Goal—tell the story of our multicultural community outreach program and share ideas for successful multicultural fire safety education.
Immediate focus areas for SFD—Accountability of SFD Operations, Community relationship with grieving and angry East African community and Prevention outreach to empower communities fear and concerns.Slide shows the items included in the immediate prevention outreach that occurred. The main topic areas were 1) having working smoke alarms and 2) having an escape plan, practicing it, and using it if the smoke alarm sounds.
After the initial period of response (about one month), we needed to develop a more long term strategy to address the fire safety needs of the EA community. We had a window of opportunity as the community was highly motivated and asking for services.
First we needed to develop our knowledge about our local East African community.
We identified our main challenge, as well as the primary needs of our outreach program.(Provide definition of cultural competence as many may not have familiarity with this term)
Program developed was called Community Fire Safety Advocates.Modeled after successful global public health model.
We identified key characteristics we desired the Advocates to have.
We had multiple layers of goals—To increase the fire safety skills of the EA communityTo develop a more interactive and supportive relationship between the SFD and the EA communityTo make sure the EA community was informed of what the FD services were.
We felt we needed to chose advocates that were well respected by the communities they would serve. A bonus for us would be that they would hopefully bring their existing personal/professional/community connections to the program.
After selection, advocates were trained. We paid #15/hr for the training, $20/hr for advocacy work. They are currently employed as contract workers for the city of Seattle.First evaluative challenge—how do you know that what someone is teaching is correct if it is in a language that you don’t understand? Our answer—skills-based testing. Each advocate had to pass a battery of recorded skills-based tests to graduate.
We gave all aspects of the program a lot of formality and high profile. The graduation featured cake, refreshments, their families were invited, the Fire Chief (acting) presented nice certificates.Kidane=grandfather=connection to the Fremont Fire (mention this orally only, do not put it in any written record)
Materials developed were visual (photos, props, video) and targeted to cultural practices and specific fire risks.Materials were developed in consort with the CFSAs and other focus groups of the EA community.They validated that they were relevant, not us.
Significant fire risks in this communitycoffee roasting & smoke alarmsincense & smoke alarmsstove fires w/lots of greasefurnishings against baseboard heaters.
Advocates conducted outreach to the East African community through a variety of venues. (next several slides)
Community FairsNotice that CFSA has a name badge the same as any other SFD member.
These may be gender segregated, depending on the community.
Some multi-residential housing sites have large East African populations. We approached the apartment manager or resident council to host the advocates. This shows small groups, by language, with advocate leading discussion.
Having advocates of various ages helps to reach and have credibility with a diversity of ages within the target community.
Traditional use of combustion sources inside homes led us to include CO awareness and alarm distribution in our messaging.
EA leaders indicated that in order to build relationships with them, the SFD should invite the East African community to visit “our house”. We held a fire station open house and invited a number of EA agencies, mosques, churches, community centers, individuals to visit. It was hosted by the newly graduated advocates. Approx. 500 individuals attended, many of them from our target community.
Continuing the high profile aspect of the initial program, we presented community service awards to the CFSAs at the Fire Dept. annual awards night. The Fire Chief, Mayor and 200 SFD members were present. The CFSAs were invited to visit the mayor’s office, thus making a valuable connection for us to city leaders.
Definition of capacity building=often refers to strengthening the skills, competencies and abilities of people and communities in developing societies so they can overcome the causes of their exclusion
While concise evaluation of the program has been difficult, feedback has been very positive from both the East African community. SFD members and city leaders.
SFD members have been very supportive of this program and of the CFSAs. However, we are still working on helping members see their role in multicultural outreach.East African groups are very diverse. Tribal issues. Religious issues can insert barriers (ex: CFSA from too conservative sect of Islam)Challenges—language X2, fluid collective settings, non-literal subjects
Some tenets of successful multicultural education that we have identified through the first full year of this program.
For over 50 years, the
Seattle Fire Department has providedpublic fire safety and prevention education. Our emphasis is oncommunity risk-reduction activities, with particular attentionto those who are at greatest risk of experiencing a fire.
We had made outreachefforts to
our immigrantand refugee populations.But a tragic event in ourcommunity wouldescalate that effort. Itwould inspire us todevelop an effectivemethod for measurablychanging fire safetyknowledge and practiceswithin Seattle’simmigrant/refugeecommunities.
On June 10, 2010five family
members diedin a Seattle house fire.Four were children.The individuals belongedto Seattle’s East Africancommunity. Courtesy The Seattle Times
Both the community and the
Seattle Fire Departmentrecognized the need for additional fire safety outreach.We vowed to work together to make that a reality. Courtesy The Seattle Times
Immediate Safety Outreach StrategyFor the
first month following the fire, efforts were primarilyfocused on:1. Communicating factual information about the incident.2. Holding community meetings to provide information and answer questions about the fire department response to the incident.3. Providing information through a wide variety of media sources to all parents in Seattle on home fire escape planning.4. Making personal contact with East African community leaders to begin addressing their concerns and needs. Courtesy The Seattle Times
Courtesy The Seattle TimesOne of
the keys to founding a strong working relationship with theEast African community was the involvement of senior leadershipon both sides.For the Seattle Fire Department, the lead was taken by Fire ChiefGregory Dean. His personal commitment and presence during thisinitial phase was critical.
The initial post-incident outreach was
followed by the more in-depth process of developing a targeted fire prevention effort toaddress the specific needs of the entire East African community.
Makeup of Seattle’s EastAfrican Community•
Four most common language groups are Amharic, Oromo, Somali and Tigrinya• Two main religious affiliations are Muslim and Christian• Three main countries of origin are Ethiopia, Somalia and Eritrea• Most arrived as refugees within the last 20 years• In 2010, the estimated population was 6,000 individuals
Our ChallengeTo deliver culturally relevant
fire safety education targeted to therisks of the identified community.To be successful, we needed1. Culturally competent educators & delivery methods.2. An understanding of the target groups’ fire risks.3. Partnership with agencies and groups already engaged with the target communities.4. Access to the target communities.5. Motivation by the target communities to learn fire safe behaviors.CULTURAL COMPETENCE refers to an ability to successfully negotiate cross-cultural differences in order to accomplish practical goals.
Seattle Fire Department’sMulticultural Outreach Model
Community Fire Safety Advocates are community members, carefully chosen and trained in both fire safety and fire department services, who conduct outreach activities in the native language of the target community using culturally relevant approaches and materials.
Community Fire Safety AdvocatesModeled after
Community Lay Workers• A global model for providing public health service to underserved communities.• Utilizes community members to serve as connectors between health care agencies and the cultural community.
Characteristicsof Advocates:1. They come from
the community in which they work,2. They have standing and trust from members of that community,3. They speak the same language,4. They identify and have a sense of service with the community
Guided by respected community groups,
the Fire Department choseindividuals who were highly regarded and known to be communityoriented as the first Community Fire Safety Advocates (CFSAs).
Initial training includes:• 15 hours
of classroom and on-site training.• Passing a skills-based test demonstrating fire safety practices.• Gaining familiarity with services offered by the Department by visiting facilities and spending time with uniformed members.• Developing a sense of belonging by meeting Fire Department Operations members and the Fire Chief on a regular basis.• Partnering with an experienced fire educator until confident delivering fire safety messaging.
Fire SafetyEducation Materials• The materials
developed were visual (photos, props, video) and targeted to cultural practices and specific fire risks of the community.• The materials were developed together with the advocates and focus groups in the community. They validated that they were relevant, not us.
Recognition for AdvocatesThe first Community
FireSafety Advocates wereawarded the Seattle FireDepartment’s CommunityService Award at theDepartment’s AnnualAwards Night Event.Several months of activefire safety outreach to theEast African communityended a difficult year on amuch more positive note.
Pilot Project Results (2010-2011) •
Ten East African community members received capacity- building skills and knowledge in fire safety and prevention. • Community Fire Safety Advocates conducted 408 hours of outreach activity between September 2010 and December 2011. • Over 4,000 East African community members were reached with culturally relevant fire safety information by December 2011. • Positive relationships were established between Seattle Fire Department members and East African community leaders and agencies.Fire Prevention Report: Community Fire Safety Advocate Pilot Project may be viewed here.
Anecdotal ResultsA Somali woman credits
a Community Fire SafetyAdvocate for teaching her how to respond to ahome cooking fire. She feels her home and familywere saved because she knew how to put out thefire safely.
Our Major Challenges1. Fitting an
unconventional program into a conventional fire service.2. Understanding and meeting the needs of the diverse customs, languages and traditions among and within Seattle’s immigrant/refugee groups.3. Evaluating program effectiveness beyond the number of people reached to see if behavior change occurs.
Program EvaluationEvaluation is conducted at
several points in theCommunity Fire Safety Advocate program.1. Each CFSA must pass a skills-based competency test before receiving their certification.2. Each CFSA provides subjective feedback at the conclusion of their training, and at least quarterly after that.3. In-depth evaluation has been conducted on two of the activities performed by CFSAs at outreach events.
Advocate Evaluation1. Each CFSA must
pass a skills- based competency test before receiving their certification. This test ensures they know and can demonstrate the targeted fire safety behaviors correctly and reliably.2. Each CFSA fills out a subjective survey at the conclusion of their training session. This is followed up by quarterly meetings of all the CFSAs to provide feedback, share updates and make suggestions for improvements.
Fire on StoveGoal of the
Activity: Participants will have knowledge of thecorrect (safe) action to take if a pan catches on fire on the stove.Objective: Participants will be able to demonstrate the properaction to take if a cooking pan catches on fire. 26% correct 74% incorrect 97% correct Correct Response Correct Response Pan on Fire Activity Pan on Fire Activity No coaching With coaching
Home Escape SequencingGoal of the
Activity: Participants will have knowledge of thecorrect (safe) action to take if a fire should occur in their home.Objective: Participants will be able to place a number of relatedstory board pictures in an order that indicates the correct (safe)action to take in response to the fire in the pictures. 40% correct 98% 60% correct incorrect Correct Response Correct Response Home Escape Sequencing Home Escape Sequencing No coaching With coaching
Given the variety ofevaluation measurestaken—advocate
skillstests, quarterly informalevaluations, targetedassessment of teachingactivities and anecdotalresults— — we feel that initial evidence has been collected that affirms the worth of this innovative fire safety program for multicultural communities.
Seattle Fire Department’s Keys to
SuccessfulMulticultural Fire Safety Education:1. Aim to address the target groups’ actual fire risks.2. Teach behaviors that are do-able and targeted to the risks.3. Develop program parameters and materials in collaboration with local native language speakers.4. Provide education that is culturally relevant in its methods, delivery and materials.5. Appeal to the target communities’ motivation to learn safe behaviors.6. Deliver educational services in the primary language of the learner.