Awards promote local, regional, state efforts to reduce wildfire risk
April 27, 2010 – The NFPA is calling for nominations for its fifth annual Firewise Leadership Awards to recognize outstanding efforts in a cooperative approach to reducing the loss of lives, property, and resources from wildfire.
NFPA’s Firewise Leadership Awards are open to all individuals and organizations conducting wildland fire mitigation activities in residential developments at risk from wildfire. Eligible Firewise efforts may include, but are not limited to:
- Innovations in engineering
- Program communications, advertising, exhibits, and/or other informational programs
- Success in involving communities
- Collaboration across agency jurisdictions
- Special partnerships
2009 Firewise Leadership Award winners, for example, were honored for their efforts to educate homeowners about adhering to Firewise principles, conducted research to better predict fire size and spread, educate children about wildfire safety and enhance emergency response coordination.
In 2009, an award went to the Idaho State Fire Plan Working Group which developed and distributed a video to help homeowners, planners, builders, fire managers and others to learn to prepare for wildfires and protect property. The video showcased how in 2007 homes in Deer Creek survived an intense wildfire due to their Firewise preparation. The interagency team involved Idaho Department of Lands, Idaho Bureau of Homeland Security, Nez Perce Tribe, Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, Clearwater Resource Conservation & Development Council, Idaho Fire Chief’s Association and the Governor of Idaho, C.L. Otter, among others.
“It’s very important that we stop to recognize the very valuable and important work being done around the country to reduce wildfire risk,” said Michele Steinberg, manager of the NFPA Firewise Communities program. “Plus, the sharing of information inspires other communities to employ new and innovative practices within their own districts, cities and neighborhoods.”
Beyond providing recognition to deserving communities, the Firewise Leadership Awards program helps program administrators capture success stories and share best practices across the country, among all types of interests – public, private, and tribal.
NFPA distributes a maximum of the following Firewise Leadership Awards each year:
- Two Regional Level Awards – Impact in more than one state
- Three State Level Awards – State level impact, with relevance in a majority of the state, measured by land or population
- Three Local Level Awards – City/municipal, county, or regional impact within a single state
The Firewise Leadership Awards provide recognition to the drivers of the Firewise movement – whether they are individuals, groups, or departments – and encourage other innovative initiatives that promote wildfire safety and loss reduction. Potential entrants include, but are not limited to state and federal agency staff, counties and municipalities, nonprofit organizations, businesses, news media and individuals.
All entries must be submitted by July 30, 2010. Criteria to be addressed in the nomination include levels of leadership, innovation and collaboration, as well as results and Firewise impact. The Firewise efforts must have been completed no sooner than January 1, 2009. E-mail questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The National Fire Protection Association’s Firewise Communities program encourages local solutions for wildfire safety by involving homeowners, community leaders, planners, developers, firefighters, and others in the effort to protect people and property from the risk of wildfire. The program is co-sponsored by the USDA Forest Service, the US Department of the Interior, and the National Association of State Foresters.
NFPA has been a worldwide leader in providing fire, electrical, building, and life safety to the public since 1896. The mission of the international nonprofit organization is to reduce the worldwide burden of fire and other hazards on the quality of life by providing and advocating consensus codes and standards, research, training, and education.
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Media Contact: Lorraine Carli: +1 617 984-7275
Program Contact: Michele Steinberg: +1 617 984-7487