The National Fire Protection Association announced recently that Oneonta Fire and Rescue has been selected as one of 25 fire departments nationwide, and one of only two in Alabama, to participate in the pilot phase of NFPA Community Risk Assessment project. The yearlong project is designed to bring together community risk reduction (CRR) minded fire departments to build a visualization tool to provide unified information about identified risks.
Participants will use the NFPA CRA digital tool through July 31, 2020, to identify local risks to life and property. It will also include understanding underlying conditions that may contribute to those risks, activate teams to develop CRR plans, and share findings with stakeholders.
Once risks are identified, a plan is developed, implemented, and evaluated to decrease those risks. Participation in this program will likely provide some challenges, but overall, it will offer yet another tool to help make the community safer.
Oneonta Fire and Rescue has been working diligently to identify risks even before being selected as part of this pilot project. Eliminating fire fatalities is their number one mission; however, they have also offered several community outreach opportunities, such as Stop the Bleed and CPR classes, as they work to eliminate the risk.
Community Outreach Risk Reduction Officer Jonathan Ledbetter said, “Our goal as it relates to community risk education is to protect the community of Oneonta by preventing fires and addressing hazardous conditions. We plan to do this through aggressive education and outreach programs focusing on fire prevention, fall prevention, smoke alarm installation, and other topics to help make the community and citizens that we serve safer.
“Chief (Kenneth) Booth has made community risk reduction a priority and is dedicated to not only serving the citizens, but reducing the risk they encounter in their everyday lives. I would urge everyone to follow us on our Facebook page for upcoming classes and community risk reduction educational programs. Citizens are urged to email email@example.com or call 205-274-2752 if there is a risk concern in the community and you would like for us to address it.”
In the next few weeks, the fire department will begin checking smoke detectors on every emergency call they respond to. Ledbetter confirmed that if no smoke detector is found, or if one is defective, they will install a new one free of charge.
Ledbetter also wants to remind citizens they can still request the fire department to come out and check their smoke detectors. If needed, they will replace them free of charge. Citizens, both inside and outside of the city limits, can also contact Ledbetter to get new smoke detectors installed. Once contacted, Ledbetter will provide the local area fire department with the information.