Senator Paul S. Sarbanes Fire Service Safety Leadership Award to be Presented to Three Organizations For Outstanding Achievements to Improve Firefighter Health and Safety

The Congressional Fire Services Institute (CFSI) and the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF) have selected the Office of the State Fire Commissioner for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and a unique partnership between the Oklahoma Council on Firefighter Training and INTEGRIS Heart Hospital as the co-recipients of the 2014 Senator Paul S. Sarbanes Fire Service Safety Leadership Award.

The awards will be presented at the 26th Annual National Fire and Emergency Services Dinner on May 1, 2014 in Washington, DC. Named after retired-Senator Paul S. Sarbanes of Maryland, a strong advocate for our nation’s fire and emergency service personnel during his 36-year career in Congress, the award recognizes organizations for their outstanding contributions to firefighter health and safety. State Farm Insurance and VFIS serve as the corporate supporters of the award program.

Under the leadership of Edward A. Mann, the Office of the State Fire Commissioner developed and implemented the first LODD training course in Pennsylvania. The Courage to be Safe® program has been delivered across the Commonwealth and thousands of Pennsylvania Firefighters have been introduced to the 16 Firefighter Life Safety Initiatives. Recognizing the value of the training program to firefighter health and safety, the Fire Commissioner’s office has been making grants available to departments that have completed the program. In addition, Commissioner Mann has been a vocal advocate for firefighter health and safety both in Pennsylvania and throughout the nation, delivering the Everyone Goes Home® message in his presentations.

The second recipients, the Oklahoma Council on Firefighter Training and INTEGRIS Heart Hospital, are being honored for the development of the Healthy Heart Program for Oklahoma firefighters. The program launched a pilot study to identify firefighters at risk for potentially life-threatening cardiac events and to conduct follow-up testing and treatment. The pilot study screened 100 firefighters between the ages of 44 and 66 years of age. The results showed that four firefighters were “high risk”, allowing them to receive potentially life-saving treatment. The pilot program also helped raise greater awareness about the risks of cardiac events among the entire Oklahoma fire service. The program is on-going and evolving with the next phase targeting the entire Oklahoma fire service for screening, education and awareness for cardiac wellness.

CFSI President Bill Jenaway and NFFF Chairman Dennis Compton issued a joint statement recognizing the three organizations for their work. “We applaud these organizations for their achievements in addressing firefighter health and safety. For Commissioner Mann and the Office of the State Fire Commissioner, this award recognizes a long-term commitment and dedication to the health and safety of the Pennsylvania fire service. And for the Oklahoma Council on Firefighter Training and INTEGRIS Heath Hospital, this award pays tribute to a partnership that is addressing a major health risk to the firefighters of Oklahoma – and for that matter – to firefighters across the country. We look forward to honoring them on May 1st.”

Approximately 2,000 fire and emergency services leaders throughout the nation are expected to attend the annual program. In addition to the dinner and seminars, attendees will schedule meetings with their members of Congress to discuss important fire and life safety issues.