The Department of Environmental Management’s Division of Forest Environment is kicking off a new educational project this summer.
By leveraging grant funding from the US Forest Service with local matching funds from the RI State Firefighter’s League, along with assistance from the Northeast Forest Fire Protection Commission, DEM forest rangers are filming and producing a series of wildfire training videos for release on the Division’s Facebook page.
“This series of training videos will be a great resource for rural fire districts throughout Rhode Island, and we’re excited to make them available through Facebook,” said DEM Director Janet Coit. “DEM works closely with the RI State Firefighters League and the Northeast Forest Fire Protection Commission. The valuable support and assistance these important partners give DEM enables us to provide a host of training opportunities for firefighters in our state.”
Providing wild land fire training to rural fire departments is an important goal of DEM’s Division of Forest Environment. Throughout the year, training is presented by DEM forestry personnel in the form of classroom trainings, hands-on field exercises, and now, social media. The new video project supplements the existing, and more traditional, wild land firefighting training program that is currently offered to Rhode Island’s fire departments.
The use of social media allows the Division of Forest Environment to reach a broader audience of firefighters and improve the public’s understanding of the purpose and goals of the wildfire program.
The first video is part of the Wildfire Tool Series, which is designed to give firefighters a brief introduction into tools used to fight a wild land fire.
This segment examines the Pulaski, an effective wild land fire-fighting tool that has an ax head at one end and a grubbing hoe at the other. The two-minute video features DEM principal forest ranger Ben Arnold, who demonstrates the tool in use. This video is the first of many to come, and viewers can look forward to learning about more topics related to fighting wild land fires as future videos are released.
The RI State Firefighters League was founded in 1898 for the purpose of uniting firefighters for social, educational, instructive, and legislative purposes. Today, one of the primary objectives of the League is to raise funds and award grants to provide training opportunities for RI firefighters.
The Northeast Forest Fire Protection Commission is a compact that includes the six New England states and New York; the Canadian Provinces of Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland; the National Park Service; and the White Mountain and Green Mountain National Forests. Its goal is to provide members a means to cope with wildfires through information, technology and resource-sharing activities.
To watch the first video, and for regular fire weather and fire danger updates, visit the Division of Forest Environment’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/rhodeislandwildfire.