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 firstname.lastname@example.org .
- Sharon Gamache