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Thursday, March 19, 2015

Safety and Loss Control Workshop on Vandalism in City Parks

The Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design can
help cities reduce vandalism in their parks.
The 2015 LMCIT Safety and Loss Control Workshops are about to start and our staff will be on the road for the next five weeks. We look forward to meeting and visiting with our members.

In the morning session we have an interesting class that will appeal to public works, parks and recreation, and police attendees. The class is titled “Vandalism, Liability Hazards and Controls”. Paul Gladen, one of our field representatives, explains how cities can reduce vandalism to their parks. Part of the class focuses on a program called “Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design”, (CPTED).  CPTED is based on the premise that the physical environment can be designed to discourage vandalism.

Good sight lines and lighting
reduce vandalism.
Paul shows the class examples of how well this works by using before and after photos of parks where CPTED has been implemented. Some of the tips include trimming trees to a height of eight feet and keeping shrubs less than three feet tall to improve sight lines. The result is not only a reduction in vandalism, but the park becomes a place where people feel safe as well.  Paul also shows how lighting plans are incorporated to the design.

The workshops have lots of courses and attendees are encouraged to move between the five tracks of: Administrative, Police, Public Works/Parks and Rec, Safety Committee, and Insurance Agents.  Registration is still open for most of the workshops.  Here’s the link:

Up Next: The Stretch and Bend at Columbia Heights PD. 

In the meantime, stay safe and be careful.


Wednesday, March 11, 2015

South Central College Regional Fire School

The annual training is hosted by
South Central College in North Mankato.
Kudos to Bob Scheidt and the staff at South Central College in North Mankato for another successful regional fire school last weekend. The school was bustling as 683 firefighters—representing 150 departments from four states—spent all of Saturday and half of Sunday learning and improving their skills and decision-making. This year’s school offered 50 classes in 4-, 8-, and 12-hour blocks. We thank Bob and his staff for once again inviting the League of Minnesota Cities Insurance Trust (LMCIT) to be a part of it.

The school has an incredible energy about it. It is classroom after classroom full of firefighters, listening to instructors, discussing issues, and learning about leadership. The hallways are busy with firefighters in turn-out gear heading to the parking lots for their practical exercises like auto extrication, or bus and heavy truck rescues. Other groups are boarding the school buses that shuttle them off campus for a live burn of a house or ice rescue training.

Once again this year, LMCIT staff member Chris Smith presented the class “Fire Department Management and Liability.” A few of the topics covered were: joint powers agreements, contracting for service, fundraisers, relief associations, alcohol response policies, and a look at firefighter injuries. There was plenty of discussion—particularly on election vs. selection of firefighters and command staff. This type of forum opens up an exchange of information between the firefighters, as well as with the instructors.
St. Peter Fire Chief (and incident commander)
Ron Quade briefs the class.

We thank Plymouth Fire Chief Rick Kline for being the lead instructor for the *Training Safety Officer (TSO) program. That group spent the morning in the classroom learning the elements of the TSO program, getting a briefing from one of the live burn instructors, and working on risk assessments of training lesson plans. Then it was off to lunch and onto the bus for a trip out to the burn site to meet up with the burn team and their students. I was lucky enough to assist in this training.

We thank Bob and his staff coordinating and hosting this wonderful annual event.

*TSO Training
Chief Kline is also the chairman of the safety and health committee for the Minnesota State Fire Chief’s Association. That committee has made the Training Safety Officer program a priority for the coming year. If you would like a TSO class in your region, contact Chief Kline at (There is no charge for the training.)


                                    Responder Safety = Public Safety

Up next... Safety and Loss Control Workshop on Vandalism in City Parks

In the meantime, stay safe and be careful.