YOUR ADVOCACY PLAN
Work with Local Advocates
Your fire prevention advocacy effort will be greatly aided by incorporating the powerful voices of people who have personally been affected by fire. Their perspective is valuable because it is highly credible and truly unique. There are many sources for real-life stories and many ways to incorporate them in your plan.
One of the most impactful testimonials you can share is the true story of someone who was injured in a fire.
The Phoenix Society for Burn Survivors is an excellent resource to find information and identify burn survivors who choose to be advocates for fire and burn safety.
You may also be able to identify burn survivor advocates through your local hospitals and burn centers.
This advocate coalition comprises individuals who were personally impacted by tragic fire loss and who have joined to aid communities through telling their stories.
Faces of Fire
The Faces of Fire campaign is a part of the National Fire Protection Association’s (NFPA) Fire Sprinkler Initiative. The advocates featured in this campaign bring a wide range of personal experience with fire loss.
The benefit of working with advocacy groups such as those listed above is that the advocates will have had experience discussing their injuries and other losses; they may even have had training in presentations and media outreach. But you need not restrict your use of real stories to formal advocates.
Consider reaching out to those in your community whose stories support the need for greater fire prevention outreach. These might include:
- Local industry that experienced fire that impacted normal production
- Local workers who lost jobs and health benefits due to a fire
- Local businesses that were impacted when a nearby business was shuttered due to fire
- Concerned residents of a community with a large number of burned out buildings
- Local families that experienced a home fire
- American Red Cross or other agency that was impacted by a large loss
- Members of your fire department who have firsthand experience of the tragedy of responding to severe fires
Good sources for real stories are local social service agencies, places of worship and other community organizations. These groups will be the first to respond when a serious fire impacts your community. They can be a resource to help you identify advocates and they, themselves, can provide excellent testimony to both the high cost of fire on a community as well as the tremendous value of prevention outreach.