FULTON, NY – The many faces of the Fulton Fire Department will soon become community staples as the department works to launch the Community Risk Reduction (CRR) initiative.
A rapidly emerging nationwide fire service trend, CRR is defined by Vision 20/20 as “a process to identify and prioritize local risks, followed by the integrated and strategic investment of resources (emergency response and prevention) to reduce their occurrence and impact.”
Fulton Fire Chief David Eiffe and all members of the Fulton Fire Department have been working for several months training personnel and re-branding the department for the launch of the CRR initiative to present a more community engaged department.
“It’s really to become more customer service focused and engaged with the community. We want to reach not only our kids but the adults and senior citizens of our community as well. It is our goal to reduce the risk of fire, rescue, and medical events in our community by being involved, relevant, and engaged,” Chief Eiffe said.
FFD personnel have undergone several trainings in preparation for the launch of the CRR.
As part of a community para-medicine program, educational services will teach community members how to help take care of themselves and each other in emergencies.
A “Stop the Bleed” training program will be implemented in the Fulton City School District, first training teachers and staff before eventually extending to students and bus drivers and then going community-wide to businesses and city residents.
“With all the attention surrounding school safety in recent times, we think it’s going to be positive to get into the school district and teach people ways they can help in an emergency before our arrival,” Eiffe said.
Additionally, newly certified car seat technicians in the department will offer car seat safety checks by appointment and at community events, he added.
Having recently sent FFD personnel to the National Fire Academy, the department has even produced ways to revamp the educational program that has been offered to the community for several decades.
“I think anyone who has lived in the Fulton community in the past 30 years has seen the fire department’s puppet show. It’s a little outdated and I think that’s simply run its course. We are updating our fire safety education services to make them current and relevant,” Eiffe said.
Other programs to be implemented include CPR and AED training, again beginning in the school district and then being implemented throughout the community, as well as an annual community safety open house.
Chief Eiffe and members of the FFD are excited to be jumping on board with the nationwide initiative to update and enhance the department in the Fulton community.
“When we answer the question of why we do things the way we do in the department, we have found that we tend to say, ‘well, we’ve just always done it like that.’ I like to challenge that. Now is as good of a time as any,” Chief Eiffe said.
While departmental funding has afforded personnel training to facilitate such programs, constraints within the budget stop the department from purchasing the necessary training equipment, props, and excess materials to be used for those in need.
The department will soon be requesting financial help from stakeholders within the city of Fulton for such purposes.
A recent incident emphasized the importance of supplying fire safety materials to those in need when a Fulton senior mistakenly left her car on in the garage for a period of roughly eight hours.
The department detailed the event on their Facebook page to spread awareness. FFD responded to a Life Alert call to find a Fulton senior nearly unresponsive in her home.
A carbon monoxide monitor immediately alerted responding firefighters to potentially lethal levels of carbon monoxide, reaching 1,000PPM (parts per million) in the house and nearly 2,000PPM in the garage where responders discovered the vehicle still on eight hours after it had been parked.
While all responding fire personnel and the senior were treated and released, the absence of carbon monoxide detectors in the home could have resulted in a fate much worse.
Fulton Common Council president, Donald Patrick Jr. purchased a carbon monoxide detector that FFD installed in the senior’s home.
For situations such as this, donations from city businesses and civic groups will help Chief Eiffe and the FFD to purchase additional safety materials to be dispersed when necessary and used in demonstrations for awareness purposes.
“It’s been a busy few months, but we’re really excited to be creating value in our fire department. We want to show we are more than just putting out fires and responding to EMS calls. We want to be proactive and engaged in the community to provide resources that will hopefully lessen those calls,” Eiffe said.