Fire Corps Director Hired

Friday, 03 December 2004

Contact: Shawn P. Stokes
202-887-4809


U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge addresses the first meeting of the Fire Corps National Advisory Committee. Seated to the left of the Secretary are Chief R. David Paulison, United States Fire Administrator, R. Wayne Powell, US Fire Administration, and Philip C. Stittleburg, Chairman of the National Volunteer Fire Council. (Photo credit: Barry Bahler)

Washington, DC – The Fire Corps partners announced the official launch of the Fire Corps program on December 9, 2004. Fire Corps was created to support fire departments across the country by leveraging community volunteer efforts to handle non-emergency activities. Actively involving citizens in a non-emergency role will enable highly trained fire service personnel to focus more fully on acute emergency tasks. What's more, citizen advocates will help expand educational outreach to all residents about ways in which they can help protect themselves, their families, and their communities from fire hazards. Fire Corps will also educate fire departments and fire service organizations on how to involve citizens in these non-emergency activities.

As a Program Partner of President George W. Bush's grass-roots initiative Citizen Corps, Fire Corps will work through local Citizen Corps Councils across the country to offer citizens education, training, and volunteer opportunities. Fire Corps is a partnership between the International Association of Fire Chiefs' Volunteer Combination Officers Section (VCOS), the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF), the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC), and the Department of Homeland Security's US Fire Administration and Office of State and Local Government Preparedness and Coordination.

"By partnering with the fire community to create Fire Corps, we will offer citizens in every neighborhood across America an opportunity to support their local firehouse," said Tom Ridge, Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security during remarks to the Fire Corps National Advisory Committee. "Citizen volunteers can have an impact in a variety of ways. Some may choose to spread the word about fire prevention or educate the community on fire safety or help with routine administrative tasks. But all in choosing to serve will give firefighters more time and resources to pursue their critical, highly skilled responsibilities on the front lines of emergency response -- where they are needed most."

Fire Corps volunteer activities may include assisting fire department personnel with administrative duties, performing education and outreach efforts to encourage fire safety and prevention, supporting CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) training in emergency preparedness and basic response techniques, and other non-suppression activities unique to rural and urban areas.

"Across this nation, we are keenly aware of people with a strong desire to serve their communities and contribute their time and skills to support homeland security, and in particular their local firefighters," said Chief R. David Paulison, U.S. Fire Administrator, Department of Homeland Security. "When firefighters can stand side by side with citizens in promoting fire prevention and general safety efforts, and are able to invite citizens to assist with non emergency responsibilities, the overall security and safety of their community is greatly enhanced."

Prior to the launch event, Fire Corps hosted its first meeting of the Fire Corps National Advisory Committee. The Committee brings together fire service organizations to help provide strategic direction for the Fire Corps program. Members of the Committee include the Congressional Fire Services Institute (CFSI), the Fire Department Safety Officers Association (FDSOA), the International Association of Arson Investigators (IAAI), the International Association of Black Professional Fire Fighters (IABPFF), the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC), the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF), the International Fire Service Training Association (IFSTA), the International Society of Fire Service Instructors (ISFSI), the National Association of Hispanic Firefighters (NAHF), the National Association of State Fire Marshals (NASFM), the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC), the North American Fire Training Directors (NAFTD), the Volunteers In Police Service (VIPS), and the Women in the Fire Service (WFSI).

Additionally, the Committee also serves as the Fire Service Subcommittee of the National Citizen Corps Council.

Fire Corps is coordinated nationally by the National Volunteer Fire Council and is a Program Partner of Citizen Corps, the Department of Homeland Security's grass-roots effort to actively involve everyone in making communities across America safer, stronger, and better prepared for emergencies of all kinds. Please visit www.firecorps.org to learn more about Fire Corps.

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