The Ready, Set, Go! (RSG) Program seeks to empower fire departments to engage the residents they serve in wildland fire community risk reduction. The RSG! Program provides tools and resources for fire departments to use as they help residents gain an understanding of their wildland fire risk and actions individuals can take to reduce that risk. Engaging in this dialogue is particularly important for the fire service as national studies have shown that firefighters are uniquely respected in their communities and can project a trusted voice to the public preparedness appeal. They can also explain what fire resources are available during an event and the role that individuals should play in preparedness and early evacuation – if called for by their local officials – to increase the safety of residents and first responders.
The RSG! Program works in complementary and collaborative fashion with FirewiseUSA® and other existing wildland fire education efforts. It amplifies the preparedness messages to better achieve the common goal we all share of fire adapted communities. When firefighters encourage residents to take personal responsibility for preparing their property and family for wildland fire, residents become an active part of the solution. The more residents actively involved in mitigating their properties and preparing for evacuation, the greater a community’s resiliency to wildland fire.
The RSG! Program is managed by the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC). Launched nationally in March 2011 at the Wildland-Urban Interface (WUI 2011) Conference, the program helps fire departments teach individuals who live in high-risk wildland fire areas how to best prepare themselves and their properties to adapt to living with fire.