Free Online Training Program Helps Fire and Emergency Services Engage Multicultural Communities

Source: Fire 20/20

Partnering For Prevention™, a free online training program, has been launched by nonprofit organization FIRE 20/20. The program teaches fire and emergency services personnel (career and volunteer) how to effectively engage their multicultural communities in sustainable, cost-effective prevention partnerships that bring free resources and increased commitment from the community.

“Our country’s growing multicultural communities present new and unique fire prevention and community risk-reduction challenges," said Shane Ray, South Carolina State Fire Marshal. “FIRE 20/20’s Partnering For Prevention training is a good resource for fire and emergency responders who are looking to improve their fire prevention initiatives.”

Partnering For Prevention is based on findings from two national research studies completed by FIRE 20/20 that show multicultural community leaders want to be more involved in community safety initiatives, but are seldom asked by their local fire departments.

The online training features strategies and tactics from fire service experts across the U.S., as well as interviews with leaders from 12 multicultural and high-risk communities. This includes leaders from the Hispanic, African American, Somali, Vietnamese, Chinese, Filipino, Ukrainian, Sikh, senior, deaf, hard of hearing, and homeless communities.

Lessons include:

  • Review of national issues affecting fire prevention and risk reduction in multicultural communities
  • Community partnership mapping
  • Leading a fire prevention culture
  • Increasing cultural understanding
  • Marketing prevention to the community
  • Conducting leader-to-leader meetings with multicultural communities
  • Step-by-step case studies
  • Completing a department fire prevention report card

“The Partnering For Prevention training will help fire and emergency services personnel build trust and produce better fire prevention outcomes in the Chinese community and other multicultural communities,” said Alan Lai, Crime Victim Service Director at the Chinese Information and Service Center.

The three-hour training program is available in eight 15-20 minute segments. The learning management system allows fire and emergency service departments to adapt the course to busy firefighter schedules. It can be taken in one session or broken into several shorter sessions. Learners who complete the training will receive a continuing education certificate.

The training was developed in partnership with Renton Fire & Emergency Services Department, the National Association of State Fire Marshals (NASFM), the International Association of Fire Marshals (IFMA), and Vision 20/20, and was funded through a FEMA Fire Prevention Grant.

“FIRE 20/20 has done some amazing work in linking the issues of a growing multicultural society in the U.S. with effective prevention programs,” said Jim Crawford, Director of Vision 20/20. “The Partnering For Prevention online training will increase the understanding of these issues at the national, regional, state, and local levels. There is information in here for policy makers and the fire and life safety community at all levels.”

To register and log into the Partnering For Prevention online training, go to

About FIRE 20/20:
FIRE 20/20 is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit founded in 2005. FIRE 20/20 helps fire and emergency services work more effectively with their multicultural communities to increase the reach and effectiveness of fire prevention and community risk reduction, emergency response, emergency management, and diversity recruitment and retention. Over the last nine years, FIRE 20/20 has trained more than 200 departments in the U.S. and Canada.