Community Risk Reduction
Smoke Alarm Program
As part of the Valdosta Fire Department's Community Risk Reduction Program, VFD will install Smoke Alarms in homes at no cost to residents. Funding for this program comes from ten percent of the donated funds from the department's can trailer collection program through the Georgia Firefighters Burn Foundation.
Smoke alarms save lives, early detection and early notification for citizens allow them to escape their homes. The National Fire Protection Association reports that 71 percent of smoke alarms that failed to operate had missing, disconnected, or dead batteries. This reinforces how important it is to make time twice a year to check smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
The City of Valdosta Police and Fire Department recently initiated a neighborhood walk program which has shown to be successful in forming relationships between public safety and Valdosta residents.
There have been several new initiatives over the last few months to get the police and fire department more involved in the community and to get people within the community working with each other more. The neighborhood walk is the newest event that is part of the city’s effort to increase community engagement. Working together improves communication and understanding.
Child Seat Safety Program
The Valdosta Fire Department participates in the Child Seat Safety Program in a program where firefighters are certified to train parents to safely install car seats in vehicles.
Citizens Fire Academy
Citizens have the opportunity to go behind the scenes with the Valdosta Fire Department via the annual VFD Citizens Fire Academy. Since 2014, the program has educated citizens and the business community about the services provided by the VFD increased fire and life-safety awareness, and established a strong partnership with community members.
Participants are exposed to all aspects of the department’s operations and witness demonstrations on search and rescue, extrication, and fire prevention; participate in the Ride-A-Long Program, a live burn, high-angle rescue, and how firefighters’ personal protective equipment works; visit the 911 Emergency Center and VFD Training Center; and all participants receive their CPR certifications.
The Citizen's Fire Academy Class is held in the fall of each year. To obtain additional information, call 229-333-1835.
Safe Haven Program
The Valdosta Fire Department is a safe-haven drop facility. In 2021, firefighters partnered with The Hope Box and the Greater Valdosta United Way to train firefighters with information surrounding infant abandonment and Hope Box resources for the care of mothers at risk and training on receiving and processing newborn babies. In May 2017, Governor Brian Kemp signed House Bill 391, amending previous legislation passed in 2002. Under HB 391, Georgia’s Safe Haven law, if a mother feels that her child is unsafe or unable to be cared for, she has up to 30 days to drop off a newborn at a medical facility, fire station, or police department. Under the law, a mother can avoid prosecution for the abandonment of her child. The baby must be given to an employee or volunteer at the facility.
Jr. Fire Marshall - Parents, teachers, firefighters and community leaders all profess that the VFD Jr. Fire Marshal Program is an important tool in keeping kids and families in our community fire-safe. The program: Teaches local children and students lifesaving lessons such as Stop, Drop, and Roll; Crawl Low Under Smoke; Draw a Home Fire Escape Plan and more through fun, engaging and educational activities; Gives local children and students an awareness of their personal safety and the actions they can take to help protect themselves, their family and friends; Allows parents, educators and other adults to have meaningful and vital fire safety conversations with these children and students about their personal safety.
Community Partners in Education - Community Partners in Education (CPIE) is a combined effort of the Lowndes County School System, the Valdosta City School System, and the Valdosta-Lowndes County Chamber of Commerce, whose purpose is to encourage greater student achievement in school systems by developing partnerships between individual schools and area businesses, industries, civic, church and community groups.
Youth Firesetter Intervention Program - The Firesetter Prevention and Intervention Program provides specialized fire safety education for children and target at-risk children and teens with an interest in or a history of starting fires, creating destructive incendiary devices or pulling fire alarms. By offering fire safety education instruction and community outreach presentations, the program helps reduce incidents of injury, property loss, and death. The program is offered without charge and is geared toward children and teens in Valdosta, GA. Life Safety Educators focus on fire safety in the home and strategies for preventing and reacting to home fires, all the while enforcing educational goals. The Firesetter Prevention and Intervention Program operates under the protocols and mandates set forth by the Georgia Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner's Office and the State Fire Marshal's Youth Firesetter Intervention Program (YFIP).
DEFY - DEFY consists of educating youth about team building, peer pressure, and the dangers of drugs, alcohol, and tobacco. The program lasts one year and begins with a one-week summer camp (leadership phase) and continues for one Saturday each month for the next nine months. The program is open to children 8 to 11 years of age.
The Valdosta Fire Department enforces the latest edition of NFPA 1