The Juvenile Firesetter Handbook has been updated by the Upper Pine River Fire Protection District. It was designed to increase awareness of the juvenile firesetting problem in our community and to help principals, teachers, counselors, psychologists and SRO’s understand the importance of referring students to this important program.
Our city continues to experience many fire incidents originated by children and youth under the age of eighteen that result in fires of varying magnitudes. These incidents range from curiosity fire play, to those involved in crisis situations, to purposeful delinquent behavior. It’s rare, but the potential also exists for pathological cases.
This program provides an opportunity for the child’s level of firesetting/fire play to be evaluated through an educational and awareness session with the child and their parents. That session is then followed up with a three hour group class led by a Juvenile Firesetting Intervention Specialist, a firefighter and possibly an adult burn survivor. Since the program’s inception, we have had an extremely high success rate in reducing the number of children involved in repeat fire incidents. In some instances, referrals are made for the child to receive additional help through resources at San Juan Board of Cooperative Services. (BOCS)