October 2, 2013 – Chestermere Fire Services, Airdrie Fire Department, Cochrane Fire Services and Rocky View Fire Services have partnered to form the Regional Fire Safety Education Coalition and held the official launch at the Chinook Winds Fire Station in Airdrie on Wednesday Oct.2.
The coalition between departments was created to share resources in order to maximize the development, delivery and evaluation of strong sustainable fire safety education programs which improve the wellbeing of the communities they serve.
Although the delivery of these safety programs will differ somewhat from region to region, the key messages will remain consistent.
With the help of the corporate sponsor; ConocoPhillips, who has generously committed to provide the financial support to back these initiatives, the teams will provide three primary programs which will be introduced in the communities immediately.
The first of these programs is the After the Emergency Program which strives to have firefighter return to a community within 72 hours following a significant emergency event such as fire, flood or emergency evacuation. Crews and officers visit homes in the affected area, answering questions, and addressing any concerns.
The second program is the Community Care Packs. This is a year-round program where frontline crews will have direct access to a variety of fire education and safety information to hand out such as, smoke alarms, batteries and home checklists. They will also carry small stuffed trauma pets which are provided to children who can dramatically impacted during an incident.
The third program is the feature Home Safety Program. This program will make it possible for members of the fire departments to provide door-to-door visits with residents to complete home safety checklists and address potential fire and safety problems with the homeowners. Crews will also check and install smoke alarms and batteries as required.
The Chestermere Fire Services have a goal to visit 25% of Chestermere residents by the end of this year. They will begin by focusing on older homes and high risk areas, then branch out from there. According to Captain Brent Paquette, “It is about quality, not quantity therefore we will gladly stay [in a residence] as long as it takes to make sure what needs to be done to maintain safety is done.”
As invested partners, the four fire departments along with ConocoPhillips have joined together to learn and support each other in order to better serve their communities. Plans are already underway to continue to develop and share safety programs and bring this partnership opportunity to other communities in the area and throughout the province.