Committee: Public Education Committee

Contact: Tom Pitschneider, Chair - [email protected]

2021 Mission: The mission of the Public Education Committee is to support the safety education process of the fire service and communities of Minnesota in order to reduce the loss of life and property from preventable events through the use of technology, information and resources.

2021 Report: The 2020-2021 year continued to see challenges for the Public Education Committee. Issues with COVID-19 restrictions and lockdowns made it more challenging for the committee to move forward on 2020 goals. We continue to work with a subcommittee to develop tools that fire departments can use in their community to educate students and young adults between 17 and 24 on the importance of fire safety. This includes items to look for when moving to college or their first apartment or home. We are hoping to launch the program in 2021.

The Kitchen Fire Safety Live Demonstration Units demonstrate what happens when you add water to a grease fire. Utilizing 1-inch of grease in a pan, the fire extends out of the unit when one cup of water is poured into the pan. These units remain extremely popular, and they provide a strong visual message on the dangers of kitchen fires and what can happen when water is used instead of some type of lid. Both trailers are regularly rented throughout the summer months. Both units have received new homes in the past year with one unit now housed at Dodge Center Fire Department and the second unit housed at the Maple Grove Fire Department.

Several other committee resources are presently in a suspended state do the COVID-19 and Delta Variant protocols. Those resources will be available again when the restrictions are removed.

We hope to see you at the annual MSFCA conference in Duluth. Please reach out to the committee or contact the office with any questions.

2021 Public Education Committee Members

  • Chair: Tom Pitschneider, Shakopee, Fire Marshal
  • Jeremy Berger, St. Paul/New Brighton, Education Coordinator
  • Tom Brace, National Fire Sprinkler Association
  • Darrin Bramwell, Eagan, Deputy Chief
  • Sarah Buhs, Cloquet Area, Captain
  • Bob Hampton, St. Louis Park, Lieutenant
  • David Jensen, Hugo, Assistant Chief
  • Wayne Kewitsch, Richfield, Fire Chief (retired)
  • Eric Lind, Maple Grove, Fire Inspector
  • Jake Lindquist, State Fire Marshal Division, Inspector
  • Kathi Osmonson, State Fire Marshal Division, Fire & Life Safety Educator
  • Jeff Smith, Elk River, Captain
  • Casey Stotts, State Fire Marshal Division, Fire Investigator
  • Amanda Swenson, State Fire Marshal Division, Fire & Life Safety Educator
  • James Van Eyll, Long Lake, Fire Chief
  • Eric Zimmerman, Mdewakanton Public Safety, Assistant Chief

There are also numerous other non-association (non-voting) members of the committee.

Public Education Committee File Library