hydration to first responders in advance of wildfire season. Anheuser-Busch announced the expansion of its 30-year-old emergency drinking water program in April, and has committed to donating one million cans of clean drinking water in support of volunteer fire departments in 2019. “Eighty-three percent of the nation’s fire departments, which protect our communities from hazards of all kinds, are all- or mostly-volunteer,” said Steve Hirsch, Chair of the NVFC. “Funding for needed resources is a constant challenge for many of these departments, making this donation even more important as it directly supports the health and safety of our firefighters and the communities they serve.” Delivering water to vulnerable markets We have utilized our production strengths to can water throughout the year to support communities at a moment's notice"To officially kick off the expanded program, the brewer has worked closely with the NVFC to identify and select some of the most vulnerable markets across the country to receive this initial water delivery to help prepare for the upcoming wildfire season. “As the country faces more natural disasters, like wildfires, preparation plays a major role in ensuring fire departments across the country have the resources they need to protect their friends and neighbors,” said Adam Warrington, Vice President of Corporate Social Responsibility at Anheuser-Busch. “In the same way, we have utilized our production strengths to can water throughout the year to support our communities at a moment's notice; these water donations – in advance of wildfire season – will provide critical hydration to help our nation’s volunteer firefighters stand ready for our communities in times of need.” Supporting volunteer departments nationwide The program will also implement a rapid-response approach to support volunteer departments nationwide actively fighting wildfires throughout the year. Starting in June, volunteer fire departments across the U.S. will be able to request Anheuser-Busch emergency drinking water through the NVFC for their immediate or upcoming wildfire response needs. Through their local wholesaler partners, and in connection with the NVFC, Anheuser-Busch will be delivering emergency drinking water to the following volunteer fire departments this week: Arizona: Pinal Rural Fire & Medical District (Mammoth, AZ) Arizona: Hayden Volunteer Fire Department (Hayden, AZ) California: Mi Wuk Sugar Pine Fire Protection District (Twain Harte, CA) California: Suisun City Firefighters Association Inc. (Suisun City, CA) California: Graton Fire Department (Sebastopol, CA) California: Geyserville Volunteer Firefighters Association (Geyserville, CA) Colorado: Southwest Washington County Fire Protection District (Anton, CA) Colorado: Brush Volunteer Fire Department (Brush, CO) Colorado: Hillrose Snyder Volunteer Fire Department (Hillrose, CO) Idaho: Donnelly Rural Fire Protection District (Donnelly, ID) Iowa: Harlan Fire Department (Harlan, IA) Kansas: Girard Fire Department (Girard, KS) Kansas: Linn County Rural Fire Department (Pleasanton, KS) Massachusetts: Carver Fire Department (Carver, MA) Montana: South Kalispell Volunteer Fire Department (Kaispell, MT) Nebraska: Chadron Volunteer Fire Department (Chadron, NE) Nevada: Lovelock Volunteer Fire Department (Lovelock, NV) New Hampshire: Brookline Fire Department (Brookline, NH) Oklahoma: Darwin Volunteer Fire Department (Antlers, OK) Oklahoma: Konawa Volunteer Fire Department (Konawa, OK) Oregon: Ontario Fire & Rescue (Ontario, OR) South Dakota: Rockerville Volunteer Fire Department (Rapid City, SD) Texas: Hallsville Volunteer Fire Department (Hallsville, TX) Texas: Edinburg Fire Department (Edinburg, TX) Washington: Grant County Fire District 3 (Quincy, WA) Wyoming: Goose Valley Fire Department (Sheridan, WY) Providing help during natural disasters Anheuser-Busch has a longstanding tradition of providing emergency drinking water and supplies for disaster relief efforts in partnership with the American Red Cross. Every year, the brewer periodically pauses beer production to can emergency drinking water, to be ready to lend a helping hand during natural disasters and other crises. Since 1988, Anheuser-Busch and their wholesaler partners have provided more than 80 million cans of water to U.S. communities affected by natural disasters nationwide.