Fire Prevention Week: The CRR Super Bowl
Building your team’s playbook means identifying smart locations, securing key partnerships and getting team buy-in
There are 52 weeks in the community risk reduction (CRR) season, and you’ve finally made it to the Super Bowl – Fire Prevention Week.
Are you prepared? Is your team ready? Is your playbook up to date? Are you ready to lead your team across the goal line and straight to a Fire Prevention Week victory?
Let’s tackle these critical questions to help guide your organization onto the field and into the endzone for Fire Prevention Week 2022.
Updating the playbook
Fire Prevention Week occurs every year, so preparation should be no surprise for both the department personnel who work primarily on fire prevention and CRR and other firefighters.
A good place to start is revisiting the previous year’s plan, taking a deep dive into what worked well and what needed improvement, and making any necessary changes. As any good football coach will tell you, if the plays aren’t working it’s time for a change, and the same goes for FPW events. Keep in mind that holding the same events year after year, even if they went well, can become stale and predictable, so ensure that your plan offers innovative and exciting events.
Throughout your planning, make sure that you are communicating the plays with your team. There’s nothing worse than calling a play and no one knows where to go or what to do! Make sure you are constantly communicating with organization members, keeping them in the loop as much as possible. Planning should include online calendar requests and emails to key players prior to events, ensuring everyone is prepared and ready for action.
Lastly, keeping your playbook online, shared within the organization, can help alleviate the chance of a fumble. This also gives your team the ability to make changes, call audibles and, most importantly, gain buy-in to the scheduled Fire Prevention Week events.
Home field advantage
It’s now time to choose the location(s) for your Fire Prevention Week events. FPW is intended to be interactive, educational and a great opportunity to bring the community together to learn about the latest and greatest in fire safety. As such, members should spend time visiting locations that include large and high-risk audiences.
In the City of Myrtle Beach, for example, Fire Prevention Week 2022 will be spent at local schools educating youth on the dangers of fire. The week will kick off with a large-scale event called “Public Safety Day” held at one of South Carolina’s largest malls. Public Safety Day will include all neighboring departments and even non-fire service organizations. After all, life safety education is not a single organization’s duty; it’s a team effort. Also, why compete for attendees at separate events? One event with multiple departments will not only ensure a multitude of exhibits but also show a united public safety presence to the communities we serve.
Finally, when choosing a location for your event, ensure the site is spacious, centrally located, easy to access, and provides adequate parking for guests. Remember, no one wants to park a mile away from the stadium for the big game so they certainly don’t want to for a FPW event.
Professional football teams secure big name partnerships and sponsors for their large events, so why can’t you? It’s key to form partnerships with local businesses that could bring items and exhibits to your FPW events. These partnerships can help cut your organization’s costs by providing items such as food, crafts and even giveaways.
Each year during Fire Prevention Week activities in Myrtle Beach, S.C., multiple local businesses participate, including big name stores such as Home Depot. Home Depot brings firefighter crafts and sets up a workshop at no cost. This year’s craft allows kids to build a fire boat. This not only provides a fun exhibit for guests but also helps build a strong relationship between our organization and a local business.
Bottom line: Search for partnerships early on in your planning phase, and build a relationship with your business community that will last well beyond Fire Prevention Week.
A FPW touchdown
A successful Fire Prevention Week starts with planning, so start this process as early as possible, and don’t forget to include your team. As fire service members, we have the unique ability to bring community members in-person education on a non-emergency basis in a fun and engaging atmosphere. With that, we must ensure that we are constantly providing the best service possible to the communities we serve. Remember, don’t be afraid to make changes to the playbook and get out of your comfort zone, because new innovative ideas can keep your FPW events fresh and engaging. So set the stage, call the plays, and bring the trophy home for this year’s Fire Prevention Week Super Bowl.