On April 6, 2006, at the 18th Annual National Fire and Emergency Services Dinner, Chief Bill Jenaway, president of the Congressional Fire Services Institute, announced the re-formation of an award to recognize fire departments that aggressively adopt the 16 Firefighter Life Safety Initiatives and embrace a firefighter safety culture in their organizations. Named in honor of Senator Paul Sarbanes, a longtime supporter of fire service issues on Capitol Hill, the award will be sponsored by the Congressional Fire Services Institute and co-sponsored by the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation, with important corporate assistance from Motorola, Inc., State Farm Insurance, and the Glatfelter Insurance Group.
Immediately following his speech at the National Dinner, Chief Jenaway paid tribute to Senator Sarbanes in announcing the award:
“Senator Sarbanes, the fire service truly owes you a debt of gratitude for your leadership and support for our cause throughout your illustrious career as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives and United States Senate. Your leadership has saved lives — the lives of many firefighters and rescue personnel. And your leadership has made an immeasurable difference in the lives of family members who have lost a fallen hero.”
“To show our appreciation and gratitude for your legacy supporting first responders, the CFSI Board of Directors voted unanimously to enhance our Fire Service Organization of the Year Award and to rename it the Senator Paul S. Sarbanes Fire Service Organization of the Year Award. The award will be co-sponsored with another organization that considers you its best friend — the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation. In addition, State Farm Insurance and Glatfelter Insurance Group will serve as corporate co-sponsors.”
“Although many of the details need to be worked out, the focus of the award will be on firefighter health and safety. Using the 16-point criteria developed by the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation and endorsed by the major fire organizations, the award will be presented to a fire organization at the local, state or national level or fire and emergency services departments that are guided by the pursuit of a safe and healthy fire and emergency services. We will present the first award at the 19th Annual National Fire and Emergency Services Dinner on March 29, 2007. We hope you can be there for the presentation.”
“At an event earlier today, it was announced that Motorola Incorporated and the Motorola Foundation will donate $1 million to the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation. These funds will support an expansion of the Paul Sarbanes Scholarship Fund and will also support the annual National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Weekend in Emmitsburg, Maryland, and other programs NFFF provides to its fire service survivors. Thank you, Motorola for your generous support of the Foundation.”
“And so on behalf of my fellow firefighters and rescue personnel, congratulations to you, Senator, for an incredible legacy of service to this great nation.”