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Fire Safety Bus Rolls Into Greensboro

Greensboro Fire Department

GREENSBORO, NC -- More than half of the residential fire calls in Greensboro are from the southeast quadrant of the city. In an attempt to reduce the rate of fires in Greensboro, and in the southeast area of the city in particular, the Greensboro Fire Department began an 18-month fire prevention project featuring a commuter bus "wrapped" in fire prevention and safety messages. The Fire Prevention and Safety Grant of the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program provided funding for the project.

The Department, in collaboration with the Greensboro Transit Authority (GTA), unveiled the "wrapped" commuter bus on May 2, 2005, at Fire Station 11 in southeast Greensboro. The bus is superimposed, or wrapped, with a plastic coating that displays safety messages modeled on catchphrases used in a series of well-known credit card ads. The bus wrapping provides numbers to call for free smoke detector installations and graphics that explain how to prevent fires. Inside the bus, posters display additional safety messages in both English and Spanish. Greensboro is the first fire department in the Nation to employ this particular type of fire prevention strategy. "The Fire Prevention Bus wrap is another way to reach people in the neighborhoods," says Leslie Lippa, Assistant to the Fire Chief.

After a few months, some firefighters will ride the bus and survey passengers about the fire prevention and safety messages on and inside the bus. The GTA also has posstcards on the bus for people to fill out and send in feedback about the bus and its effectiveness. After the first 6 months of operation, the Fire Prevention and Safety Bus will travel on different commuter routes at random throughout the city.

The Greensboro Department's previous fire prevention program involved going door to door and installing smoke detectors for residents who wanted them. Local firefighters came up with the idea for new fire prevention project and took photos of area buses. "The overlay design was developed, and the idea was presented to the GTA. The GTA helped us to refine the graphic," says Lippa.

Greensboro has a population of approximately 224,000, and in fiscal year 2003-2004, the Fire Department received 20,391 fire calls, with more than 50 percent of residential fire calls coming from southeast section of the city. For that reason, the wrapped bus will spend the first 6 months of operation traveling primarily in that area.

What they bought with the grant:

  • Fire Prevention and Safety Bus Project
Last updated October 23, 2020