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Fire Prevention – Every Parent’s Responsibility

October 14, 2012

This past week Stafford County Firefighters took time away from their regular jobs not to respond to an emergency, but for another very important task – teaching prevention. The experience of having worked over three decades in emergency service has taught me a lot of things and one thing is that not all firefighters are interested in teaching prevention.

Your first reaction might be to criticize those that don’t want to help with teaching prevention. Early in my career I did the same, but not anymore – and here’s why.

It takes a special person to put your life in danger to protect others. Furthermore, emergency service is a highly technical field that requires a plethora of knowledge and skill. Just to have what it takes to do all that is special.

For some the idea of taking on another equally broad – and vastly different – role like teaching is sometimes just not in the cards. That doesn’t diminish the importance of prevention one bit. It only makes it that more special that some do both. And it brings me to another thing I learned in my career.

Too many times I’ve witnessed tragedy that could’ve EASILY been prevented. The community response after the tragedy is usually hard-nosed with no spending limit. That’s good and bad. It’s good that prevention is now getting its due respect. It’s bad that it took a loss of life to get that respect.

And that problem brings me to another and the closing of this piece – we tend to focus our prevention efforts on children and leave out the parents. Stafford County Firefighters gave their precious time to educate children in fire safety, but many of the lessons require family involvement – such as having a plan.

I believe it’s okay that not all firefighters want to teach prevention, but it’s not okay if they are a parent. Because teaching fire prevention is EVERY PARENT’S RESPONSIBILITY.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Anonymous permalink
    October 14, 2012 8:04 pm

    Good lesson! 🙂

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