Kannapolis, N.C. educator named 2020 Fire and Life Safety Educator of the Year

June 15, 2020 – The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has named Maria Bostian, public education and information officer for Kannapolis (N.C.) Fire Department, as the 2019 Fire and Life Safety Educator of the Year Award.

“Education on fire safety is essential to saving lives and reducing loss from fire,” said Lorraine Carli, vice president of Outreach and Advocacy for NFPA. “Maria’s 21 years of commitment to sharing safety messages is an immense service to her community and makes her a model to others.”

Annually, NFPA confers the Fire and Life Safety Educator of the Year Award on a dedicated educator who works for a local fire department of fire marshal’s office in the U.S. or Canada and uses NFPA’s materials in consistent creative educational ways. The recipient demonstrates excellence and innovation in reaching out to the community. Bostian is being awarded a $1,000 honorarium, travel to NFPA Conference & Expo, and an engraved Sparky statutette. The Kannapolis Fire Department will receive a $1,000 donation to support public education activities.

To elevate awareness in the city’s elementary schools, Bostian has been using NFPA’s Learn Not to Burn® preschool program and NFPA’s Remembering When™ program for older adults.

In 2019, Bostian visited a preschool classroom with the Fire Prevention Week theme of “Not every hero wears a cape. Plan and practice your escape,” emphasizing the importance of knowing two ways out of every room in the event of a fire. She customized handouts for the children to take home, which proved to be life-saving for one of the preschoolers; who after the lesson experienced a house fire and got her siblings and herself to safety because of what she learned with Bostian.

When Bostian isn’t on duty at Kannapolis Fire Department, she is occupied promoting fire safety through the two children’s picture books she authored, connecting vital safety messaging from NFPA’s Educational Messaging Advisory Council’s Desk Reference.

Bostian’s fire safety messages don’t only reach us but also our pets, as each year she teams up with her community’s local pet supply store for Pet Fire Safety Day on July 15.

She was the recipient of the 2012 North Carolina Fire & Life Safety Education Coalition State Council's Award of Excellence and the 2016 B.T. Fowler Lifetime Achievement Award.

For this release and other announcements about NFPA initiatives, research and resources, please visit the NFPA press room.

As all of us continue to navigate the evolving situation with COVID-19, NFPA remains committed to supporting you with the resources you need to minimize risk and help prevent loss, injuries, and death from fire, electrical, and other hazards. For information on NFPA’s response to the coronavirus, please visit our webpage.

About the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)

Founded in 1896, NFPA is a global self-funded nonprofit organization devoted to eliminating death, injury, property and economic loss due to fire, electrical and related hazards. The association delivers information and knowledge through more than 300 consensus codes and standards, research, training, education, outreach and advocacy; and by partnering with others who share an interest in furthering the NFPA mission. For more information, visit www.nfpa.org. All NFPA codes and standards can be viewed online for free at www.nfpa.org/freeaccess.

Contact:Lorraine CarliPublic Affairs Office: +1 617 984-7275