I would guess that many people have known ‘A theory of human motivation’ of Abraham Harold Maslow, an American psychologist. The theory consists of 5 elements, and one of them is safety needs. Human being has a strong desire to be safe if they are in danger or not. However, if whoever wants to be safe, learning is essential because we could not master how to be safe naturally. Of course, we could recognize danger through experience but education is necessary to cope with danger effectively. For example, we use a fire extinguisher to put out the fire when a fire occurs.
There are so many fire safety education organizations in the world. They each perform different roles but it is same that they instruct people in fire safety and reduce a risk by education. In Asia, Korea Fire Safety Association(KFSA) is considered as one of the best fire safety education organizations. KFSA truly is the fire safety organization representing Korea, standing against fire almost 40 years. In this issue, we APF Magazine would like to introduce KFSA become the foundation for the safety of Korea to readers.
“Supposing that our society with widespread disaster is a virus, we must become a vaccine on our own and constantly develop ourselves. Only then can we change the social climate. KFSA is the strongest vaccine responsible for the safety of Korea.” KFSA President Kim Myung-hyun
KFSA is an organization, established Oct. 7th 1980, under the government of Korea. In Korea, KFSA is well known as the ‘fire safety professional education organization’, educating safety managers working in national infrastructures etc. KFSA is specialized in education, so more than 10% of Korea’s population has taken fire safety education here until now. Including a main duty, education, KFSA carries out a variety of tasks such as public relations, fire prevention consulting, international exchange business and social responsibility activities.
KFSA adds safety through education
KFSA’s education is special. First of all, KFSA provides learners with differentiated textbooks combined with the QR codes. After scanning the QR codes using mobile phones, they can study fire protection system operation principle and firefighting facilities inspection with 3D graphic videos. In addition, KFSA has excellent educational environment. Learners can experience practice trainings such as firefighting facilities use, fire evacuation drill and CPR(Cardiopulmonary resuscitation) from 14 branch offices of KFSA. Fundamental education policy of KFSA is that they instruct learners in practice education with training facilities than theoretical education.
KFSA’s education courses are as follows: Fire safety manager, Hazardous materials safety manager, Hazardous materials transporter, Fire engineer. Each course is divided into two parts, one is qualification education and the other is practical education. Qualification education includes a practical ability test for learners. Practical education progresses with the level-differentiated classes tailored to each one’s ability. Systematic education of KFSA focuses on improvement of learners’ technical abilities.
On the one hand, KFSA’s education is innovative. KFSA offers cyber education contents whoever can take online lectures for free. KFSA already has been running an exclusive website for open online courses since 2011 which means that surprisingly they started the service one year earlier than MOOC(Massive Open Online Courses), a big global issue in 2012. They produce various lectures related to fire safety field such as fire protection, architecture, Hazardous materials and public health etc. from basics to advanced course.
Another amazing fact is that KFSA educates not only Korean but also people around the world.
“I am very surprised that I have experienced fire safety education here in Korea. Actually I could not take it in my country. Especially, it was easy to understand because instructors have explained the contents of education in English. I think this amazing experience will remain in my memory for a long time even after returning to my country.” a participant of fire safety education for foreigners.
In 2017, the number of foreign residents in Korea is approximately 2 million. They are unfamiliar with Korean society and also feel difficulty in communication, so their safety is on a blind spot. For this reason, KFSA invites them to the fire safety education program every year. At first, KFSA began the fire safety education for foreigners as a social responsibility activity, and after that, the program has became the regular education for them. Everyone can learn fire safety in KFSA because there is no border on KFSA’s education.
KFSA and the world become one through safety
KFSA and the world become one through international exchange business. KFSA is a member of CFPA(Confederation of Fire Protection Associations) and discusses the international policies and key issues on fire safety through the general assembly with other members regularly. Furthermore, KFSA contributed much to reduce the fire risk in Asia Pacific Region as a member of the executive committee of CFPA Asia. CFPA is the world’s think tank on fire safety and the union consisting of CFPA Europe’s 19 member countries and CFPA Asia’s 10 member countries. They are recognized as the primary fire safety organization of the country by the national government of that country.
Particularly, KFSA has the strong relationship with associations of China and Japan by MOU signing. In 2009, Korea-China-Japan associations organized a council and they have a meeting annually. They share each country’s opinion and fire safety information by presentation during the meeting. That has been a great effect on the formation of mutual cooperation and information exchange among 3 country associations.
KFSA and the world also become one through fire prevention consulting. Fire prevention consulting is to come up with effective countermeasures from analyzing potential disaster risk factors in fire risk assessment. KFSA takes charge of fire prevention consulting for important national facilities such as military installations and cultural assets and also national infrastructures, for example nuclear power plants and semiconductor factories. KFSA successfully performed fire prevention consulting with expanding operations to overseas countries; China, Taiwan, India and Poland, from 2014. KFSA has grown into an international fire safety organization with excellent technical skills throughout the world.
KFSA shares happiness through safety
The Koreans start a day with safety. There are massive fire prevention campaigns by KFSA when turning when turning on the radio and TV. They show diverse subjects dealing with firefighting facilities use, making ways for fire trucks, fire evacuation drill in a movie theater and so on. The only reason KFSA makes a lot of effort in the campaigns is that fires occur regardless of time and place. The campaigns, beginning with the establishment of KFSA, have made the Koreans safe every day.
KFSA conducts the campaigns with participatory events besides mass media. Those are special events all generations can enjoy such as children’s fire safety song competition, fire safety quiz contest and family camping with fire safety experience education. Originally the campaign needs two-way communication, not one-way communication. They correctly realize the situation.
KFSA shares happiness through social responsibility activities. They have supported 20,200 fire extinguishers and 15,400 fire detectors to fire prone areas since 2006. Moreover, they have installed 369 emergency firefighting equipments of hose reel type in the community with difficulty in firefighting of highlands and islands. They have proved that shared safety is double happiness.
KFSA dreams of the world’s representative safety organization
KFSA truly is the fire safety organization representing Korea. KFSA now dreams of the world’s representative safety organization beyond Korea with innovate education system, excellent technical skills and massive campaigns. We need to see their challenge to the world. Lastly, I would like to give my most heartfelt encouragement to KFSA trying their best for the development of fire safety of Korea and look forward to KFSA’s success on the world stage.
For more information, go to www.kfsa.or.kr