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Author: Kaitlin Lutz/ Tuesday, January 30, 2018
RSG Award for Excellence: Career Department
Florida Forest Service
The Florida Forest Service (FFS) joined the Ready, Set, Go! (RSG) Program in 2011 and since then has been the leader in advancing the program throughout the state. The FFS took a top down approach to implementing the program because RSG plays a key role in their mission of prevention, detection, mitigation and suppression of wildfires in Florida. The FFS led the development of the Florida RSG partnership that involved state, county, federal and private partners who committed to making the RSG program successful. The partnership worked together to customize a Florida RSG Action Guide and to develop a process to implement the RSG program on the ground.
To further expand their RSG program, the FFS developed RSG videos, PSAs and RSG Kits with grant funding from the USFS. They involved their partners to create the RSG videos and PSAs in English and Spanish that they included in their RSG Kits along with other customized materials. These kits have been instrumental in their outreach efforts, including their door-to-door outreach efforts with the fire department. As a united front, the FFS and fire department have been able to talk to residents about a variety of topics including wildfire preparedness.
The FFS has expanded their partner work beyond education and outreach into prescribed burning and the creation of Community Wildfire Protection Plans (CWPP). The FFS uses the Southern Risk Assessment Portal to identify high-risk communities and work with them to create CWPPs and evacuation plans.
Through all their efforts and partnerships, the FFS has grown their statewide RSG! Program from less than 20 participating fire departments to more than 80 participating fire departments. They have also given out over 300 RSG kits and 20,000 RSG guides. The FFS’s dedication to promoting RSG as a statewide initiative has made them an outstanding representative of the Ready, Set, Go! Program. For this reason and many others, we are excited to present them with the RSG Award for Excellence for a career department.
RSG Award for Excellence: Volunteer/Combination Department
Kittitas County Fire District #7
Kittitas County Fire District #7 joined the Ready, Set, Go! Program in 2012 and has effectively engaged their community in wildland fire preparedness. In 2017, they worked with The Nature Conservancy, Kittitas County Conservation District, Washington Resource Conservation & Development Council and other partners to form the Kittitas County Fire Adapted Communities Coalition. The coalition is now working to update the county’s Community Wildfire Protection Plan.
They also have a well-rounded approach to community wildfire preparedness that includes fuels reduction/treatment, youth outreach, civic events, homeowner’s association outreach, home assessments and door-to-door outreach with smoke alarm instillation. In 2017, they logged nearly 1,000 hours of their preparedness efforts in the Achievement Management System.
Last fall, the Jolly Mountain Fire threatened 1,500 homes in their district. In response they held public meetings where they gave out RSG materials and promoted the program as the way for their residents to prepare themselves and their homes for the fire. The department also live streamed these meetings on Facebook where they were able to reach an additional 700 residents in addition to the 50 plus that came to the meetings in-person.
Kittitas County Fire District #7’s commitment to their residents has made them an outstanding representative of the Ready, Set, Go! Program. For this reason and many others, we are excited to present them with the RSG Award for Excellence for a volunteer/combination department.
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