Boy Scout leaders in Quincy, FL learn and share importance of Firewise
by Nicole Esan, NFPA Public Affairs Intern
This group was one of 65 recipients selected to receive a $500 State Farm project funding award for their project. The State Farm funding was used to purchase supplies for the training event as well as equipment that will be used in managing hazardous vegetation at the 600-acre camp.
The intent of this project, according to project organizer, David Godwin, was to connect with Scout leaders and adults in their local Boy Scout council and empower them to share Firewise and Fire Adapted Community concepts with the youth and adults in their local Scout Troops.
“We are essentially training the trainers to bring back skills and concepts they can use for themselves as well as educate younger Scouts,” Godwin said.
The Boy Scout leaders came together over several weekends to complete the training that consisted of a presentation which taught them about home ignition concepts, Firewise landscaping, steps for becoming Firewise and included a qualitative risk assessment to assess their own properties. This group represents the most involved and committed leaders in their council. Not only are the leaders getting to learn about Firewise concepts, but they were also exposed to some fire ecology and forest ecology restoration.
On Prep Day (May 2), the trainees left the classroom environment and participated in fuels reduction treatments, working with local wildfire mitigation specialist, Todd Schroder. Wildfire hazards were mitigated at key locations around Camp Wallwood, reducing firefighter exposure during wildfire events and facilitating the future use of prescribed fire to manage fuels and ecosystems.
“We’re all really excited to be connected with such a large group,” said Godwin. “It’s great to actually be involved in a project where it’s not just showing slides on a screen, but to be out on the grounds working with a group of people who are passionate about what they do and want to make a difference in their camp and community.”