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Michael McLemore

This column expresses the personal opinions/views of the writer. If you would like to express your opinions/views regarding the column, write a SIGNED letter to the editor. Name can be withheld by request with a valid day time phone number.


 

Sugar Land Fire Department’s Citizen Fire Academy – An A+ Citizens’ Class

PART 2 of a 2 Part series

The Sugar Land Fire Department’s Citizen Fire Academy (CFA) recently began its eighth class to educate residents on what SLFD is all about. Participants are halfway through eight weeks of hands-on and classroom learning about emergency response as well as the many services we provide.

The Citizen Fire Academy has brought many benefits including the creation of our Citizens Fire Academy Alumni Association (CFAAA) which now sponsors our annual Fire Department Open House (October 9) and provides assistance to the department throughout the year.

One benefit took us by surprise: our class alumni circulated our fire and life safety message much further than we could ever have done on our own. While many participants indicate that they are more conscious of their environment and more safety-oriented, they also carry those important messages to friends, family and neighbors. After participating in the academy many tell us, “It just moves safety to the forefront of your mind.”

The more people who know about what constitutes a hazard and how to correct it, the better chance it will be corrected before tragedy strikes! We sometimes encounter residents who are resistant to making changes, even to significant safety hazards in their own homes, despite being identified by experienced and professional fire fighters. A home with hazards is not only unsafe for the occupants, but also endangers your neighbor’s property, as well as the safety of our firefighters. If a trusted neighbor echoes the same suggestions as a professional firefighter, people often seem more apt to make the change. Whatever it takes to get people to listen and act on these important safety messages, we’re happy to help make that happen.

We hope to continue to increase the number of people we reach through this year’s CFA and help heighten their awareness of fire and life safety issues. We anticipate this continued effort will only help further reduce the number of those potentially dangerous situations that have been ignored or gone unresolved in the past. The old adage, “if it saves just one life” makes our work worthwhile and this academy very meaningful.

Hopefully, I’ve piqued your interest in attending our 2011 CFA. You must be at least 18 years old and live or work in Sugar Land. We have had 70-year-olds successfully complete the course. Put it on your “To Do” lists for next year and help protect yourself and others.

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This column expresses the personal opinions/views of the writer. If you would like to express your opinions/views regarding the column, write a SIGNED letter to the editor. Name can be withheld by request with a valid day time phone number.

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