I have learned that the number of facets the job of podcasting has, is far more than I had thought. Take for instance the recent crowdfunding effort that completed last week. To keep this effort moving forward, I spent four-to-five hours on social media everyday. I would jump between Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, PLUS sending out additional emails to my personal contacts. To be absolutely honest, the campaign results were no where near the goal I had set; barely fourteen percent of the goal was attained. However, I am sincerely grateful to those who did help and extend my heartfelt appreciation to them. Moreover, I will use those funds towards the goals I had set forth in the campaign mission statement, which will allow me to improve my abilities as a podcaster and my service to my listeners.
I would also like to tell you that my dear friend and business partner, Tom Mitten has launched his own podcast, "Fire-Rescue-EMS-Today." Tom's podcast is usually published once a month and it can also be found on iTunes, Good Play and Spotify.
One of those goals was to develop a line of promotional items linked to "5-Alarm Task Force," like t-shirts, hats, hoodies, etc. We are already busy on designing the first t-shirts and when they become available, you will be able to see and order them very easily. So, keep checking here on our website or check your copy of our newsletter for details.
I am writing this entry less than forty-eight hours after a tragic fire in Chicago that took the lives of eight people, six of whom were children and injured one of our Chicago comrades with non-life threatening injuries. Early reports indicate that there were no smoke detectors in this home!
While those of us connected with the fire service realize that yes, even in this day and time, there are still homes in this country without smoke detectors, it is extremely difficult to comprehend the "why" of this problem. In most communities, fire departments are able to provide the latest, 10-year smoke detectors at no charge and, will install them for free, if asked! Thousands of smoke detectors find their way into homes this way every month and the firefighters and officials are only too happy to provide this service! Why? Because it is possible that a smoke detector may help to avoid this type of tragedy.
We are over a month away from October, which is traditionally labeled, "Fire Prevention Month." What's important for all of us to realize is that we cannot and should not "box up" our fire prevention efforts into the month of October and tie it with a pretty bow. It is imperative that we see fire prevention as our primary task, 24/7/365!
While it is true that the number of fires is down, the fires that we do face are fiercer than they have ever been before. Where we used to have 7-10 minutes before a fire truly flamed up to the point where firefighters were needed, today, that time is down to 3-4 minutes! That means that residents barely have time to get out if an active fire is there only warning!
More importantly, smoke detectors are just one tool that we must always stress and have available for our citizens. Proper and ongoing education is the best tool we have. We must continue to teach E.D.I.T.H.'s lessons and drills, "Close the Door," is another, as well as a clear evacuation plan that every member of the family knows and the family should practice once every quarter.
We must do whatever we can to assist our citizens to avoid being "tested," before they have a chance to "learn the lesson." Sure, both budgets and scheduling is tight, but is that the excuse we provide to someone who just lost loved ones in a fire? We must face the reality that fire prevention education is second only to firefighting itself. When we do, we will start to break the hold that the lack of knowledge has on those we tragically lose.
Steve Greene is the president of 5-Alarm Task Force Corp., a 501 (c) (3), non-profit company and the Creator/Host of the "5-Alarm Task Force" podcast.