In the May/June edition of NFPA Journal®, the Safety Policy column by Meghan Housewright explores the fact that while its clear that the public and government leaders value fire services, city budgets too often overlook wildfire, one of the fastest growing fire safety threats.
The column reflects on a recent study that provides guidance on leveraging local data for more focused funding. She also discusses how NFPA’s Fire & Life Safety Policy Institute can help communities and fire departments make wildfire the budget-line priority it needs to be.
I recently spoke with Meghan about the column and what stood out to her about these budget challenges. She shared that, “Tight budgets are a tough reality but people need to understand the consequences of relying on periodically available grants, or neglecting mitigation entirely. The most interesting point about the survey of residents from Rapid City [South Dakota] is that 53 percent reported being willing to increase taxes before cutting fire services. It’s an opportunity for the fire service to make the mitigation case to the community and they should certainly take it.”
Learn more about navigating the budget and community risk reduction landscape in the current edition of NFPA Journal®.
Photo Credit: Lucian Deaton. Pulled from NFPA Journal® online 21 May 2018.