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Author: Jennifer Dietz/ Wednesday, April 3, 2019
The Ready, Set, Go Awards recognize the exceptional efforts and achievements of career and volunteer fire departments, state agencies and individual fire service members associated with implementing and maintaining a successful RSG! Program to help reach fire-adapted goals within their communities. The winners use RSG as a pre-fire mitigation and preparedness outreach program to improve wildland fire dialogue with the residents they serve.
The RSG Award for Excellence recognizes the outstanding accomplishments of a member in encouraging their peers and community members alike to be partners in the wildland fire solution. Use of the RSG! Program to achieve this is documented in the Achievement Management System and through communication with RSG staff. This year, there is one recipient of the RSG Award for Excellence.
The winner of this year’s Excellence Award is the Frenchtown Rural Fire District. Frenchtown joined the Ready, Set, Go! (RSG) Program in 2011 and has developed into a leader for wildland fire risk reduction for Missoula County. Frenchtown is an active participant in the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) Wildland Fire Programs.
Since participating in Fire Department Exchange (FDX) in the Spring of 2017 Frenchtown has moved forward with utilizing the RSG! Program to engage its community in wildland fire risk reduction and expand its community chip program. Not only has Frenchtown been active in engaging and exchanging with the connections made as a participant with the FDX, but they have been active in engaging local partners to further spread the impact of preparedness and mitigation efforts. Over the past 2 years Frenchtown has increased their mitigation capacity and doubled their mitigation crews for fuels reduction projects throughout the community.
With Frenchtown serving across Missoula and Mineral counties, they were engaged in revisions to the Community Wildfire Protection Plans (CWPP) for both counties.
In the Spring of 2018, Frenchtown partnered with United Way of Missoula County and the local Public Works department to launch a pilot for Community Chip Days. The response from residents drew out higher than anticipated participation from the community.
During the summer of 2018, Frenchtown hosted an RSG Training for Missoula and Mineral Counties that brought together partners from neighboring Fire Districts, Emergency Management and forestry to learn more about the RSG! Program and identify collaborative efforts to address their area’s wildland fire threat. Frenchtown remains active in its partner collaboration across local, state and national levels to enhance the effectiveness of their risk reduction.
After identifying a need for equipment to assist with their community fuels reduction, Frenchtown applied for and was awarded an RSG! Program Wildfire Mitigation Award which assisted with funding to purchase a chip dump truck. The truck will be an integral piece of their mitigation crews' operations as it will streamline vegetation removal and enhance the capacity of future fuels reduction projects.
The innovative solutions and collaborative efforts of Frenchtown Rural Fire District as they utilize IAFC Wildland Fire Programs, along with other valuable tools and resources has earned them the distinction of being selected as this year’s winner for the RSG Award for Excellence.
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