The Rapid City Fire and Life Safety Division (FLSD) offers a free, education-based intervention for youth ages 3-17 and their parents or guardians.
The Youth Firesetter Prevention and Intervention (YFPI) Program is a nationally recognized process used for helping youth firesetters. It is particularly important for youth who have started a fire or been involved in a fire incident, but any child who is considered ‘at risk’ of starting fires will benefit. In fact, the best results can happen when a youth is seen the first time that his parent, guardian, or teacher has concerns about the youth possibly setting a fire.
The program uses a nationally recognized process with certified Youth Firesetter Specialists to gather pertinent information, evaluate the child and the situation, and educate and/or refer the youth to other professionals in youth services. The process includes:
Use of a consistent form to gather initial information from the youth and his or her parents or caregivers;
Separate interviews of the youth and the parents/guardians (60-90 minutes total) that are used to gather details on the youth and the family, including information on sudden stresses in the family, if the youth has had a history of setting fires, and how the youth is doing in school;
Evaluation of the results and discussion of what interventions are best for the youth;
Appropriate interventions that could include fire-behavior education, self-evaluation and accountability exercises, home safety education with assignments that take around 30 minutes in class plus follow-up at home, or they may need further evaluation by a mental health professional;
Follow-up visits with the youth and at least one guardian/parent to review assigned home tasks (15 minutes) and, if appropriate, complete further education (30 – 45 minutes). The majority of the interventions require these two meetings, though some situation may need additional in-person visits;
A 30-day No Fire Play contact between the youth and the interventionist, which helps put the youth in a position to earn back the trust of adults, to be a leader, and to complete positive actions for the family and community.
General information on the case is reported to a national database including age, gender, and our fire department. It does not include the youth’s name or address. We ask permission, in writing, at the beginning of the intervention to discuss the youth’s progress with involved organizations, such as those that required attendance or will conduct recommended interventions.