The Youth Fire Setter Intervention Program is a statewide standardized program to provide prevention education/intervention and referrals if warranted for the children and families of Illinois to reduce the frequency and severity of fires set by youths. Partnering with the fire service, this program provides a coordinated referral center for the assessment and treatment of youth fire setters and their families, thereby slowing down the often devastating results of fire setting. Prevention education can quell the youth fire problem, but only when properly targeted, designed, and delivered. The behaviors causing the problem must be considered because what motivates their behavior is the surest clue to solving the youth fire setting problem.
The Zion Fire Rescue Department has members trained as Juvenile Fire Setters Interventionists. Over the years, the Zion Fire Rescue Department has responded to many fires that were attributed to the actions of juveniles. Many of the fires are started by young fire setters who are just curious about matches and lighters. Without intervention, this curiosity with fire could end up leading to young arsonists with fatal results.
Juveniles who are found to be responsible for fires, or who may have a problem with playing with matches or lighters are required to attend counseling sessions with one of our trained Youth Fire Setter Interventionists. This includes individual, one on one counseling sessions, viewing special videos, education on the dangers of fire and possible consequences of their actions. Proper and timely intervention with juveniles at an early stage, by both our trained counselors and family members, can have a great impact on future problems.