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Outreach_240x200The winner of the 2011 Rolf H. Jensen Memorial Public Education Grant was the College Station Fire Department in College Station,Texas, home of Texas A&M University. NFPA presents the $5,000 grant each year to a local fire department in the United States or Canada to support a community-wide fire and life safety education program or campaign.

According to Lisa Braxton, project manager for NPFA's Public Education Division, the fire department used the grant to support its Rental Housing Fire Reduction Education Program for the college community. "Off-campus rentals provide housing to more than 40,000 students who attend Texas A&M University and Blinn College," she notes in her "Outreach" column in the latest issue of NFPA Journal. 

Through this campaign, the fire department reached more than 2,500 students in person at student conferences, fire safety events, and fire drills, and more than 40,000 households.

The application deadline for the next Jensen grant is February 8, 2013. For more information, visit

—Kathleen Robinson

Apply now -- deadline is August 10

Remembering WhenNFPA is committed to helping communities reduce fire and fall injuries and deaths among older adults. Since 1999, communities throughout North America have implemented the Remembering When program, reaching thousands of older adults.

We'll be hosting a Remembering When: A Fire and Fall Prevention Program for Older Adults conference, December 2-4, 2012, at the Boston Longwharf Hotel in Boston, MA. We're looking for representatives from up to 35 communities to attend the event, which will emphasize reaching older adults through home visits, to ensure that the program reaches the most vulnerable of older adults.

We are asking fire departments to partner with an agency whose main outreach to older adults is through home visits.

If you'd like to apply to attend this important event, please visit our website to learn more and download an application form. The deadline for submissions is August 10, 2012.

The National Fire Academy (NFA) has a new six-day course that will help you reach diverse cultural groups in your community. It is specifically designed to connect fire and emergency service personnel with the many diverse cultural groups in the community that may not be easy to reach. It deals with cultural aspects such as nationality and language (other than English), although the principles of cultural competence taught in this course can be applied in any multicultural environment. Some of these groups may be hidden or underserved, or they may just be emerging in the community. It will also help you develop appropriate strategies to provide successful outreach and education to everyone.
The course integrates four fundamental dimensions or building blocks of culture that correspond to four broad continua of cultural similarities and differences. Students apply these building blocks in many risk reduction interactions. These four building blocks of culture are:
• Concept of self—individualist and collectivist
• Personal versus societal responsibility—universalist and particularistic
• Concept of time—monochromic and polychromic
• Locus of control—internal and external

Among the examples of successful cultural adaptations of programs that are used in the course are NFPA’s First Nations Remembering When: A Fire and Fall Prevention Program for Older Adults and NFPA’s easy-to-read handouts in several languages depicting people appropriate to the language being used. This course is ideal for those who work in fire and life safety and prevention, including educators, code enforcers, arson investigators, inspectors, fire marshals, and others.
For more information on the Cultural Competence in Risk Reduction Course, contact the Course Manager Gerry Bassett at 301-447-1094 or .
- Outreach_Cleveland_May28,2009 064Sharon Gamache

FSI newsletterThe July issue of NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative newsletter looks at the fire safety problem with lightweight construction, and in particular, a tragedy that saddened an entire New York community, and reignited a debate about the fire safety of new homes built with lightweight construction materials. We also provide an update on 2012 sprinkler legislation, an effort to help dispel Hollywood movie myths about sprinklers, a new video that helps homeowners understand fire sprinklers and an effort in Illinois to require home fire sprinklers in all new homes. 

Subscribe today to automatically receive our monthly Fire Sprinkler Initiative newsletter. It's free, informative, and will keep you up to date on anti-sprinkler legislation, our advocacy efforts, and other sprinkler-related news.

Heads_up_240A cloud ceiling is a suspended ceiling that covers only a portion of a room or space below, typically to hide mechanical equipment. Although NFPA 13, Installation of Sprinkler Systems, doesn’t define cloud ceilings or provide specific guidance on protecting them, says Matt Klaus in his column “Heads Up” in the latest issue of NFPA Journal, “ it does provide the answers to these questions through the use of obstructions rules and deflector position requirements.” What are those rules and requirements? To find out, turn to page 34 in your issue or visit

—Kathleen Robinson

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