Saturday, February 11, 2017

Jersey Fire Department Earns Firewise Status

The Jersey Fire Department recently completed requirements to make Jersey a national Firewise Community.  Firewise Communities/USA is a recognition from the National Firewise Communities Program.

Members of the Jersey community and fire department worked with the Arkansas Forestry commission and Arkansas Firewise to conduct wildfire hazard assessments on homes in the fire district and develop a community wildfire preparedness plan to address wildfire safety concerns. Residents, firefighters and community volunteers will work together to implement the plan.

Firewise Coordinator Travis Haile, said the education and mitigation program helps lower ISA rating which can lower insurance costs, but most importantly he said it reduces wildfires and their damage.  "It t takes about five years of doing the program and communities lower not only the wildfire numbers, but structure fire numbers as well," Haile said.

The Firewise Communities/USA recognition program recognizes communities for taking action to protect people and properties from the risk of fire in the wildland/urban interface. Communities create mitigation and education programs themselves with cooperative assistance from state forestry agencies and local fire staff.  This helps prevent wildfires and wildfire damage to homes and makes fire fighter's jobs safer.

Fire departments can earn $3,500 the first year and $500 for each additional year they complete Firewise requirement.

Communities interested in earning recognition may visit or call the Arkansas Forestry Commission at 501-296-1940.

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