Public Lecture: “A Conversation of Consequence: The American Fire Culture Past, Present, Future”

We Can All Do Better At Preventing and Surviving Fire

Burton_ClarkAuthor of : I can’t save you but I’ll die trying: The American Fire Culture, Premium Press America, Nashville TN 2015.

“Society needs to change how it thinks and feels about fire death. When a civilian is killed by fire it is not an act of God and when a firefighter is killed it is not part of the job. When there is a fire death something went wrong. The public as well as the fire service can all do better to prevent and survive fire.” B. A. Clark

For the 20th Century the American Fire Culture was based on a Manual Fire Protection model that has resulted in the United States having some of the highest fire loss rates in the industrial world. More Americans are killed by fire then all other natural diastases combined. Our homes, businesses, infrastructure, and environment are more venerable to fire than ever before. At the same time, the American Fire Service is becoming stretched to its limits due to increase demand for Emergency Medical Services and all hazard response; in combination with a reduction in volunteer firefighters and cost conscious community budgets in career departments.

In the 21st century the American Fire Culture must change to an Automatic Fire Protection model. This will require stronger building/fire codes, stronger urban wild land interface boundaries, and changing the fire service from a fire response focus to a fire prevention focus.

Finally, every person must assume more personal responsibility for their fire safety by doing better a preventing and surviving fire for themselves and families.

In other words, We Can All Do Better at Preventing and Surviving Fire.

Dr. Clark has been in the fire service for 45 years working at the local, county, state, national and international levels. His book is a collection of essays that reflect his experiences, research, and conclusions about the American Fire Culture. All of us play an important part in the past, present, and future fire culture. Everyone can help prevent and survive fire. Come lean what you can do.

This two hour lecture is designed for community leaders including public officials, government executives, business executives, the construction industry, and the fire service.