A family practicing a home escape plan

A new NFPA Journal podcast delves into how fire and life safety messages are created

When it comes to fire safety messaging, ‘Stop, Drop, and Roll’ may be the most famous phrase of all, but there are literally hundreds of fire and life safety messages that fire departments, public educators, and teachers spread among their audiences and communities year-round to help increase public safety and awareness. At just about every turn, these professionals work diligently to make sure they “get it right” so that the information they share is technically sound and accurate.

But that begs this question: Who creates all this fire and life safety messaging in the first place? Who decides how best to present it? And how is the guidance updated as new information arrives and new threats emerge?

Jesse Roman, our NFPA Journal associate editor, aired a podcast this week, which takes a deeper dive into the world of how safety messaging is developed and spread. First, Jesse talks to NFPA South Central Regional Director Kelly Ransdell, who serves as the staff liaison for the Education Messages Advisory Committee (EMAC), which updates the NFPA Education Messages Desk Reference – one of the most important resources for fire safety public educators across the United States – every two years. The 2020 edition of the document, which came out this spring, is more than 40 pages long and includes 24 chapters of safety messages. Updates are largely based on the input and guidance of 15 EMAC members from numerous organizations, including the US Fire Administration, the American Red Cross, the American Nurses Association, local fire departments, among others, who help ensure that the desk reference provides the most timely, relevant information.

After Jesse’s conversation with Kelly, Kelly chats with NFPA Southeast Regional Director Robby Dawson about EMAC, its process, and what’s new in the most recent edition.  From there, Robby and Kelly talk with Louie Marshic, an NFPA Public Education Network representative from Oklahoma. Louie is one of many representatives across the United States who works to connect local jurisdictions with NFPA and its safety messaging. They discuss how these important safety messages flow from NFPA and EMAC to schools and fire departments and, ultimately, the public. They also discuss the resources available at NFPA and through the local reps to help communities inform their citizens to reduce fires, injuries, and death.

If you are a public educator, teacher, firefighter, or just someone who is interested in learning more about the messages in EMAC, remember that the 2020 edition of the desk reference is now available, and can serve as a trusted resource for delivering public fire safety messages to multiple audiences and age groups.

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Susan McKelvey
Communications Manager

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