Alabama Fire Chief's Association underway in Tuscaloosa

TUSCALOOSA, AL (WBRC) - Today's meeting of the Alabama Fire Chiefs Association happens each year. But this week they focused on leadership within individual departments and helping you prevent fires from happening in your home.

"Most of the time, if it's not a police event, it's a fire event," Steve Carroll said.

Carroll, Gadsden's Fire Chief and also the President of the Alabama Fire Chief's Association, called the role of fire fighters one that continues growing no matter where they work. That's one reason why he said more than 300 of them attended this year's state conference in Tuscaloosa.

"It sure is a lot better for us when we see that the number of fire deaths every year start d ropping," Carroll went on to say.

Seventy people died in house fires in Alabama in 2017. Two people have died so far this year.

Firefighters think they can help prevent more deaths by convincing home owners to turn their attention to fire prevention.

"All fire departments are engaged in community risk reduction. There's 5 E's associated with community risk reduction. That includes education, engineering, enforcement, economic incentives and emergency response," Matt Russell, Executive Director of the Alabama Fire College, said.

They also want officers to develop better leadership skills so those departments function better in the future. Vendors also brought thousands of smoke detectors for fire fighters to take back to their communities to install in homes there.

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