The Ready, Set, Go! (RSG) Program, managed by the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC), seeks to develop and improve the dialogue between fire departments and the residents they serve. National studies have shown that firefighters are uniquely respected in their communities and can project a trusted voice in the public preparedness appeal. The program helps fire departments teach individuals who live in high risk wildfire areas – and the wildland-urban interface (WUI) – how to best prepare themselves and their properties against fire threats. Its tenets help residents be Ready with preparedness understanding, be Set with situational awareness when fire threatens, and to Go, acting early when a fire starts.
Yes. The RSG! Program encourages the localization of the program's materials. It helps the residents you serve better see themselves, their environment, and your department in the wildland fire solution. Many states and localities have customized the materials successfully through the addition of local department and agency logos; picutres; and text about past fires and current resources. Commonly customized resources of the RSG! Program include: the Your Personal Wildland Fire Action Guide; the national video; PowerPoint presentation template; press releases and media article templates; and other local meeting handouts.
The RSG! Program encourages fire departments to talk with individuals about the collaborative roles and responsibilities involved in protection and response so that expectations and abilities are clear before an event occurs. For example, residents can learn about their responsibility around the home and fire departments can learn about any unique needs of the residents they serve. Some people may move to the wildland-urban-interface with the same fire protection expectations they had for their urban or suburban communities. With rights come responsibilities, and the RSG! Program supports exercising them both. This program is designed to provide people with the right to information about the threats to their community, and expectations concerning each resident’s responsibilities to the community (including responders). The RSG! Program supports an environment where individuals have access to information and skill development to make informed, individual-based decisions concerning protection of their life, their property, their firefighters, and their community.
No, the RSG! Program does not supersede state and local practices regarding how and when people evacuate an area. Evacuation is a local issue and it is important for both fire departments and residents to understand what it means to them, long before the fire threatens. The program’s call to “leave early” reflects the fact that waiting till the last moment can put residents in danger, and impedes the responding time of firefighters trying to access an area. The RSG! Program encourages departments to talk with residents about what "Go" means to them, as it may be different to residents in differing areas, and faced with different functional needs. Every locality will have their own considerations. For instance, a home with elder family members may need to react differently to a call of action then others in the community; or a rancher may need to move assets and livestock to a different part of the property and tell fire departments where fence lines are located.
The Ready, Set, Go! Program works in complimentary and collaborative fashion with other wildland fire public education programs – such as Firewise, Living with Fire, Take Responsibility, FireSmart, Fire Safe Councils, Project Wildfire, and others – and amplifies their messages to individuals to better achieve the common goal we all share of Fire Adapted Communities. Through the RSG! Program, fire departments bring the added benefits of explaining situational awarness when fire threatens and what "Go" means to an area and its residents. The RSG! Program does not replace or diminish the existing beneficial work of many community-based wildland fire public education programs. The Ready, Set, Go! Program is endorsed by the U.S. Forest Service.
Yes! Membership in the RSG! Program is free. Once a member of this national program, you will benefit from networking and education, and receive national materials for your outreach. These resources can support existing, active public education and outreach efforts to assist a department, which may have limited resources or staffing, to have an effective, positive impact in their community. The RSG! Program tool kit and materials provide: the national video (in English and Spanish); action guide (in English and Spanish); presentation materials; local media templates; letter and meeting form templates; and best practices and implementation guidance.