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Fire Safety

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Submitted By dittotdogg
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When asked to provide some comparisons and differences of fire prevention programs in North America and programs in other parts of the world, I can actually say I have seen examples first hand. Living here in Germany as a US Army safety officer gives me a distinct opportunity to see ways that programs work differently. Some of the similarities I have seen are the active fire safety campaign that departments on both sides of the pond use. Here in Europe we have a free fire and carbon monoxide detector program available to the public along with a fire inspection program similar to the ones in North America. Another common theme is that both programs are funded by tax revenue on the local level. Fire safety is taught in schools on both continents and the German school system takes a very active role in educating young citizens and fire fighters are a regular sight in the community, as they are in the USA as well. There are several differences that are very obvious. Public awareness campaigns are run differently as we do not use billboards in Germany, so a lot of effort is put into face-to-face interaction with fire departments and the public. Every town has several community fests and the fire department is almost always there providing literature and talking to citizens. Another difference I have noticed is with the funding of programs. The German population has a considerable higher tax rate and it seems that more funding comes from the national level than it does in the USA. In my opinion, the number one lesson that can be learned from the way fire prevention is handled here is efficiency. The government here is very strict on the way it spends tax dollars and there is zero tolerance for waste. I feel that the USA could take note on ways to become more efficient when it comes to spending taxpayers money of fire prevention...

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