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Redings Mill Fire Protection District, Missouri

The Redings Mill Fire Protection District earned national recognition from the Firewise Communities Program in 2010. In early 2011, they held a “Firewise Community Education Day” and recognition ceremony that was attended by NFPA’s Firewise staff Michele Steinberg and Todd Chlanda.

Redings Mill successThe Redings Mill Fire Protection District (RMFPD) has continued their efforts to keep their communities protected from the threat of wildland fires through the Firewise Communities Program. They were originally awarded recognition in 2010, and through their continued efforts have continued to be a beacon for other Missouri communities to look up to.

The Redings Mill Fire Protection District, founded in 1978, protects around 13,000 residents and includes six fire stations. Their goal is to educate their communities on ways that they can protect themselves from the devastating effects of wildland fires. The communities that they encompass are Silver Creek, Saginaw, Leawood, Shoal Creek Drive, Shoal Creek Estates, Loma Linda, Dennis Acres, Cliff Village, Grand Falls, and Redings Mill.

All of these communities are fairly small when looked at individually, but put together they make up a large area in southwest Missouri. The district worked together with the Missouri Department of Conservation to perform a wildfire hazard assessment from which they developed a plan to address their safety concerns.

Ben Webster, State Fire Supervisor with the Missouri Department of Conservation said that, “One of the primary concerns when dealing with wildland fire is the protection of persons and property. With the development and implementation of Community Wildfire Protection Plans and participation in the Firewise Program, the Redings Mill Fire Protection District has taken the proper steps to protect its citizens and communities from the threats and damages of wildfire.”

After working together with the Redings Mill Fire Protection Districts residents were able to put their plan in to action.

The communities in the Redings Mill Fire Protection District are the first Firewise Communities to be officially recognized in the state of Missouri. In order to receive official recognition from the Firewise Communities Program, the district had to meet a series of rigorous requirements set for by the Firewise program.

One of the first ways they did this was by training the Redings Mill Fire Protection District staff to recognize wildland fire hazards in the Fire District. Then, at various locations around the community, they conducted vegetation and fuel mitigation reports. After doing this, they met with all nine communities within the district to educate them about the Firewise program and how they could help out.

Once the residents were informed on what it was they had to do to keep their community safe, they worked with them to remove flammable vegetation from around their homes and other neighborhood structures. Another outreach program they had was their “Firewise Community Education Day” in which they invited the public to attend and learn more about being “firewise”. This event was attended by NFPA’s support manager of the Firewise Communities program Michele Steinberg and the Firewise Advisor for Missouri, Todd Chlanda.

Steinberg stated, “Redings Mill Fire Protection District has done an outstanding job creating a local Firewise Task Force and implementing Firewise principles. By preparing homes, structures, and landscapes before a wildfire occurs, Redings Mill Fire Protection District has dramatically increased the chance that homes and structures will be protected when a wildfire occurs.

Assistant Chief Michael White concurred, saying, “Using the Firewise program to assess hazards, create and implement risk mitigation plans, and educate our communities about wild land fires has directly benefited our fire district residents by lowering the risk of wild land fires affecting their homes and property.”