Fire and Life Safety Educator of the Year

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


We are looking for fire and life safety educators in the United States or Canada who:

  • Work for a local fire department or fire marshal’s office.
  • Use NFPA educational programs and materials in a consistent and creative way.
  • Demonstrate excellence and innovation, reaching out to the community with NFPA materials.

Applicants can be nominated or self-nominated. Recipients of a state or provincial educator award during 2017 from a fire department association, community organization, or government entity will be considered.

The Educator of the Year receives:

  • $1,000 honorarium and travel to the NFPA Conference and Expo for an award presentation. 
  • Registration to attend the NFPA Conference and Expo.
  • The local fire department receives a $1,000 donation to support public education activities. 
2017 recipient

Dolly HulinDolly Hulin, Fire and Life Safety Education Division Chief for the Thomasville Fire Department in Thomasville, North Carolina, has been chosen the 2017 Fire and Life Safety Educator of the Year. Chief Hulin has been using NFPA programs and materials exclusively since 2005. She calls NFPA the “one-stop-shop” for all of the fire department’s education and prevention efforts.

Chief Hulin is known for her exceptional commitment to fire and burn prevention education. She implemented Safety Fest, an event held during Fire Prevention Week in partnership with a local funeral home. More than 20 area agencies are invited and hundreds of residents attend the event held in the funeral home and public library parking lots. She formed a partnership leading up to Thanksgiving with a local supermarket to provide NFPA cooking safety tip sheets in each grocery bag containing a turkey. She teaches hunter safety classes and includes fire safety information to the outdoor enthusiast. She makes sure all participants understand the importance of having smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms.

Chief Hulin let NFPA know of the need in her community for pet safety and barn safety tip sheets and has shared these resources with the veterinary offices in her community. She often makes time in her busy schedule to stop by a home to install a requested smoke alarm and helps neighboring communities launch their own fire safety programs.

Past recipients
  • 2016 - Sherrie Leeka, Westminster, CO
  • 2015 - Lt. Annmarie Pickett, Worcester, MA
  • 2014 - Samantha Hoffmann,  Barrie, ON
  • 2013 - Tracy Koslowski, Tuscon, AZ
  • 2012 - Marsha Giesler, Downers Grove, IL
  • 2011 - Maria Pelchar, Holyoke, MA
  • 2010 - Beverly Thompson, Tucker, GA
  • 2009 - Dayna Hilton, Clarksville, AR
  • 2008 - Dawn Cull, Harrisonburg, VA
  • 2007 - Vanita Krouch and Jeff Malkowski, Farmers Branch, TX
  • 2006 - Tina Dotson, Asheville, NC
  • 2005 - Tracy Sparks, Shelby, NC
  • 2004 - Amy Hein, Glenwood, IL
  • 2003 - Rae McMullen, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
  • 2002 - Michele Clayton, San Pedro, CA
  • 2001 - Connie Rowden, Roseville, CA
  • 2000 - Michael Jordan, Troutdale, OR