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Promotion Of Injury Prevention In Ohio By Ohio Emergency Medical Services

Promotion Of Injury Prevention In Ohio
By Ohio Emergency Medical Services

Each year, fire departments (FDs) respond to more than 400,000 residential fires in the United States. The results of these fires can be tragic. Approximately 2,800 people die each year, and another 13,600 are injured, due to house fires with children younger than 5 years and older adults > 70 years being at highest risk. Residential fires account for nearly 90% of all fire-related fatalities and more than half of all nonfatal fire and burn injuries nationally.

The fire service plays a key role in providing information about fire prevention and safety to the public, but communication strategies have been rapidly changing with increasing adoption of the internet as an information source. Even more recently, social media (SM) tools have become an influential means of sharing information. FDs must keep up with these changes in communication methods to remain relevant to the discussion of topics about which they care. Many FDs have websites, and some have begun to post videos and podcasts on these websites, but relatively few have plunged into Facebook, blogs, microblogs (such as Twitter), Flickr, and other SM. The SM phenomenon is so new that many FD personnel, including public information officers, are uncertain about its relevance to their work, while others are interested, but confused, about where to begin to learn about and adopt the use of these communication tools. One thing is certain – SM is here to stay, and it offers tremendous opportunities for the fire service to establish vital dialogues and reach new populations within the communities they serve. These same communication tools are also exceedingly useful for sharing information among fire service personnel across the country and even globally.

Although the project has concluded, resources on effective SM use are still accessible at the project website.

The goal of this project was to reduce deaths and injury due to residential fires in the United States. Seeking to achieve this goal, the project provided FDs with state-of-the-art information, educational materials, strategies and support from nationally-recognized experts that allow them to take advantage of SM tools to effectively promote fire prevention and safety through interactions with the communities they serve. EMS and fire departments throughout the state of Ohio participated in the study.


This project had two specific objectives. The first goal was to implement and evaluate interventions to increase the knowledge and use of social media by Emergency Medical Services (EMS) units and FDs in Ohio to increase awareness of the injury problem in Ohio and promote evidence-based injury prevention messages. The second goal of this project was to develop and disseminate educational materials to EMS units and fire departments in Ohio for their use in promoting evidence-based injury prevention messages via social media.


The Injury Prevention Through Social Media by Ohio Emergency Medical Services project received funding through the Ohio Department of Public Safety.


For more information regarding home fire safety, please visit the Fire Safety page.

To view a video series developed through this project, please visit our fire safety video library page.


Project Final Report

Click the image below to view or print the report.

For additional information, contact:

Tracy Mehan
Executive Director, CIPA
Email Me