The Children and Fire Program is a program which helps educate juvenile fire setters using safety education and counseling. The program is a cooperative effort between the Madison Fire Department Community Education Division and the Fire Investigation Team. The kids are referred to the program through the schools, Police Department, concerned parents, and Madison Fire Department personnel.

Juvenile fire-setters range from 2 to 17 years of age, and the majority are male. After a juvenile is referred to the program, initial contact is made with the family. Contact is also made at the child’s school and fire safety assignments are given. After a certain length of time and a number of follow-up contacts (depending on the severity of fire play), the child will complete the program. They may receive a Children and Fire Program certificate signed by the Fire Chief.

Early identification of the motivation of fire setters and early intervention can help reduce or eliminate dangers to the home and community. Whatever the cause of the fire setting behavior, it may be possible to replace it with more constructive activity. Fire setting motives may also be reduced through guidance and screening. For more information on this program contact Bernadette Galvez at (608) 261-9844.