Posts By: NFFF

NFFF Seal of Excellence Award for Rhode Island Association of Fire Chiefs

Chiefs fought bill exempting seat belt use for first responders.

The NFFF Seal of Excellence Award is presented to the Rhode Island Fire Chiefs Association during their December meeting and holiday party. From left: Chief Ronald J. Siarnicki, executive director, NFFF; Chief Richard Susi, executive director, RIFCA; Chief Brian Jackvony, president, RIFCA; Victor Stagnaro, director of Fire Service Programs, NFFF; and Rick Mason, training and education coordinator, NFFF.

When the Rhode Island legislators passed a bill exempting emergency vehicle drivers from wearing seatbelts, the Rhode Island Fire Chiefs Association (RIFCA) stood up for safety. The association sent Governor Lincoln Chaffee a clear message that the state’s fire chiefs believe those in public safety should be setting an example for the citizens. In addition, the chiefs told the governor the bill would make driving an emergency vehicle much more dangerous for firefighters, EMS workers and police.

RIFCA’s efforts convinced the governor to veto the bill. In recognition of their work, the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation presented the association with the Seal of Excellence Award at their business meeting on December 19.

“For upholding the spirit of the Everyone Goes Home® program, drawing attention to the importance of safe practices at all times, and setting an outstanding example for other service organizations and citizens, we are pleased to present the Rhode Island Fire Chiefs Association with the Seal of Excellence Award,” said Chief Ronald Siarnicki, executive director of the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation.

“Seatbelts save lives,” said Governor Chaffee when he vetoed the bill. “While I recognize the necessity for critical personnel to act quickly in the event of an emergency, I am concerned that what we may gain in response time may be lost in increased injuries to Rhode Island’s emergency responders.”

Nominations Being Accepted for the Senator Paul S. Sarbanes Fire Safety Leadership Award

Recognizing A Commitment to Firefighter Health and Safety

The Congressional Fire Services Institute (CFSI) and National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF) are accepting nominations for the Senator Paul S. Sarbanes Fire Safety Leadership Award. Presented annually at the CFSI National Fire and Emergency Services Dinner, the award recognizes organizations for outstanding leadership in advancing fire health and safety. Taking place on May 1, 2014 in Washington, DC, the dinner will be attended by our nation’s top political leaders and 2,000 state and national fire service officials. The nomination deadline is March 14th.

The goals of the award are described by the following five points:

  • Helping to advance the Life Safety Initiatives originally developed by the American fire service during the 2004 National Fire Service Summit hosted by the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation.
  • Advocating the need to address firefighter health and safety and becoming an advocate for this cause.
  • Promoting and supporting firefighter health and safety initiatives at the local, state, or national level.
  • Reaching out to other organizations and developing partnerships to further the cause of firefighter health and safety.
  • Engaging government leaders at all levels to work together for changes and for the establishment of government programs that can enhance the personal safety of firefighters.

For additional information about the Sarbanes award, contact CFSI at 202-371-1277. Information is also available on the CFSI website and the NFFF website at

The award recipient will receive an all-expense paid trip to our Nation’s Capital to be honored at the most important evening for our nation’s fire and emergency services. The Sarbanes award is made possible by the generous support of State Farm Insurance and VFIS, Inc, the corporate cosponsors.

The deadline for submitting applications is March 14, 2014.

» Download the Senator Paul S. Sarbanes Fire Safety Leadership Award Criteria and Application

Annapolis Residents Benefit from Emergency Responder Safety Grant Submitted by NFFF

Hundreds of Smoke and CO Alarms Available to Locals

Annapolis Mayor Michael Pantelides and Fire Chief David Stokes publicly thanked BGE for an Emergency Responder Safety Grant that will allow the City to install hundreds of smoke and carbon monoxide alarms and better protect Annapolis citizens.

The Annapolis Fire Department will benefit from the $10,000 BGE grant submitted by the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF). NFFF presented the alarms at today’s event, after purchasing them from the world’s largest manufacturer of fire safety products, Kidde.

“These alarms will offer ongoing protection to residents with no need for ongoing maintenance,” Mayor Pantelides said. “I offer my sincere thanks to BGE and the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation for their support of our Fire Department and for the donation of these life-saving devices.”

The alarms Annapolis is receiving are powered by sealed-in, 10-year lithium batteries. Kidde’s new Worry-Free smoke and carbon monoxide alarms use one battery for the life of the alarm to provide 24/7 fire safety protection, eliminating the hassles of low battery chirps and battery replacement.

“The odds of surviving a home fire or carbon monoxide release increase greatly with the aid of early warning devices,” Fire Chief Stokes said. “This generous donation of smoke and CO alarms, on behalf of BG&E and the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation, will ensure that our most vulnerable populations, including our seniors and low income citizens, have access to these life-saving devices.”

The Annapolis City Fire Department’s Smoke Alarm program has been in place for 15 years and has continued to provide fire safety protection for hundreds of families. The program gives citizens the ability to call and request installation of a smoke or carbon monoxide alarm. This program continues to see progress and builds on the department’s goal of reaching zero fire deaths.

“There is no doubt that smoke and carbon monoxide alarms save lives,” Executive Director of the National Firefighters Foundation Ronald Siarnicki said. “We are pleased to be able to help the Annapolis Fire Department by making these alarms available to the residents of Annapolis.”

If any resident in Annapolis is in need of an alarm, we urge them to call 410-263-7975 and request that a firefighter come to their home and install it.

Attending today’s event was Mayor Michael Pantelides, Fire Chief David Stokes, BGE’s Vice President of Governmental and External Affairs Alexander Nunez., Executive Director for the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation, Ron Siarnicki, and Kidde Community Affairs Manager Neal Zipser.

Fulfilling Educational Dreams for Spouses or Life Partners of Fallen Firefighters

It’s not unusual for the surviving spouses or life partners of fallen firefighters to want to advance or change their career path as they begin rebuilding their lives. But often financial resources are limited and these educational goals may seem out of reach. Fortunately, a new scholarship opportunity may help make these dreams a reality.