The Shannon Advocacy Medal was established to recognize individuals who have made significant contributions to the fire loss problem through advocacy. The honor was named after former NFPA president James M. Shannon, who concluded his 12-year tenure in June 2014 with an exceptional record of advocacy to reduce fire loss.
Call for nominations
Stay tuned for information on the 2021 award.
NFPA has announced Paul D. Martin, retired Deputy State Fire Administrator with the New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Service’s Office of Fire Prevention and Control, as the winner of the 2019 James M. Shannon Advocacy Medal. Martin has been awarded this year’s medal for his dedication and career-long commitment to fire safety.
Martin started his fire service career more than 40 years ago and championed a number of programs and initiatives to reduce loss from fire and other hazards. He is a strong advocate for promoting campus fire safety for both on and off campus, having served as a director of the non-profit Center for Campus Fire Safety for more than 12 years, six of which he served as president of the organization. Because of Martin’s efforts, the state of New York launched a program known as Campus Fire Safety Awareness Day held at dozens of campuses across the State and he is considered the architect of the state’s campus fire safety program.
Martin was also instrumental in New York becoming the first state to pass Fire Safe Cigarette requirements, leading the remaining states to follow the effort to reduce fire deaths from cigarettes.
Additionally, Martin served as co-chair of Prevention, Advocacy, Resource and Data Exchange (PARADE), a program of the United States Fire Administration designed to foster the exchange of fire-related prevention/ protection information and resources among Federal, State, and local levels of government.
About James M. Shannon
Under Shannon's leadership, NFPA 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.