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Establishing a Direction for the Fire and Health Liaison Project

1 January 2014


The Fire and Health Liaison Project was inspired by the Manchester Fire and Mental Health Liaison Project (MFMHLP). The MFMHLP is a collaboration between Manchester Mental Health and Social Care Trust (MMHSCT) and Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) beginning in March 2009. As a part of the MFMHLP, an occupational therapist serves as the Fire and Mental Health Liaison Officer (FMHLO). As the FMHLO, the occupational therapist accepts referrals from both the MMHSCT and GMFRS for individuals suspected of being at a high risk for fire, coordinates joint home fire safety checks, and carries out fire risk assessment and intervention for individuals with mental health disabilities. The FMHLO uses occupational therapy skills to assess the individual in relation to their environment, activities of daily living, and risk of fire. Following assessment and intervention, the FMHLO creates a risk management report to provide recommended control measures and a risk management plan.

In 2013, “Developing Community Partnerships for Fire Safety and Prevention Program” was the first project completed by Pacific University occupational therapy students as a part of the Fire Liaison Project. It was implemented by Benjamin Fenison and Alyssa Finn with the overall goal of increasing communication between health care providers and emergency responders to promote safety for those with disabilities within the Colorado Estes Park community. Primary strategies utilized to meet project goals were: identifying stakeholders, conducting needs assessments, establishing partnership agreements between stakeholders, gathering contact information, researching demographic information, and exploring assessment options.

This year, occupational therapy students Kelsey Fuller and Nicole Sato strived to address similar increased fire risks for those with disabilities within Washington County. Prior to this project, there was a lack of understanding regarding how to address increased fire risk for those with physical and mental disabilities within Washington County. Information gathered and summarized in this study identified population needs and will serve as a reference for the future direction of the Fire and Health Liaison Project.



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