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Northern California FISE

The Need

In 2003, there were no systematic fire safety and prevention outreach programs for children in San Francisco schools. Neither the San Francisco Fire Department, nor the San Francisco Unified School District had programs in effect to reach children fire safety. The San Francisco Firefighters in Safety Education (SFFISE) program emerged out of the need to fill this gap in safety education in San Francisco. The Alisa Ann Ruch Burn Foundation partners with San Francisco firefighters to deliver this important program to children in schools throughout the city. The SFFISE program and the education provided to the San Francisco community save lives, empowering children with information to protect themselves and their families from fire-related injuries and fatalities.

Our Mission

The San Francisco Firefighters in Safety Education program serves preschool and elementary school students by facilitating interactive 30 minute fire and burn safety presentations. SFFISE serves public, independent and parochial schools annually, and in an attempt to educate "each kid, each year". Trained, off-duty San Francisco firefighters teach children 7 basic skills about what to do in the event of a fire or emergency. Children also receive a scald prevention brochure, and a fire safety letter in 7 different languages to take home and share with their parents. Our mission is that children return home as ambassadors of fire safety and educate the greater community.

The SFFISE program operates under the responsibility of the Alisa Ann Ruch Burn Foundation, a California statewide non-profit organization that is dedicated to enhancing the quality of life for burn survivors and promoting burn prevention education. SFFISE volunteers are recruited from the San Francisco Fire Department. With support from Chief Joanne Hayes-White, San Francisco Firefighter DeWayne Eckerdt, Fire Marshall Thomas Harvey, Mindy Talmadge, dozens of individual firefighters, and fire engine crews, the SFFISE program educates 10,000 students annually.


In the 10 years of its operation, SFFISE has educated 80,000 San Francisco students in 60 different schools. In 2012, the SFFISE program was acknowledged by a national burn prevention committee and selected for publication at the 44th Annual American Burn Association conference. The publication, "Repeated Dissemination of Burn Prevention Information to Students Increases Knowledge Retention",  was written on findings from 1200 matched student pre and post evaluations. The publication demonstrates the importance of teaching 'each child, each year' for student retention of fire and burn prevention. The working relationship between the San Francisco Fire Department and the Alisa Ann Ruch Burn Foundation was also highlighted and noted as a model program for future burn prevention programs.

Request a presentation:

If you would like to request a SFFISE presentation at your school, please fill out the form below and we will contact you!

Required fields are marked with an asterisk* below.

First Name*
Last Name*
Street Address*
City *
Daytime Phone
Evening Phone

Alternatively, you can email Daniel Chacon for information at:



Information for Parents:

Fire Safety Checklist

Fire Prevention and Education Information is available in the following languages:




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