Spotlight on Public Education hero image Spotlight on Public Education hero image

Spotlight on Public Education

On Demand
Spotlight on Public Education (SOPE) is an exciting way to enhance your understanding and skills to promote fire and life safety in your community. Fire and life safety education is a vital component of community injury prevention. Dealing with diverse groups of people in multiple settings and with varying circumstances presents significant challenges and opportunities. 

Since 2017, the NFPA Public Education division has hosted the Spotlight on Public Education (SOPE) conference. SOPE brings public educators, injury prevention professionals, healthcare professionals, and others responsible for risk reduction together to share knowledge and ideas to strengthen your ability to help protect your community.

A firefighter interacting with kids

In Depth on Public Education

Join NFPA during our Spotlight on Public Education (SOPE) program for in-depth educational sessions, industry roundtable discussions, networking opportunities, live chat sessions, sponsor demonstrations, and more. Get the information you need to be more efficient and effective in all areas of public education.

  • Learn About:
    • Making your Education Programs Culturally Competent
    • Assuring Inclusion for People with Disabilities
    • Putting the Educational Messaging Desk Reference into Action
    • Tips, tricks, and ideas to create a virtual program to support face to face efforts
    • Taking your Community Risk Assessment to your community with relevant and data driven programming
    • And, many more!
  • Unmatched Expertise:
    Information and education from the source, with featured subject matter experts in the Public Education field.
  • Two Ways to Earn CEUs: 
    • Tune in live September 14 to earn up to 5 credit hours (0.5 CEU) and earn an additional 5 credit hours on demand for a total of 10 credit hours (1.0 CEU).
    • Or, view all content on demand for a total of 10 credit hours (1.0 CEU). All programs will be available on demand for up to a year starting on the launch date.

Register Now

Scroll through the carousel to learn about the sessions offered for the SOPE program.

10-11:30 a.m. ET | Presenters: Dr. Rumay Alexander, Jason Tharp, Joseph Casciotti, Lia Hales

In this dynamic workshop, participants will explore the ways in which education programs can be relevant, significant, and inclusive across cultures and populations. Educators, health care providers, and community professionals will gain insights and tools to assure programs and communication are effective across cultures.

11:30 a.m. -12:30 p.m. ET | Presenters: Justice Shorter, Mark Larson, Andrea Vastis

The National Disability Rights Network (NDRN) protects the legal and civil rights of people with disabilities. NDRN received a FEMA grant to host a series of iterative workshops pairing Protection & Advocacy (P&A) professionals with fire service and emergency responders. These workshops identified gaps, issues, successes, partners, and processes to assure access to preparedness, response & recovery from fire and related hazards for people with disabilities. This session will impart a working knowledge of the role of NDRN, P&A groups, and how these entities can work with fire service/EMS. Participants will leave the workshop with concrete next steps to address preparedness and response among people with disabilities in their profession.

11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. ET | Presenters: Ernest Grant, Meri-K Appy, Brett Brenner, Kelly Ransdell

The Educational Messages Advisory Committee (EMAC) public education messages are used throughout NFPA’s educational programs, curricula, and handouts to provide fire and life safety educators with accurate and consistent language for use when offering safety information to the public. The 2020 edition of the Educational Messages Desk Reference has some of the most extensive updates in topics ranging from electrical, candle safety, outdoor burning, youth fire setting, pet safety, and more. Learn from the industry experts and committee members the why’s and what’s of the updated messages, the importance of using and aligning with the Desk Reference, and tips and tricks to creating relevant, actionable messaging as the foundation for your safety efforts.

1:30 - 3 p.m. ET | Presenter: Brene Duggins

Not sure where to get started or how to navigate a blended "hybrid" world? Join Ms. D as she shares tips, tricks, ideas, and personal experiences for making the most of your fire and life safety programs in a blended, face-to-face, and virtual, environment. Participants will walk away with a digital tool kit of resources, links, and templates to spice up your programs for the hybrid world.

3-4 p.m. ET | Presenters: Laura King, Zoe Susice, Bruce Johnson, Neal Zipser, Lauri Volkert

When Covid-19 restrictions were introduced in early 2020 and virtual learning began, NFPA and fire departments started getting calls and messages from teachers—during virtual sessions, teachers heard chirping smoke alarms in the background. It became clear that families did not know what to do about the chirp, or worse, they ignored it. The 2021 Fire Prevention Week theme addresses the sounds of smoke and CO alarms and provides effective teaching tools. We will test participants’ knowledge of smoke and CO alarm sounds, introduce new smoke-alarm research and technology, and present strategies and tactics for communicating all this information in proven and effective ways.

3-4 p.m. ET Moderated by: Tammy Peavy; Panelists: Rich Palmer, Ernest Grant, Annie Pickett, Marsha Giesler

Learn the “secrets” of successful programs from Public Education & Community Risk Reduction experts as they reflect on years of combined knowledge and experience. Building and sustaining a successful program can be challenging, and obstacles provide opportunities to capitalize on lessons learned. In this interactive session, a panel of passionate leaders shares tips and tricks they wish they had known early in their careers.

4:30-5:30 p.m. ET | Presenters: Kim Stouse, Chantal Orosco, Megan Fitzgerald-McGowan

The threat from wildfire to individuals and communities continues to be a real risk across the country and internationally. Whether you are a small, volunteer organization, a large, paid department, or a state agency, wildfire can be a significant issue to tackle and getting started can be difficult. To help you ramp up your efforts, join us for a discussion with Kim Stouse from the Pocatello Fire Department and Chantal Orosco from the New Mexico State Fire Marshal's Division. They will share examples of their wildfire outreach efforts, leaving you with tools and strategies for success to apply in your home area.

4:30-5:30 p.m. ET | Presenters: Karen Berard-Reed, Andrea Vastis, Amaris Vasquez

In this workshop, participants will be taken on the community risk reduction journey, covering topics including: How to utilize data and information from a community risk assessment; Connecting the dots – the role of Public Education within CRR; Prioritizing risks, populations & resources in order to develop and select programs to impact and reduce risk. Learn from the expertise of CRR and Public Education professionals with real-world examples of putting this into practice.

5:30-6:30 p.m. ET

Join our panel of fire & life safety experts as they come together to discuss the NFPA Fire & Life Safety Ecosystem. Each panel member will bring a different point of view to the discussion and share their real-life experiences to illustrate how the importance of the Ecosystem serves as a common thread that weaves together many aspects of public education efforts—no matter the specific industry or job role.


Check out the topics as they become available, and register!

Empowering Electrical Design, Installation, and Safety

The Big Wide World of Building and Life Safety

Community Risk Reduction: Insights to Action

Spotlight on Public Education

Keeping Hazardous Environments Safe

Global Trends and Research - Prepare Today for Tomorrow's Challenges

Keeping You Informed: Systems, Storage, Suppression, and More

Becoming a Better Leader for First Responders

January 25, 2022

Global Solutions for Global Challenges

February 16, 2022

Outthink Wildfire: Identifying Solutions to End Community Loss

March 15, 2022