Be Firesmart – Involving Youth
The Firewise Community –Involving Youth, Making your community wise about Fire
Today’s article will be about the importance of education when starting a Firewise community. In large part, the focus of that education has been the homeowners and other adult members of the community who have some stake in your community’s development and its safety. But, as with so many of life’s lessons, Fire preventive principles and practices are most effective when they are ingrained early on.
Involving youth in your Fire preventive efforts can prove very rewarding. You gain the benefit of youthful energy and enthusiasm, while establishing roots that can run deep, making the foundation of your Fire preventive community all that stronger.
Several communities across the U.S. have successfully involved their youngest members, from a community in Minn. whose teens helped conduct home surveys, to a YMCA camp that helped develop a Fire camp curriculum, to a Girl Scout’s badge that promotes learning Fire prevention practices. Your community can also benefit from involving children and teens in your Fire prevention plans.
As you plan your activity for the coming year, consider how you might involve the younger members of your community. Middle school-age children and teens often have experience with many of the skills used in a Firewise community, and they relish the challenge of demonstrating that they can contribute in meaningful ways. From a physical standpoint, even younger children are often capable of handling a rake or piling limbs and other green waste. Older children can operate machinery such as clippers and mowers. Plus, children are typically quick studies and have terrific ideas about how to tackle a problem, if they are engaged and empowered to do so.
Finally, once you have established a project, following are some tips that can help assure its success:
*Advertise to get volunteers
*Have the community (church or Auxiliary) provide water and food for the volunteers
*Request that volunteers sign in and out so you can accurately capture the volunteer hours
*Contact local media and invite them to your workday to get the Firewise word out.
If you have a story to tell about your community efforts or think you have a unique activity that could benefit the City of Madison, please share the info with us here at the Fire station or send me a email to JUANWILLIAMS866@AOL.COM.
THIS FIRE PREVENTION PLAN WAS BROUGHT TO YOU BY YOUR FRENDLY NEIGHBORS AT MADISON FIRE AND RESCUE