NFPA marks fire and life safety achievements with awards presented at World Safety Conference & Exposition®

Published on June 6, 2005
Las Vegas , June 6, 2005 – The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) presented four awards in fire and life safety today at its World Safety Conference & Exposition® in Las Vegas.

Dr. John L. Bryan, recipient of NFPA’s Standards Medal: The Standards Medal, the highest award given by the Standards Council, recognizes outstanding contributions to fire safety in the development of codes and standards.

Dr. John L. Bryan, Professor Emeritus of the University of Maryland, Department of Fire Protection Engineering, has performed in various fire service, academic and professional consulting occupations for four decades. Since 1966, he has served voluntarily on NFPA technical committees and remains active on the Building Code/Life Safety Code Means of Egress and Life Safety Code correlating committees. A longstanding member of NFPA’s board of directors and Standards Council, Bryan was elected chair during his tenure in both groups. He received the Society of Fire Protection Engineer’s (SFPE) Fire Protection Man of the Year honor in 1977 and NFPA’s Paul C. Lamb Award in 1986. Bryanis a widely published author whose professional affiliations include SFPE, UL (Underwriters Laboratories Inc.) and ASTM (American Society of Testing and Materials).


Fire Marshal Vincent J. (V.J.) Bella, recipient of the Distinguished Service Award: The Distinguished Service Award recognizes specific outstanding accomplishments of individuals rendering service to NFPA and to the cause of fire safety.

V.J. Bella began his long career in public service as a U.S. Marine and entered the fire service in 1947. A member of the Louisiana House of Representatives for 12 years, he sponsored many bills related to fire safety. Bella then served two governors as state fire marshal. In addition to supporting Louisiana ’s designation as a NFPA Risk Watch® Champion state, Bella initiated legislation that resulted in the adoption of NFPA 1 as Louisiana’s state fire code. Bella has also served as an officer in the National Association of State Fire Marshals and remains an active advocate of early testing for juvenile diabetes.


Tom Whalen and Duke Universityand Health Systems, recipients of the Industrial Fire Protection Section Fire Prevention Week Contest: The award recognizes businesses that promote fire and related safety messages for employees and their communities in conjunction with local fire departments during Fire Prevention Week from the previous year.

For the third consecutive year, fire protection specialist Tom Whalen has led his Duke Universityand Health Systems team to a first-place win in the annual contest. Whalen’s group joined forces with the City of Durham, N.C., to expand an established residential smoke alarm installation program. Through support of logistics and volunteer recruiting, the Duke team was successful in coordinating volunteer/firefighter pairs to canvass neighborhoods. The winning program included installations and educational outreach.

John (Jack) M. Watts, Jr., Ph.D. presents the Bigglestone Award to lead author Tingguang Ma.

Lead author Tingguang Ma and co-authors, recipients of the 2005 Harry C. Bigglestone Award for Excellence in Communication of Fire Protection Concepts: The Bigglestone Award is presented annually to the authors of the most outstanding paper submitted to Fire Technology during the previous calendar year.

Michael S. Klassen, Stephen M. Olenick, Richard J. Roby (all with Combustion Science & Engineering, Inc.) and Jose L. Torero, with the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, The University of Edinburgh, and lead author Tingguang Ma (now with the University of Maryland) are recognized for their winning article, “Burning Rate of Liquid Fuel on Carpet,” (Porous Media), published in the July 2004 issue of Fire Technology.

NFPA has been a worldwide leader in providing fire, electrical, building, and life safety to the public since 1896. The mission of the international nonprofit organization is to reduce the worldwide burden of fire and other hazards on the quality of life by providing and advocating scientifically-based consensus codes and standards, research, training and education.