The IAFC's Ready, Set, Go! (RSG!) Program successfully continues to help fire departments educate residents about wildland-fire risk and what they can do to potentially reduce property damage and improve personal safety as well as the safety of emergency responders. Continued efforts are part of a cohesive, nationwide campaign called Fire Adapted Communities (FAC).
Through the tenets of the RSG! Program, residents learn about the importance of personal responsibility, how to best prepare, situational awareness and acting early and the positive effects it can have on their communities.
Many communities have come forward as leaders in this effort; one small neighborhood in Texas has risen to become a top RSG! Program champion.
This past November, IAFC staff met with partners from Texas A&M Forest Service and local RSG members in Princeton to develop the newest RSG promotional video. The video features Princeton Fire Department, Princeton High School, the Lois Nelson Public Library and a local residence, and it highlights the collaboration of efforts between the RSG! Program, local and state partners, and their communities.
These partnerships help showcase community involvement in wildland-fire preparedness efforts.
The video depicts fire department members and the Texas A&M Forest Service interacting with local citizens, schools and businesses to engage them in the preparedness process. Collaborative efforts between emergency-response agencies and other stakeholders—another important element in the success of the program—are also shown.
In 2011, the residence in the video was threatened by an encroaching wildland fire. However, due to preparedness efforts and quality fire-department response, the home was saved—something the homeowner attributes in part to local RSG efforts.
The assistant fire chief of Princeton Fire Department, Steve Deffibaugh, made it a priority before the 2011 wildland fire season to share the resources RSG provides. The property owner shared his experience with the production group in a video testimonial:
"When I was going around the house looking for anything that might be at risk of burning, I remembered all of the brochures and instruction pamphlets that [Texas A&M Forest Service] gave me about how to protect my house from fire and I am glad I read them. The house, I felt, was pretty much well protected because I had kept the grass mowed and didn't have much combustible material around the house."
Nick Harrison, Texas A&M Forest Service's RSG and Firewise Coordinator, shared his perspective on fire-adapted efforts:
"We need to help educate our property owners and help empower citizens to protect their lives, homes, communities and related natural resources from wildland fire."
Wyndi Veigle from the Princeton Herald also documented the production of this new RSG video. She followed the production team around in order to spread wildland-fire awareness through local news media.
The latest video from RSG should be released before the December holiday season. Visit the RSG! website and the IAFC's FAC webpage to learn more about Ready, Set, Go! and the IAFC's fire-adapted communities efforts.