The Services Aimed at Fire Education and Treatment for Youth (SAFETY) Program is a specialty service directed by faculty and staff affiliated with Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic (WPIC) of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC). This service is available for children and teens who have shown a strong interest in or preoccupation with fire, played with matches, burned property or set a fire, or used incendiary materials or explosives.

Our program offers individualized assessment, educational, and/or treatment services for children and adolescents who misuse fire. The program also provides consultation and training to providers or agencies. Because the program does not bill a family's insurance plan for services, we can only provide our services through a service agreement contract.

This service extends more than 30 years of research designed to evaluate the characteristics, course, history, and treatment of child firesetting, supported, in part, by federal (National Institute of Mental Health) and local (State Farm Insurance) grants. Much of this work has developed and documented the benefits of novel educational and clinical interventions, which are now incorporated in our program (Kolko, 1985, 2001; Kolko et al., 2009, 2011).

August 14, 2017: Workshop in London

Come to London, England, to attend Dr. Kolko's first workshop to teach the practical strategies included in his new guidebook on treating children who misuse fire.

Date: September 25, 2017

Contact: See flyer

April 18, 2017: New Fire Treatment Book

Drs. David Kolko and Eric Vernberg have written a book that provides clinical guidelines to help assess and intervene with children who misuse fire. The book includes numerous examples and worksheets for use with children and their caregivers. Much of the content is based on Dr. Kolko's prior evaluation and treatment studies that are incorporated in the SAFETY program. The book is available now from Oxford University Press.

Staff affiliated with the SAFETY Program

David Kolko, PhD, ABPP
Program Director
Eunice Torres, MS
Program Coordinator
John (Jack) Rozel, MD, MSL Medical Director
Jessica Gahr, MA
Treatment Clinician
Kevin Rumbarger, BA
Assistant Program Coordinator