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Many Honored at FRI 2011: Awards and Scholarships

Fire Chiefs of the Year

  • Volunteer Fire Chief: Chief Robert Perry, Union Fire Protection District, Peace Dale, R.I.
  • Career Fire Chief: Chief Debra Amesqua, Madison (Wis.) Fire Department

Tony Pini Diversity & Inclusion Awards

IAFC President Chief Al Gillespie presented the first annual Tony Pini Diversity & Inclusion Awards at FRI in Atlanta. Four fire departments received the award, created by Fire 20/20 and supported by a collaboration of other fire service organizations, in its inaugural year. Under the leadership of the IAFC Human Relations Committee, the award was presented as part of the FRI Diversity Breakfast. The four winning departments were selected from a field of 40 nominations from throughout North America.

  • Portsmouth (Va.) Department of Fire, Rescue & Emergency Services, Virginia: Department Diversity & Equity
  • Toronto (Ontario) Fire Services: Enhanced Curriculum for the Ontario Standardized Pre-Service Firefighting Training/Education Program
  • Bainbridge Island (Wash.) Fire Department: Off-Island Volunteer Fire Program
  • Fire Service Women of New York State, New York: Phoenix Firecamp

The Tony Pini Awards are named for the late Santa Rosa Fire Chief Tony Pini, who demonstrated a lifelong commitment to diversity and inclusion. Chief Pini was a founder and an active member of the International Association of Fire Chiefs' (IAFC) Human Relations Committee, a member of the IAFC Ethics Task Force, a past chair of the California Fire Chiefs' Cultural Diversity Committee, and a founding board member of FIRE 20/20.

For more information, visit Fire2020.org > What We Do > Tony Pini Awards.

Excellence in Fire & Life Safety Award

  • George Michehl, Fire Marshal of the Buffalo Grove, Ill., Fire Department and Executive Director Emeritus of the Illinois

HFSC Bringing Safety Home Award

Chief Tonya Hoover, acting state fire marshal for CAL FIRE, received the Bringing Safety Home Award, sponsored by the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition (HFSC) and the NFPA’s Fire Sprinkler Initiative. The award is presented every year at the annual meeting of the IAFC’s Fire & Life Safety Section. It recognizes the efforts of fire chiefs who use HFSC’s educational materials and the resources of the Fire Sprinkler Initiative to ensure decision makers have accurate information as new or updated residential fire-sprinkler codes are considered.

“Chief Hoover was chosen because she led the charge to facilitate a successful adoption and implementation of the residential fire sprinkler requirement in California,” says Gary S. Keith, speaking on behalf of HFSC and NFPA. “Both HFSC and Fire Sprinkler Initiative materials played an important role in educating key stakeholders as well as influencing the final public education and outreach program. We appreciate Tonya’s diligence and are very pleased that the award will go to such an active life safety advocate.”

Safety, Health & Survival Section Awards

Congratulations to all of this year’s SHS Section award winners and many thanks to our sponsors!

  • Alan Brunacini Fire Service Executive Safety Award, cosponsored by Provident Insurance – Chief Rick Kane, Manheim Township (PA) Fire & Rescue 
  • Billy Goldfeder Fire Service Organizational Safety Award, cosponsored by VFIS – Prince William County (VA) Department of Fire and Rescue 
  • Garry Briese IAFC Safety Performance Award – Retired Chief Gary Morris
  • Safety Officer of the Year, cosponsored by Elsevier and FDSOA – Training and Safety Officer Dave Zinther, Westmont (IL) Fire Department

For more information about these awards and this year’s winners, see the award page on the section’s website.

VCOS/TargetSafety Training Officer Recognition Award

Congratulations to Fire Chief Sheri R. Bemis, CFO, of Oxford (Mass.) Fire-EMS, winner of the 2011 VCOS/TargetSafety Training Officer Recognition Award. She was chosen for her strong commitment to departmental training, having designed and implemented a new training and safety program for her combination department. The award was presented at the VCOS annual meeting by Mr. Jon Kostyzak, TargetSafety’s director of sales.

Chief Bemis stated that “the ability to continue as a combination department that has highly-trained firefighters, both on-call and career, is important to me as a leader and as a resident of the town. To be recognized for the unique ways we, as a department, have implemented the training programs is a great honor; who knew anyone was watching our small town department?”

VCOS FRI Scholarship

At the VCOS annual meeting at Fire-Rescue International, Battalion Chief Robert Talburt of the Logan-Rogersville (Mo.) Fire Protection District and Fire Chief Dennis Covey of Malabar (Fla.) Fire Rescue were awarded FRI scholarships by the VCOS.

Each received a scholarship toward his registration and travel to FRI in Atlanta. The scholarships were awarded on the basis of write-ups about how their education at FRI would enhance their professional development and permit them to bring the education back for the betterment of their departments.

Chief Covey wasn’t able to attend due to Hurricane Irene threatening his community; he'll be awarded his check at VCOS Symposium in the Sun.

2010 DoD Award Winners

  • Civilian Firefighter of the Year: U.S. Navy – Mr. Takeshi Innami, Commander Naval Forces Japan
  • Military Firefighter of the Year: U.S. Army – SPC Chase Snodgrass, Fort Carson, Colo.
  • Fire Prevention Program of the Year: U.S. Army – USAG Daegu Fire Emergency Services, Republic of Korea
  • Civilian Fire Officer of the Year: U.S. Marine Corps – MCLB Barstow – Assistant Chief Paul Purdy
  • Military Fire Officer of the Year: U.S. Air Force – Master Sergeant Mark C. Cornell, Scott Air Force Base, Ill.
  • Fire Department of the Year (Small): U.S. Air Force – Fort Sam Houston Fire Department, Joint Base San Antonio, Tex.
  • Fire Department of the Year (Medium): UU.S. S Army – USAG Humphreys Fire and Emergency Services, Republic of Korea
  • Fire Department of the Year (Large): U.S. Navy – Joint Region Marianas
  • Instructor of the Year: U.S. Navy – Mr. Yujiro Iwata, Commander Naval Forces Japan

Ann Davison, CAE, is the strategic information manager for the IAFC.

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