Project RISK is a Spokane Valley Fire Department initiative to reduce fire and medical emergencies in our community through proactive, targeted outreach and education. Project RISK focuses on:
- Smoke Alarms
We analyze of our fire and medical emergency call data to identify the most frequent causes of fire and Emergency Medical Service (EMS) calls. We then focus our educational efforts and resources to address these identified ‘community risks’.
Project RISK is led by our Community Risk Reduction Specialist, Elysia Spencer.
Community Risk Reduction (CRR) is a term used by the National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA) and is defined as “the identification and prioritization of risks followed by the integrated application of resources to improve public safety and reduce call volume.” CRR means that fire departments exist not only to respond to emergencies, but also to prevent emergencies and reduce the impact of those incidents.
Project RISK was launched by SVFD in July 2016. The initiative takes a systematic, collaborative approach to Community Risk Reduction. A continuous planning model is used to proactively assess the changing needs of the greater Spokane Valley and collaborate with other agencies to address the needs in a cost-effective manner.
Step 1: Identify Community Risks – many types of data are analyzed to identify the risks present in our community including emergency calls, firefighter interviews, demographics, hospital data, community partner data, and local, regional and national statistics and trends.
Step 2: Prioritize the Risk – the data is reviewed to prioritize the risk. Considerations include highest call volume, highest threat to life safety, highest threat to firefighters, highest threat to property, community partnerships, partner capacity, Department capacity and budget.
Step 3: Develop Strategies and Tactics – these are targeted and specific to positively impact the prioritized risk.
Step 4: Prepare the Plan
Step 5: Implement the Plan
Step 6: Monitor, evaluate and modify the plan – using data such as changes in calls, changes in outcomes, changes in perceptions and changes in behaviors.
Responsiveness and Adaptability are KEY to Community Risk Reduction
Project RISK Activities – August 2017:
- Home Fire Safety Visits – ongoing, free visits to install smoke alarms (as needed) and share important home fire safety information, as requested by residents. Also conducting two “Blitz” events each year with the American Red Cross, targeting specific neighborhoods based on data and identified community risk.
- “Clutter Bags” – taking an idea by young firefighter Max Clutter, all SVFD fire engines now have a smoke alarm installation kit (Clutter Bag) on board. This makes it easy for crews to check for and install working smoke alarms in homes after responding to an emergency medical call.
- Community Risk Assessment – analyzing Department call data for the past ten years (2007-2016) and performing deep data “dive” to identify causality trends.
- Community Risk Reduction Coalition – joint effort with Spokane Fire Department to gather various community organizations and stakeholder groups to collaboratively identify and address community risks. This group is currently focused on reducing 1) falls by older adults; 2) cooking fires; 3) illegal burning
- SVFD CRR Team – this 11-member internal team is working to prioritize risks for intervention, identify strategies, and develop, implement and monitor the plan as well as promote Department-wide support of Project RISK.