NFPA leadership and staff had a great opportunity today to talk about wildfire safety and mitigation in our nation's capital. The Congressional Fire Services Institute (CFSI) is holding its 27th Annual Fire and Emergency Services Symposium and Dinner this week at the Washington Hilton. While in town, I accompanied NFPA President Jim Pauley and VP for Outreach & Advocacy Lorraine Carli on a visit to our partners at the US Forest Service Washington office, where we had to get a photo op with Smokey Bear.
I moderated an excellent presentation by Barnegat, New Jersey, fire and police leaders John Cowie and Keith Germain, who described their unique partnership and lessons drawn from Firewise, the Ready, Set, Go! program of the IAFC, and Fire Adapted Communities. So much community trust and relationship building went on around wildfire safety in this high-risk area of New Jersey that when Superstorm Sandy struck, the township made what seemed impossible - safe evacuation and protection of homes during a devastating storm - not only probable but successful.
Looking forward to this afternoon's sessions on community risk reduction and more!