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Fire News in Focus
by Adam K. Thiel

$8,000 safety video pays for itself

Project is more than good value if it reduces a few responses, a fire-related injury and certainly a civilian fire fatality

By Adam K. Thiel

Editor's note: With a politician in England claiming a rap song highlighting the importance of fire safety was too expensive, our Editorial Advisor Chief Adam K. Thiel gives his thoughts below.

Since criticism of this fire safety video is ostensibly about money (the non-grant funded $8,000 production cost), let's view the issue in economic terms.

What's the average cost of a fire department response to a structural fire? Adding up the cost of fuel, vehicle wear-and-tear, wages, etc., gets you pretty close to $8,000 after only a few responses.

What's the average cost of property damage in a residential home fire? Even a minor incident will cause more than $8,000 of property loss.

What's the average cost of treating a fire victim for burn injuries and smoke inhalation? $8,000 doesn't come close!

What's the average cost of a civilian fire fatality? Well, in strictly economic terms, the value of a statistical life ranges between $2 million and $9 million dollars. But I think we can all agree that to the family who loses a loved one in a fire, the cost is priceless.

Seems to me, economically-speaking, that this video more than pays for itself if it reduces: a few fire department responses; a single home fire; a fire-related injury; and certainly a civilian fire fatality.

It's simple math ...

About the author

With more than two decades in the field, Chief Adam K. Thiel FireRescue1's editorial advisor is an active fire chief in the National Capital Region and a former state fire director for the Commonwealth of Virginia. Chief Thiel's operational experience includes serving with distinction in four states as a chief officer, incident commander, company officer, hazardous materials team leader, paramedic, technical rescuer, structural/wildland firefighter and rescue diver. He also directly participated in response and recovery efforts for several major disasters including the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Tropical Storm Gaston and Hurricane Isabel.

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