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Junior Firesetter Program

Most children are fascinated with fire, but those children who play with matches and lighters are putting themselves and those around them in great danger.

Some children experiment with fire out of curiosity. These children usually have easy access to matches and lighters. They do not understand the consequences of their actions. There are also children who experiment with fire because they are experiencing a a crisis in their life. The crisis could be a result of moving, a death or divorce. Unable to express anger, sadness or abandonment, children sometimes turn to firesetting. These children will benefit from learning how to deal with their emotions in a more constructive positive manner, one that does not include firesetting.

Most importantly, both types of firesetters need to be shown the consequences for their actions. This is done through education.

THE PROGRAM

The Bogalusa Fire Department has taken a positive approach in its efforts to stop youth firesetting in the community through our Junior Firesetter Program. The mission of the program is to provide educational intervention for children and their families experiencing problems with firesetting.

STEPS

1. REFERRAL TO THE PROGRAM

A child can be referred to the Junior Firesetter Program in a number of ways: by a parent, a teacher, the fire department, the police department, or the court system, etc. Classes are free of charge for children and their families. To schedule a class please call (985) 732-6217

EDUCATION

The child and their family are seen by a fire educator for two sessions. The educator and the child discuss the dangers and consequences of firesetting. The program educates parents and children on the proper use of fire and fire safety.

2. FOLLOW UP

Contacting the family either through mail or telephone is a necessary step in evaluating the progress of the child. Evaluations are mailed to the family three months and nine months after the class has been completed.

Richard Moody, Fire Chief