Westwood, NJ resident William (Bill) Quinn, a firefighter with the Westwood Fire Department since 1982, was recently honored for his work as a Charter Member of the Bergen County Juvenile Fire Prevention Program.
The Bergen County Juvenile Fire Prevention Program (BCJFPP) is designed to improve the quality of life for children, families, and the community through fire prevention education and intervention. With the backing of Care Plus NJ, Inc. (CarePlus), the BCJFPP has counseled and educated over 2,000 children of the dangers and consequences of setting fires.
The BCJFPP operates with the help of volunteers from local fire departments, as well as with clinicians from CarePlus. As stated on their website, the BCJFPP boasts a 98% non-recidivism rate, and an increase in fire safety knowledge for both youth and their parents. Without counseling, however, there is an 81% probability of a fire setter repeating the behavior. Volunteers such as Quinn have the crucial role of educating the children, which leads to the positive outcomes and the success of the program.
Over the past 25 years Quinn – a Certified Juvenile Fire Setter Intervention Specialist – has volunteered his time as a fire safety educator for the BCJFPP. The Mayor of Westwood John Birkner, Jr. presented Quinn with a proclamation that commended him for his years of service with the BCJFPP during a Westwood town council meeting on July 16.
In 2008, Quinn was honored by PSE&G with the “Excellence in Volunteerism Award of Merit” which included a $1,000 donation to CarePlus in his name.
Beginning in 1987, the BCJFPP – along with CarePlus – has helped to educate children in Bergen County of the danger of setting fires. Working together with CarePlus, the Bergen County Juvenile Fire Prevention Program remains an effective route for at-risk youth.
A child does not need to have committed arson to be involved in the program. If a child shows a reoccurring interest in fire, is playing with fire, or participating in fire setting behaviors, he or she is eligible for referral to the program. For more information, please call (201)797-2660 ext. 144.
BCJFPP is also accepting applications for volunteer fire safety educators. For more information, visit their website at www.BCJFPP.org.