Open navigation

NFPA Fire and Life Safety Educator of the Year Award

In an effort to recognize educators who take the lead role in making their communities safer, NFPA presents the 2021 Fire and Life Safety Educator of the Year Award.

2021 recipient

Lauri VolkertLauri Volkert talking to kidsCongratulations to Lauri Volkert, Fire Inspector, of the Windsor, CT Fire Marshal’s Office as the 2021 NFPA Fire & Life Safety Educator of the Year.  Over the past 12 years, Volkert has created partnerships with the town’s social and senior services division to reach its most vulnerable residents, using the NFPA Remembering When program to reach hundreds of households, many of which are located in public housing communities. As part of her work, she has re-imagined and strengthened the town’s fire and life safety educational program, reaching 2,500 students in grades Pre-K through sixth grade through coordinated fire prevention programs each October in support of Fire Prevention Week. In addition, Volkert has established a strong social media presence across multiple platforms to communicate fire and life safety messages to broader audiences within the town of Windsor.

“Creating and implementing an effective fire prevention program is critical to increased safety, but that’s often a lot easier said than done given today’s stretched budgets and staffing,” said Lorraine Carli, vice president of Outreach and Advocacy at NFPA. “Lauri Volkert’s passion, creativity, and hard work have generated measurable, impactful results for the Town of Windsor. We’re proud to recognize and celebrate her impressive efforts and continued commitment to safety.”

The cumulative impact of Volkert’s efforts is reflected in a 50 percent reduction in structural fire calls to the Windsor Fire Department since 2015, along with a 15 percent decline in reported false alarms and a 27 percent drop in reported cooking fires for the same time period.   Additionally, Volkert played a major role in creating coordinated, effective internal and external communications during the COVID-19 pandemic, finding new ways to promote safety messages in the absence of traditional in-person programming. She is currently a participant of the NFPA Community Risk Assessment pilot program to assure her efforts are meeting the needs of her community, and to plan a multi-disciplinary approach to risk reduction.


Eligibility

The Fire & Life Safety Educator of the Year award is available to educators in the US & Canada who:

  • Work for a local/municipal fire department or fire marshal’s office.
  • Use NFPA educational programs and materials in a consistent and creative way for their community/audience.
  • Demonstrate excellence and innovation in reaching out to the community with NFPA materials. 
The Educator of the Year receives:
  • $1,000 honorarium which recipients can accept or forward to the charity of their choice.
  • Sparky FLS Educator of the year statue
  • Paid registration to attend the NFPA 125th Anniversary Conference Series virtual events and the 2022 NFPA Conference & Expo to be held in Boston, MA.

  • The local fire department or the fire marshal’s office receives a $1,000 donation to support public education activities. 

Questions? Contact Education@nfpa.org

In This Section