Communities that have embraced the Firewise Program as part of their day to day lifestyle notice many changes that improve their safety over time. Many communities who work together with Firewise as their rallying point go on to implement other types of projects that improve upon the resilience of the community. This Firewise community engagement is also beginning to be recognized by the insurance industry. Learn ways your community can work together and collaboratively with partners by reading the success stories of today’s featured communities.
Wildcat Community Inc. at Jasper, Georgia
Wildcat Community did not have a fire station when they started working with Firewise. They used Firewise to educate their residents about wildland fire and wildland urban interface challenges. With the people working together, they built a fire station with money that came ½ from the community, and ½ from Pickets County. Dawson County provided the equipment and training. Having a fully operational Volunteer Fire Station got the community’s ISO rating lowered. The amount the residents are saving on homeowners insurance due to the lower ISO rating has more than repaid the investment that the community made.
Wildcat Community tells us, “What Firewise has done is given the community a rallying point. We were able to pull 7 communities together with a common purpose. People working together got the fire station erected. We still have a lot of work to do. Firewise is the rallying point. We can’t say somebody is going to come and save us. We have to create defensible space and save ourselves.”
Point Harbor Beach in Point Harbor, North Carolina
Point Harbor Beach had to postpone their Firewise Day event by one day because of a hurricane. But, even with the delay, they had a turnout of close to 100 residents, guests, and Emergency Services personnel. After a free hotdog lunch was served to all the attendees, they hooked up the dry hydrant and tested it. It successfully spouted a huge arc of water into Currituck Sound. Neighborhood kids played under the cooling spray of the water. The community presented a $150 check to the Lower Currituck Volunteer Fire Department as a thank you for their loyal support and service to the community. Firewise Day serves not only to honor Point Harbor Beach being a Firewise Community for 6 years, but also promotes fellowship and spreads the message of fire safety among the community. Later in the summer, the Task Force completed a 3-phase project of installing reflective address numbers in front of all approximately 75 residences in this small, rural community to raise Firewise awareness.
Point Harbor Beach says, “Long-held memories of a 1993 fire that burned a neighbor’s sound-front residence to the grounds kindled the drive for a dry hydrant in the small, rural community of Point. Harbor Beach. In 2008, a Firewise Task Force spearheaded by North Carolina Forest Ranger Aaron Gay and a loyal band of volunteers brought that dream to reality. That accomplishment and our goal of keeping Firewise awareness before the eyes of the community are celebrated at our Firewise Day Free Hotdog Lunch every 4th of July holiday.”
The photo is submitted to us by the Point Harbor Beach Firewise Community.