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The Next Public Fire and Life Safety Blitz will be?

The next Blitz will be in Camilla, Georgia the week of 9th -11th Sept 2008. Travel day will be that Tuesday.

How the Public Fire and Life Safety Blitz come about!

During a period of 15 months in 1991 and 1992, fire related injuries killed 15 Polk County citizens.  The knowledge that there were areas in the state that had little or no fire safety education "spurred" the Georgia Public Safety Educators (formerly known as the Georgia Coalition of Public Fire Safety Educators) to begin conducting fire safety education programs in all area schools.  The blitz is designed to assist  local fire services in their education process and introduce them to alternative teaching methods. The first blitz during April 1993 was held in Polk County.
Now, public fire and life safety educators hold semi-annual safety blitzes to encourage fire departments to implement and/or strenghten their prevention programs.  Held in areas that have a high rate of preventable injuries, deaths, or an educational need, the association has since 1993, traveled the state of Georgia providing prevention education to fire departments in need.  Each fall and spring, the association studies statistical data, fire department requests, and educational needs throughout the state before deciding where to conduct the blitz.

What is a Public Fire and Life Safety Blitz?

Teams of firefighters/educators leave their everyday uniform at home to become puppeteers, clowns, and support staff.  Spending approximately one to two hours in each school, the children and adults are educated and entertained at the same time through alternative teaching methods such as clown safety skits, puppet shows and audience participation.  During the blitz week, a family safety night is held in a local shopping center so the general public can attend and learn the prevention measures they can take to prevent tragedy in their lives.

The Blitz is held during a 1 to 3 day period depending on the number of students and schools to be visited. Approximately 30-50 volunteers from across the state make up the blitz staff, assisting in whatever capacity needed.

Programs presented are:  Matches and Lighters, Stop, Drop and Roll, Cool Running Water, Smoke Alarms, "Edith" or Exit Drills In The Home, Calling "9-1-1" or the local emergency number, Seat Belt Safety, Child Safety Restraints, Fatal Vision/Safe and Sober and much more.

John W. Oxendine Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner, along with local fire departments, loan Fire Safety Houses and driver/operators which are placed at each school.  Each child is given the opportunity to participate in the Fire Safety House Tours.  These houses are also available during the family night event.

Georgia Firefighter's Burn Foundation not only provides accommodations and meals but provides personnel, educational literature and equipment such as the "Hazard House" for use during family night.

Georgia Fire Academy, and fire departments from across the state loan personnel and equipment to the association to make up the blitz show and support staff.

The cost to the local fire department hosting the blitz is almost non-existant as our staff is made up of firefighters and fire safety educators who volunteer their time and equipment with the support of their departments.  For the last 10 years, the Georgia Firefighters Burn Foundation has provided hotel accommodations for these volunteers.  Meals are usually provided by the hosting department and the Georgia Firefighters Burn Foundation..

A New Trend!

Over the last several years, a growing trend has been occurring in public education for the fire service.  Fire departments are no longer teaching fire safety education alone.  Life safety education has also become an integral part of our jobs and responsibilities.  Fire departments will always work to reduce fire injuries and deaths but are also working to reduce preventable deaths and injuries.

One of the biggest additions is child safety restraints.  Many departments are now "fitting stations" where the citizens may bring the child safety restraint (car seat) and learn how to install it properly.  Many agencies are  now acquiring the "Fatal Vision/Safe & Sober program".
We are beginning to  hold "Safety Seat Checks" during our family night events at the blitzes depending on safety seat technicians availability.

What is the cost of a Blitz?

How to volunteer?

Volunteers must be a member in good standing with the Georgia Public Safety Educator's Association.  We use as many local volunteers as possible.  This not only keeps lodging costs down but insures that local departments have staff on hand to learn and implement programs into their communities.