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Fire service leaders honored at annual dinner

Several fire service leaders brought home awards for their commitment to the industry at the annual CFSI dinner

WASHINGTON — For the 26th year, U.S. fire service leaders gather in the nation’s capitol to discuss the service’s most pressing issues with lawmakers. They also pause to honor those who’ve made outstanding contributions to the fire service.

The Congressional Fire Service Institute held its annual dinner Thursday where it handed out several prominent awards. Among them was the Mason Langford Fire Service Leadership Award, sponsored by Motorola Solutions.

This year’s recipient was James Shannon, president of the National Fire Protection Association. Shannon has served as NFPA president for 12 years and worked for the group for 23 years; he is retiring this summer.

Shannon oversaw several studies used to show Congress the need for federal support of local fire departments, the most famous of those studies being “A Needs Assessment of the U.S. Fire Service.” He is also credited for leading efforts for fire-safe cigarettes

CFSI also gave out two Paul Sarbanes Fire Service Safety Leadership Awards. The Office of the State Fire Commissioner for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania took home one award; the Oklahoma Council on Firefighter Training and Integris Heart Hospital shared the other.

Edward Mann, who heads the Pennsylvania commissioner’s office, was credited for implementing a line-of-duty-death training course that is now mandatory for every Pennsylvania fire service member. During his acceptance remarks, Mann said were it not for every member of his staff, the project would never have come to fruition.

Integris Heart Hospital and the Oklahoma council were honored for their collaboration on a firefighter healthy heart program. The program screens firefighters to identify those with high risk of heart attacks and follows up with treatment. In the initial pilot screening, four of the 100 screened were identified as high risk.

That program gained momentum when Oklahoma ranked first among firefighter cardiac line of duty deaths.

Three fire departments received the Excellence in Fire Service-Based EMS Award, sponsored by MedicAlert Foundation. Memphis (Tenn.) Fire Department was honored in the career section for increasing its cardiac-incident survival rate, partly through the use of an automated-compression devices.

The Howard County (Md.) Department of Fire and Rescue Services won in the combination category for developing a technique for opening and maintaining a patient’s airway during CPR so as to have uninterrupted compressions.

Cullman County (Ala.) Association of Volunteer Fire Departments was awarded in the volunteer category for developing an Emergency Medical Responder certification and training program for its volunteer firefighters.

CFSI also gave the Dr. Anne W. Phillips Award for Leadership in Fire Safety Education to Mary Marchone. She is a training specialist at the National Fire Academy and renowned for her work in fire prevention education.

She began her career in 1969 with the Montgomery County (Md.) Fire Department; after retiring she went on to work for NFPA before joining NFA. While in Montgomery County she led a program to install and inspect residential smoke alarms and measure that program’s effect on civilian fire deaths.

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