Michigan Takes a Time-Out to Talk About Community Risk Reduction

Blog Post created by meredithhawes Employee on Sep 11, 2017


In his first few months as the State Fire Marshal for the State of Michigan, Kevin Sehlmeyer prioritized a Community Risk Reduction approach as one of his first goals in order to tackle and largely reduce the fire death rate in his state.  Currently Michigan rates 5th in the Nation.  Reading materials were distributed in advance, including The NFPA Urban Fire and Life Safety Task Force paper “Community Risk Reduction:  Doing More With More”.  Experts, leaders, and representatives were assembled for a day-long retreat with the goal of exiting the room with a plan in hand.  The steps leading to the goal were sometimes tedious, but facilitation by members of the Grand Rapids Fire Department held the participant’s attention throughout the day’s tasks.  Among the goals of Michigan were; providing consistent and accurate education programs, ensuring residents of Michigan have sufficient and appropriate numbers of smoke alarms, establishing dedicated revenue streams, and a fire code that supports the efforts.  And while public education is just a part of the equation, Meredith Hawes – NFPA Regional Education Specialist, was on-hand to shine light on all of the resources available to support Michigan’s mission, such as the Educational Messages Desk Reference, and the Planning and Implementing a Successful Smoke Alarm Installation Program, to name just a few.