The James M. Shannon Advocacy Medal was established to recognize individuals who have made significant contributions to the fire loss problem through advocacy. The Medal Selection Committee considers several criteria, including the impact of the individual’s efforts toward NFPA’s mission, reducing fire loss, and the extent to which the efforts are collaborative beyond NFPA.
Ann Jones has received the 2017 James M. Shannon Advocacy Medal for her lifelong devotion to fire safety and having an influential role in the passage of a nationwide requirement for residential sprinklers. See the news release.
In 2007, Jones headed a legislative proposal that would give Wales authority to ensure that all new homes are fitted with automatic fire sprinklers. She worked diligently to get cross-party support for sprinklers, sought out skeptical legislators, educated them on safety benefits, and won over the fire and rescue service with her enthusiasm and belief. The sprinkler law passed in 2011, making Wales the first country to pass a nationwide requirement and providing a model for all jurisdictions to follow.
Jones is from Rhyl, a town on the northern coast of Wales. She worked for more than three decades in the Rhyl Fire Service emergency call center, skillfully handling emergencies with compassion and composure. Over the years, Jones also held a number of key leadership positions with the Fire Brigades Union, was a town councilor, county councilor, and town mayor. In addition, she has been a member of the National Assembly for Wales since 1999, and currently serves as the presiding officer. Her devotion to safety, education, disability issues, and women in public life is highly regarded throughout Wales and beyond. The new Shannon Advocacy Medal winner has consistently represented the best interests of her constituents in each of these roles.
Jones currently holds chair positions with the National Assembly, and participates as an active member of various committees. She leads meetings at the British-Irish Parliamentary Assembly, and is vice president of the Assembly’s Branch of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association.
About James M. Shannon
Shannon concluded his 12-year tenure as NFPA president in June 2014 with an exceptional record of advocacy to reduce fire loss. Under his leadership, NFPA has considerably advanced its mission of fire safety, better protecting the general public and members of the fire service.
Shannon spearheaded the Coalition for Fire-Safe Cigarettes, which quickly led to every state passing legislation requiring that cigarettes meet a specific fire safety standard. In collaboration with the fire service and others, this initiative will save hundreds of lives including the lives of firefighters who are at risk every time they respond to a cigarette related fire.
Following the success of the Coalition for Fire-Safe Cigarettes, Shannon intensified NFPA’s work to advocate for mandating home fire sprinklers in all new one- and two-family homes, another critical safeguard to enhance public safety and better protect our nation’s fire service.