The Ready, Set, Go! (RSG) Program, managed by the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC), seeks to develop and improve the dialogue between fire departments and the residents they serve. Launched nationally in March 2011 at the Wildland-Urban Interface (WUI 2011) Conference, the program helps fire departments to teach individuals who live in high risk wildfire areas – and the wildland-urban interface – how to best prepare themselves and their properties against fire threats. The RSG! Program tenets help residents be Ready with preparedness understanding, be Set with situational awareness when fire threatens, and to Go, acting early when a fire starts.
Now in its third year nationally, the program is nearing 1000 member departments and agencies representative in all states. It continues to work in complimentary and collaborative fashion with existing wildland fire public education efforts, like Firewise, and amplifies their messages to individuals to better achieve the common goal we all share of Fire Adapted Communities. They may be called brush fires, grass fires, field fires, railroad fires, outdoor fires, backyard fires, or forest fires, but no matter the name, the risk to residents and resources remains the same.
The RSG! Program provides the implementation guidance; background knowledge; and presentation tools to assist fire departments in delivering the program message:
• Ready – Be ready, be Firewise. Take personal responsibility and prepare long before the threat of a wildland fire so your home is ready in case of a fire. Create defensible space by clearing brush away from your home. Use fire-resistant landscaping and harden your home with fire-safe construction measures. Assemble emergency supplies and belongings in a safe place. Plan escape routes and make sure all those residing within the home know the plan of action.
• Set – Situational awareness. Pack your emergency items. Stay aware of the latest news and information on the fire from local media, your local fire department and public safety.
• Go – Act early! Follow your personal wildland fire action plan. Doing so will not only support your safety,
but will allow firefighters to best maneuver resources to combat the fire.
Recognizing Outstanding Efforts: Ready, Set, Go! Program Awards
This March marks the program's third anniversary. Since its inception, the RSG! Program has grown to nearly 1,000 members; many of these members have achieved great local success. The RSG! Program awards recognize the exceptional efforts and achievements of fire departments and individual fire service members associated with implementing and maintaining a successful RSG! Program in their community. We're pleased to announce the award's inaugural winners.
The RSG Fire Department Award for Excellence:
- Paid Department: Colorado Springs Fire Department – Wildfire Mitigation Administrator Christina Randall
- Volunteer Department: Barnegat Volunteer Fire Company – N.J. Forest Fire Warden & Trustee John Cowie
The RSG Innovation Award:
- Texas A&M Forest Service Forest Resource Protection – Wildland-Urban Interface Staff Forester III Nick Harrison
The RSG Leadership Award:
- Ventura County Fire Department – Public Information Officer Bill Nash
These award winners have truly embodied the program by improving dialogue about wildland-fire preparedness between fire departments and the residents they serve. The winners have incorporated the RSG! Program into their prefire mitigation and preparedness outreach and have demonstrated innovation in expanding the program to neighboring emergency service groups.
The awards will be presented to the winners at the International Association of Fire Chief's Wildland-Urban Interface (WUI) Conference in Reno, Nev., on March 17.
View the RSG! Program National Video in English. View a Case Study from Colorado Springs and the 2012 Waldo Canyon Fire on Creating Fire Adapted Communities by clicking the arrow to the right.