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October 19, 2011 Previous day Next day

On a recent sunny Saturday afternoon, Sparky the Fire Dog® (the official mascot of the National Fire Protection Association) visited The Blue Bunny Bookstore, a children’s emporium full of books, puppets, toys, and much more in historic downtown Dedham, MA. When Sparky wasn’t outside greeting passersby, he was in the store meeting dozens of children and enjoying hearing his new book, "Sparky the Fire Dog", being read aloud by store manager Janet Reynolds. In the book, Sparky is just a puppy, but he dreams of being a grown-up super hero, taking a group of young animals through their neighborhood to point out fire hazards and give them basic prevention and safety tips.

Meanwhile, back at The Blue Bunny, it was a great day for everyone – Sparky enjoyed all the children, who loved his story and were thrilled to meet him, with lots of hugs and smiles all around. The book is available in major bookstores, at, and in libraries.

Here are photos of Sparky with some of his fans at The Blue Bunny Bookstore.





- Steve Dornbusch

Powered rescue tools are commonly used by emergency first responders to extricate trapped victims from crashed motor vehicles, and a large inventory of these tools exists throughout today’s emergency response community. Recent years have seen improved auto manufacturing processes that have resulted in the proliferation of high-strength metal alloys and composite materials resistant to existing powered rescue tools. This report identifies, collects, and assesses various informational aspects of this topic involving high-strength metal alloys and composite materials that are challenging the performance of the present generation of powered rescue tools. This includes consideration of vehicle extrication scenarios, clarification on the use of these high-strength materials, review of the existing field inventory of powered rescue tools, and recommendation to address identified knowledge gaps.

NFPA Journal® takes a closer look at brush, grass, and forest fires
A 16,000-acre brush fire meets a freeway in Southern California. Brush, grass, and smaller forest fires are common occurrences for many local fire departments across the country.(Photograph: AP Wide World/Mike Meadows)

By Marty Ahrens
From the October 2011 NFPA Journal®

Huge fires in the wildland-urban interface have made headlines in recent years, with stories about the federal and state agencies that battle to contain them. But local fire departments around the country are also engaged in fighting wildfire, responding to a range of smaller, but numerous, brush, grass, and forest fires.

During the five-year period of 2004–2008, local U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated average of 356,800 brush, grass, and forest fires per year. On average, 976 brush, grass, or forest fires were reported per day. These incidents accounted for one-quarter (23 percent) of all fires reported to local fire departments. During this period, 4,800 buildings, on average, were involved annually in brush, grass, and forest fires handled by local departments.

The 356,800 natural vegetation fires reported per year include an average of:

  • 145,400 (41 percent) brush or brush and grass mixture fires
  • 132,000 (37 percent) grass fires
  • 36,700 (10 percent) forest, woods, or wildland fires
  • 42,700 (12 percent) natural vegetation fires that were not classified further.

Read Marty's entire article in the new NFPA Journal.

<span style="font-weight: normal; font-size: small;"> !|src=|alt=Denver CO|style=width: 225px; margin: 0px 5px 5px 0px;|title=Denver CO|class=asset asset-image at-xid-6a00d8351b9f3453ef0162fbc28f8c970d!As part of the Wildland Fire Operations Division&#39;s efforts to increase the visibility of its wildfire initiatives and provide a point of contact in the western half of the U.S., NFPA has opened an office in Denver, Colorado.&#0160;</span>


<span style="font-weight: normal; font-size: small;">The Wildland Fire Operations Division Field Office promotes NFPA’s activities and programs related to wildland fire and safety mitigation. It supports NFPA’s Firewise Communities/USA Recognition and Firewise Communities Programs , in addition to major initiatives including the Fire Adapted Communities Program , the application of wildland fire codes and standards, research projects, community outreach and membership, and represents NFPA at major wildfire related conferences and events.&#0160;</span>


[Learn more about the new field office and the NFPA staff members who will be based there |]. 


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