(Youth Firesetter Prevention and Intervention)
Who is a Youth Firesetter? A ‘Youth Firesetter’ is a young person from ages 3 to 18, who has used some sort of fire-starting tool, regardless if a fire is actually started. Two primary means of classification – WHY and RISK – are used to determine whether a youth is or potentially may become a firesetter.
Parent, teachers, fire fighters and friends can all help by knowing the characteristics and risk factors of potential and active firesetters. A youth showing several of the characteristics and/or risk factors is a cause for concern, especially if they are a radical or unexpected change from the normal behavior of that youth.
By spreading the knowledge and skills to help prevent youth firesetting, the RCFD gives educational presentations on fire uses and dangers to parents, adults in social service agencies, and children in schools.
Rapid City Fire Department (RCFD) Fire and Life Safety Division (FLSD)uses a process based on national standards to identify, interview, educate, and find resources to help the youth and her family, including individually tailored education. Through this program, the entire community is being assisted, as well as those immediately impacted by a youth-set fire and the firesetter herself; the focus is to stop the youth from setting fires and be a productive member of the community.