I began my involvement with the IFSA around 2002 and became more involved after I completed one of the first Juvenile Fire Setter Interventionist programs the organization hosted. I work in the public sector and knew of camp for many years. My agency had donated to the camp each year in one form or another.
Early on I attended Visitors Day and the fire truck parade. It’s so exciting and fulfilling to allow the campers to ride on the trucks during the parade, having a positive interaction, and to donate time. Once I witnessed the positive effect the IFSA had on these young people’s lives, I wanted to make sure to stay involved.
The best experience I had was back some years when I received Caper Brown’s approval. I arrived at Visitors Day one year with the fire department public education Humvee. Caper was near the entrance with staff and he pulled out in front of me and stopped the vehicle. Caper said he had never witnessed a fire department Humvee like ours and it was a “cool ride.” Caper took a picture with me. I keep it on my desk to this day. It helps keep me grounded.
What’s not known is how many lives the IFSA also saves from injury. The IFSA guides are the single most utilized literature that were ever printed. These assist in educating adults and children on various fire safety topics. I have utilized the video featuring Joey and Caper so many times. Their story helped me convey a message to hundreds, if not thousands, of children in our city.
The IFSA is where it is at today because of its truly dedicated people. It has grown so much. You will not find another organization that has such reach on prevention and impact on survivors’ lives. The IFSA has a very large emotional and positive impact on so many young lives!