The California Fire Foundation and San Diego Fire-Rescue Department announced today a new effort to educate local Vietnamese and Spanish speaking communities on what to do in the event of a house fire. The fire safety Public Service Announcements, produced as part of the Foundation’s Firefighters on Your Side program, will begin airing on radio and television stations in English, Spanish and Vietnamese. This is the first ever Vietnamese fire safety PSA produced under the program.
“The California Fire Foundation believes that it is vital for fire safety education to reach all audiences,” said Lou Paulson, President of CFF. “Unfortunately language barriers have been shown to increase the likelihood of fire-related injuries and death. Through this effort, we hope to enhance awareness of fire safety and save lives.”
San Diego has the fifth largest Vietnamese population and the ninth largest Hispanic or Latino population in the nation, according to the 2010 U.S. Census.
“House fires can happen to anyone without warning, which is why it’s absolutely necessary for everyone to have a plan in case of a fire,” said Firefighter and San Diego native Anthony Lee. “I come from the San Diego Vietnamese community, so this project is particularly meaningful for me. Education is critical to saving lives in a fire, and we’re hoping more families will be better prepared as a result of these PSAs.”
Both the Spanish and Vietnamese PSAs emphasize the importance of planning fire escape routes in the event of a house fire.
“Reaching out to community members with limited English skills is essential to the safety of our community,” said San Diego Firefighter Joe Amador. “Language can act as a barrier when it comes to informing the public on safety issues, so communicating in additional languages, like Spanish, will ensure more people will know what to do in a fire emergency.”
This fire safety community outreach is a part of CFF’s statewide effort to educate traditionally underserved communities in California through their program Firefighters On Your Side. Previously, the organization reached out to the Spanish speaking community in Fresno and elderly people in California.
For more information, and to watch the spots online, please visit FirefightersOnYourSide.org