Campus Firewatch Radio Features Fire Corps

Tuesday, 10 July 2007

Podcast available on Firehouse.com

Dayna Hilton, Public Educator for Johnson County Rural Fire District (RFD) #1 in Clarksville, AR, participated in a podcast live from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) World Safety Conference & Exposition in Boston, MA. The segment, recorded for Campus Firewatch Radio, featured several important topics relevant to fire safety on college campuses.

Hilton discussed how local Fire Corps programs can utilize college students to assist the department in its fire safety programming. Johnson County RFD #1 started its Fire Corps by recruiting students from the nearby University of the Ozarks in 2005 and has seen tremendous results within the community. Once Hilton had her department’s support, she approached the University’s chapter of Phi Beta Lambda (PBL) with her idea to develop a Fire Corps program within their organization. PBL consists mostly of students with business-related majors, and each chapter typically adopts a community service project. "What’s neat about PBL is that one of the aims of their organization is that they serve their community in some way," said Hilton. "So it was a really nice fit."

In the interview, Hilton encouraged other departments to take advantage of nearby colleges to gain assistance for their Fire Corps programs. Johnson County RFD #1 utilizes the students mainly for public education activities, but Hilton was quick to point out that students are also available for any other needs that a department may have, such as web site development. Hilton described the PBL Fire Corps members as instrumental in the community’s Kidsfest Safety Fair because of their "marketing and promotion expertise that I know I do not have."

Hilton provided listeners with a blueprint for involving colleges with Fire Corps. The first step is to gain support from the department. Next, determine how the program will operate, what needs the department has, and what kind of tasks the volunteers can perform. Approaching a college through their student life office will offer opportunities to learn which campus organizations share goals similar to the fire or EMS department. After finding an organization that is willing and able to help, Hilton stresses that cultivating the relationship and showing gratitude for the students’ efforts are the keys to a successful college Fire Corps program.

To listen to the Podcast, visit http://dynamic.firehouse.com/broadcast/2007/07/09/campus-firewatch-radio/. Hilton’s interview occurs in the second half of the program. To learn more about the Johnson County RFD#1 Fire Corps program, email Hilton at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

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