Committee: Public Education Committee

Contact: Tom Pitschneider, Chair - [email protected]

2019 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.

2019 Committee Report: The 2018/2019 year has been an active one for the Public Education Committee. We continue to work on several different areas and currently have a sub-committee working on a program aimed at young adults. The goal is 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 could include items to look for when moving out to college or their first apartment or home. We are hoping to launch the program in early 2020.

The committee has placed the augmented reality (AR) project on hold as we assess options and cost.

Using AR, a member of the public could focus their mobile device on a fire related image which would link to safety messages, games or activities. This would be like scanning a QR code today but would offer a greater ability to interact with the activities. We will be researching possible grant opportunities to further this project.

The first year of the Home Safety Survey program was a success and the committee is looking over all the results to determine if any changes are needed to the program before beginning additional cycles. We continue to work with our partners and the Fair Plan on funding for this program and are hoping to fund additional surveys in 2021.

The Kitchen Fire Safety Live Demonstration Units continue to be popular and each of the trailers remain in demand throughout the state. In 2017 each unit received a new home for a 2-year period. One unit is currently being hosted by the Menahga Fire Department, located in Wadena County. Menahga is located about 12 miles south of Park Rapids. The other unit is currently hosted by the Faribault Fire Department, located in Rice County. Faribault is about 50 miles south of Minneapolis. We are looking for two departments to take over hosting the units for the 2020 and 2021 calendar year.

The Interactive Kitchen Education Simulator is currently hosted by the Ramsey Fire Department. This unit is an interactive self-contained kitchen fire prevention and safety education tool. Participants are challenged to find hazards in the kitchen and learn prevention techniques using a variety of props provided in the simulator. The unit features integrated digital flames in the oven and trash can, training smoke, and sound effects.

Also available are the Safety Hopper inflatable and the 9/11 memorial float materials. If you are interested in renting any of these units offered through the Public Education Committee, check out the committee’s tab on the MSFCA website or contact the office.

We hope to see you at the annual MSFCA conference. We still have some toolkits available for those departments that need them.

  • Chair: Tom Pitschneider, Fire Marshal, Shakopee
  • Amanda Swenson, Fire & Life Safety Educator, State Fire Marshal Division
  • Becki White, Assistant Chief, Eden Prairie Fire
  • Dan Bernardy, Training Officer, Inver Grove Heights Fire
  • Darrin Bramwell, Deputy Chief, Eagan Fire
  • Eric Zimmerman, Assistant Chief, Mdewakanton Public Safety
  • James VanEyll, Fire Chief, Long Lake Fire
  • Jeff Smith, Captain, Elk River Fire
  • Jeremy Berger, Education Coordinator, St. Paul/New Brighton Fire
  • Kathi Osmonson, Fire & Life Safety Educator, State Fire Marshal Division
  • Sarah Buhs, Captain, Cloquet Area Fire District
  • Tom Brace, National Fire Sprinkler Association
  • Wayne Kewitsch, Fire Chief, Richfield Fire

2018 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.

2018 Committee Report: 2018 was another busy year for the public education committee. We continue to have sub-committees working on various projects. One the those is an augmented reality (AR) public education program. This committee is looking at ways to use AR software to create various activities the public could utilize by downloading an application on their mobile device. Using AR, a member of the public could focus their device on an image which would link to safety messages, games or activities. This would be like scanning a QR code today but would offer a greater ability to interact with the activities. This sub-committee would utilize the flip chart messaging document that was designed to assist in delivering consistent messages on various fire safety topics. The first year of the Home Safety Survey program was a success and the committee is looking over all the results to determine if any changes are needed to the program before beginning additional cycles. We continue to work with our partners and the Fair Plan on funding for this program.

The Kitchen Fire Safety Live Demonstration Units continue to be popular and each of the trailers remain in demand throughout the state. This year both units received new homes for the next 2 years. One unit is now being hosted by the Menahga Fire Department, located in Wadena County. Menahga is located about 12 miles south of Park Rapids. The other unit is being hosted by the Faribault Fire Department, located in Rice County. Faribault is about 50 miles south of Minneapolis. We want to thank both the Brainerd Fire Department and the St. James Fire Department for hosting the trailers in the past.

The Interactive Kitchen Education Simulator is currently hosted by the Ramsey Fire Department. This unit is an interactive self-contained kitchen fire prevention and safety education tool. Participants are challenged to find hazards in the kitchen and learn prevention techniques using a variety of props provided in the simulator. The unit features integrated digital flames in the oven and trash can, training smoke, and sound effects.

If you are interested in renting any of the props offered through the Public Education Committee, check out the Committees tab on the MSFCA website or contact the office. We hope to see you at the annual MSFDA conference. If your department has not yet received the Fire and Fall Prevention Program for Older Adults Toolkit, they are free. And will be available at our conference booth.

  • Chair: Tom Pitschneider, Fire Marshal, Shakopee
  • Amanda Swenson, Fire & Life Safety Educator, State Fire Marshal Division
  • Becki White, Assistant Chief, Eden Prairie Fire
  • Dan Bernardy, Training Officer, Inver Grove Heights
  • Darrin Bramwell, Deputy Chief, Eagan Fire
  • David Jensen, Assistant Chief, Hugo
  • Eric Zimmerman, Assistant Chief, Mdewakanton Public Safety
  • James Van Eyll, Fire Chief, Long Lake Fire
  • Jeff Smith, Captain, Elk River
  • Jeremy Berger, Education Coordinator, St. Paul/New Brighton
  • Mike Turnbull, Fire Inspector, White Bear Lake
  • Sarah Buhs, Captain, Cloquet Area Fire District
  • Tom Brace, National Fire Sprinkler Association
  • Wayne Kewitsch, Fire Chief, Richfield
  • Kathi Osmonson, Youth Firesetting Intervention Coordinator, State Fire Marshal Division

2017 Public Education Committee Report

Public Education Committee File Library