Six Steps of the CRR Approach
Community Risk Reduction
and Tactics to
and Modify Plan
f o r d C ommunity risk reduction (CRR) is all about the process. And, any local CRR plan using identi- cal process steps can produce different results.
Let me explain why.
All CRR planning begins with a risk assessment,
which in turn can drive local decisions very differently
(Figure 1). As I’ve written before, a risk assessment
that focuses on emergency operations typically
involves an analysis of incident data. The call type;
frequency; location; and time of day, week, month, or
year can help in planning for station locations and the
equipment and staffing necessary to meet the challenges the incidents represent to a given community.
But in any community, risk from one area may be
very different from another. This example from the
Wilmington (NC) Fire Department shows frequency
of calls by area, helping to pinpoint portions of the
community that need help more often (Figure 2).
When we break the call types down further, we can
find information like one part of the community
runs frequently on student housing and cooking fires,
another one falls at assisted living centers, and another
area has lower call volume but covers major industrial
areas that don’t have high demand but represent a
significant potential for high loss should a fire occur. In
other words, the risks often vary.
Incident type, frequency, and location will help us
plan for emergency operations, which, for the record,
is part of our overall CRR strategy—and always will
KNOW THE COMMUNITY
Now, consider what happens when we want to get
ahead of the call. The call type, frequency, and location all help us to focus proactive efforts at managing
call volume and reducing community risks. But who
are the people involved, and what do they think?
Learning about the people in local communities
can produce very different CRR planning results.
Wouldn’t it be important to know that the audience
is largely Hispanic immigrants? Or Russian? Or
from northern Africa? Of course. Our approach, our
language used, and the way we reach people can be
very different depending on whom we are trying to
And, even within specific groups, we can’t make
generalized assumptions that we know what they will
like and what they won’t. A case in point happened
to me in the late 1980s when I was planning a smoke
The CRR Planning Process
Differing results based on local circumstances
Figure 1: The process steps for CRR planning.
(Courtesy of the Vision 20/20 Project.)
Figure 2: 2003-2009 hot spots for fire/EMS in Wilmington, North
Carolina. (Courtesy of the Wilmington Fire Department.)