The Congressional Fire Services Institute (CFSI) and the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF) have selected the National Volunteer Fire Council, Virginia Fire Chiefs Association and the City of New York Fire Department for the 2010 Senator Paul S. Sarbanes Fire Service Safety Leadership Award.
The awards will be presented at the 22nd Annual National Fire and Emergency Services Dinner on April 29, 2010 in Washington DC. Named after retired-Senator Paul S. Sarbanes of Maryland, a strong advocate of our nation’s firefighters and rescue personnel during his 36-year career in Congress, the award recognizes organizations for their outstanding contributions to firefighter health and safety. Both State Farm Insurance and VFIS serve as the corporate supporters of the award program.
The National Volunteer Fire Council is being honored for establishing the Volunteer Firefighter Health and Safety Priorities. The priorities are categorized in four areas of practices – Behavior, Equipment, Standards and Codes, and Training – forming the acronym BEST. The NVFC is sharing these practices through an aggressive outreach program that includes the production of 30,000 posters that have been sent to fire departments across the country. They have also promoted the program through fire publications and local media. Additional information about the program is available on the NVFC website (www.nvfc.org).
The Virginia Fire Chiefs Association is being recognized for the Virginia Fire Officer Academy, a program VFCA established in 2007 to enforce the 16 life safety initiatives of the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation. To date, the program has graduated 120 students from all parts Virginia and other states. A key factor in the program’s success is the support provided by a number of organizations and associations including the Virginia Department of Fire Programs, the University of Richmond’s Jepson School of Leadership, the Virginia Firefighters Association and the Virginia Professional Firefighters Association.
The City of New York Fire Department was selected for their commitment to enhance the safety programs within the agency and to work at the implementation of the Life Safety Initiatives through the use of a tailored video program portraying an FDNY version of the “Everyone Goes Home” Program. Under the auspicious of the Chief of Department, and in conjunction with the Department’s Safety Office they have significantly reduced burn injury occurrences to the members of the FDNY while fostering a belief that “firefighters can only save others if they remain safe themselves.”
CFSI President Bill Jenaway and NFFF Chairman Dennis Compton issued a joint statement recognizing the recipients for their achievements. “We are honoring three organizations for their outstanding efforts to enhance firefighter health and safety at the national, state and local levels. While we will be paying special recognition to these organizations at the National Fire and Emergency Services Dinner, there are a growing number of organizations throughout the nation embracing the ideals of the Sarbanes Award and the Life Safety Initiatives and to them we extend our gratitude and congratulations.”