Portsmouth sets goals to make fire deaths obsolete

By Becky Robinette Wright

Portsmouth Fire Chief Don Horton is taking a pro-active approach to saving lives.

In a press release earlier this year Fire Chief Don Horton stated, “Portsmouth Fire, Rescue and Emergency Services will continue initiatives such as installing free smoke alarms and batteries, to keep fire deaths obsolete.”

Chief Horton

But that is not all the department is doing.

Chief Horton said that new fire prevention programs have created opportunities for enlightenment and education of the public.

A Home Safety Survey Program, where citizens can request for firefighters to come into their home and give fire safety advice, continues to be a successful new initiative.

A monthly news article in the Virginian-Pilot by Fire Chief Don Horton, as well as a designated Public Information Officer helps provide the community with information and education.

Attendance and participation by fire department personnel at civic league

meetings was increased 200%, and “After the Fire” brochures have been

available to people affected by fires. The department held its inaugural

Citizen’s Fire Academy in 2011, where citizens gained insight into the many duties of a fire fighter.

In 2011, Portsmouth reported zero fire deaths, that was the first year without fire deaths since 2005. Officials also reported a 12% reduction in fires.


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