Fire Services

Helping Youth Change Course: How Motivational Interviewing Works

By David Prescott, LICSW  |  May 14, 2014

In what would become a highly influential essay back in 1974, criminologist Robert Martinson asked “Does nothing work?” His concern, during a time of political turmoil and change in the U.S., was that rehabilitation efforts in prisons weren’t working resulted in massive de-funding and elimination of services in the criminal justice world. His essay, which became the basis of the “nothing works” philosophy, was premature. Indeed, the following year, Martinson was part of a team whose findings were more optimistic. Martinson would subsequently recant his earlier arguments, but by then the stage was set for decades of belief that people who have broken don’t change and that treatment doesn’t work. Over the next decades, study after study would prove Martinson wrong, and yet many people still believe that ineffective “tough-on-crime” approaches actually work. They don’t; research is unambiguous on this point.


IAFF Youth Firesetting Data Project

By Ed Comeau  |  May 14, 2014

Youth firesetting is a problem across the nation. Just how big of a problem is not clear because there is insufficient data collection on a national level. There are a number of programs collecting data locally, but developing a big-picture view is far more difficult.


Who’s Taking The Wheel: Road Map to Youth-Guided Care


By Publication Manager  |  May 9, 2014

Responsive interventions are driven by input and participation by youth and families receiving services. “Youth-Guided Care” is a burgeoning concept driven by the belief that youth must be empowered, educated, and given a decision-making role in their own care. Youth-guided care validates youth and family voices and offers a platform for youth to shape intervention and treatment services. This edition of MatchBook, Who’s Taking the Wheel?: Road Map to Youth-Guided Care, highlights opportunities within firesetting intervention to incorporate youth-focused programming and principles.


Juvenile Set Fires: Using Data to Make a Difference


By Joseph E. Thomas Jr.  |  May 8, 2013

Can data make a difference in fire service efforts to reduce the incidents of problem firesetting involving juveniles? It absolutely can, it does, and it must.


Strengthening our Homes: From Incident to Outcome


By Publication Manager  |  May 8, 2013

The overwhelming majority of childhood burn injuries and youth set fires occur in homes. Youth firesetting occurs in every community and in homes across the country. It is critical that fire service, mental health, public safety, education, and juvenile justice professionals work together with families to properly prevent firesetting and effectively intervene to keep homes safe and strong.


Juvenile Justice: A Strategic Partnership


By Publication Manager  |  Dec 1, 2010

Meri-K Appy joins the Today Show to discover if young children know the dangers of playing with fire.Meri-K Appy joins the Today Show to discover if young children know the dangers of playing with fire.


Connecting the Dots


By Publication Manager  |  Jul 6, 2010

For too long the response to juvenile firesetting has been under and over reacted to; at times the behavior is under reported, while in other incidences the behavior is met with an extreme response.


A Call For Change in our Industry


By Don Porth  |  Mar 6, 2010

Fire services spend countless hours preparing for any and all types of emergencies. If a child sets a fire, the response is prompt and efficient. The fire is extinguished and the cause is determined, but what about the child…