CONSHOHOCKEN, Pa. — The most recent recipient of Hale’s Safe Firefighter of the Month Award is Chief Joe Auffert of Howell County Rural Fire District #1, West Plains, Mo. Chief Auffert has been recognized for his long history of safety initiatives in the department’s policies and procedures.
“It’s an honor,” said Chief Auffert, who knew he was nominated but couldn’t believe he had won. “The most important part, of course, is that I’m able to help protect the community and make sure firefighters go home safe to their families.”
A 29-year veteran at Howell County Rural Fire District, Chief Auffert insists that all firefighters attend driving school, and that fire truck operators are chosen based on how safely they drive. Those wanting to become drivers are required to complete a certain number of hours with a safety officer in the department before they can be considered. Chief Auffert also recently instated a procedure in which all personnel must tag-in and tag-out at the scene of an emergency, so everyone is accounted for.
Chief Auffert requires all firefighters to complete an agility test every year. This is in order for them to gain a better understanding of their limitations, and to make certain they are healthy enough to continue performing their duties safely. Chief Auffert and the other department firefighters also give fire safety presentations for 5 neighborhood schools twice a year to keep local children informed of the latest safety procedures.
Chief Auffert has even established Howell County’s own Safe Firefighter of the Month Program, saying, “It boosts the morale of the department and keeps safety top of mind.”
Chief Auffert’s best advice is that firefighters should always wear their protective gear and drive safely to the scene of an emergency.
To nominate someone for Hale’s Safe Firefighter of the Month Award, visit www.safe-firefighter.com. Each month, a top candidate will be chosen from the submissions made by firehouses across the United States, and the winners and nominees will have their photos and profiles displayed on the website.
Hale, based in Conshohocken, Pa., is a fire and rescue equipment company founded in 1914 by three Pennsylvania firefighters who believed they could build a better fire pump. Today, the company has grown through new product innovation and strategic acquisitions to supply pump modules, compressed air foam systems, electronic controls and valves.
For more information, visit www.haleproducts.com.