Since 1941, the Rock Community Fire Protection District (RCFPD) has worked diligently to protect its community through training, education, and fire prevention. To help carry out this mission, the RCFPD began its Fire Corps program in December 2004 and recently joined efforts with the Jefferson County Citizen Corps (JCCC). Together, the RCFPD and the JCCC have enacted a plan to expand its programming to provide greater assistance to the fire and emergency services and increase preparedness in Missouri.

The RCFPD Fire Corps program was awarded Citizen Corps grant funding to obtain propane-fueled burn pan props for all 16 fire agencies in Jefferson County. They plan to launch a county-wide Fire Corps awareness campaign with media involvement to publicize the burn pans. The burn pans, which are used to simulate live fires for training purposes, will be given to each fire agency once that agency has registered its Fire Corps. "The propane fuel is much safer to use and contain during portable fire extinguisher training," explained Stephen Orr, P.I.E.R. Officer with the RCFPD and President of the Jefferson County Citizen Corps.

"We have all the agencies sign a Statement of Affiliation endorsing Fire Corps and its mission," continued Orr. "They must then register on the national Fire Corps web site to let others know about their respective Fire Corps programs, and then they are eligible to receive their burn pan and assist with the county-wide Fire Corps program." Orr hopes individual registration with Fire Corps will help to spread Fire Corps messages in all fire-rescue agencies in the state of Missouri, allowing each community to implement a program locally.

In addition to these special projects, Fire Corps members assist RCFPD with administrative tasks, bookkeeping, fundraising, and various life safety education activities. RCFPD was recently awarded $34,200 from the Department of Homeland Security’s Fire Act Grant program, which will fund a new Safe House Fire and Life Safety Education trailer. The District plans to donate the trailer it previously used to the Jefferson County Citizen Corps to deploy as the new "Fire Corps - Partners in Preparedness" Community outreach and education trailer.

RCFPD not only works closely with its local and state Citizen Corps Councils, but also with other state and governmental agencies to garner support for its Fire Corps program. The RCFPD Fire Corps’ successes and future initiatives are supported by the Missouri State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA). RCFPD hopes to get endorsements from the Missouri State Fire Marshal, the Firefighters Association of Missouri, and the University of Missouri's Fire and Rescue Training Institute. "The statewide roll-out of Fire Corps was somewhat low-key due to limited funding," Orr said, "but we hope to work with SEMA on a funding and marketing strategy for Fire Corps in Missouri. We would like to offer the Missouri fire-service community both programmatic and financial support from SEMA."

The JCCC is currently working to bring Fire Corps to the Jefferson College Fire Science Program to add a fire and life safety education component to the College’s Firefighter I and II courses. This would incorporate Fire Corps on the campus and include the Fire Corps logo on the College's 1987 Mack training pumper, recently donated by RCFPD. "These talks with Jefferson College are in the initial stages" said Orr. "We have received positive feedback from instructors and committee members regarding the Fire Corps program and its possibilities here at Jefferson College."

RCFPD also works closely with the JCCC’s nationally recognized Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training program. With Fire Corps and CERT working in unison, volunteers actively stay engaged in the District’s activities, expanding its capabilities in both emergency and non-emergency situations. The JCCC plans to consolidate Fire Prevention Month events for both their CERT and Fire Corps programs to establish a more consistent message about fire and life safety issues, which will allow the District to expand Fire Prevention Month activities in Jefferson County. "Many of our CERT trained alumni are getting very interested in assisting with Fire Corps activities," noted Orr.

For more information about the Rock Community Fire Corps or the Jefferson County Citizen Corps programs, contact Stephen Orr at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

The RCFPD’s "Classroom to Go" training trailer. This trailer is the first in the State of Missouri to highlight the Fire Corps initiative offered through the Citizen Corps program.

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