The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) announced Jim Dalton as the 2018 James M. Shannon Advocacy Medal for his career long commitment and passion for fire safety culminating with his efforts that led to the passage of the Fire Sprinkler Incentive Act.
NFPA’s Fire and Public Safety initiatives
The James M. Shannon Advocacy Medal was established in honor of Jim Shannon, who served as NFPA president for 12 years, beginning in 2002. Shannon was known for his tireless advocacy. Under his leadership, NFPA significantly advanced its mission of promoting fire safety and protecting both the general public and members of the fire service alike by proactively working towards key changes that reduce fire loss. He was also a vocal advocate for home fire sprinklers and intensified NFPA’s efforts in support of requirements for this technology.
Dalton began his journey as a volunteer firefighter in Maryland before spending more than 25 years as a career firefighter. After his time on the frontline, he became a pivotal public safety leader advocating for smoke alarms, fire sprinklers and other lifesaving systems on a local, state and national level. When his county passed the most comprehensive smoke alarm law in the country, Dalton traveled the nation helping other jurisdictions to implement similar strategies.
Fire Sprinkler Incentive Act
Dalton was instrumental in pursuing the Fire Sprinkler Incentive Act after the Station Night Club fire in Rhode Island killed 100. He worked for 15 years to maintain the effort and ultimately secure passage as part of the tax reform measures signed into law by the current administration. The bill provides incentives to small businesses who install sprinklers.
He has been active with the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC), the United States Fire Administration (USFA), the International Society of Fire Service Instructors (ISFSI) and the National Fire Sprinkler Association (NFSA) - where he began as Director of Public Fire Protection in 1993. Dalton was the founding representative from NFSA to the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition from 1997 until he retired in July 2009. He served as NFSA’s representative to The Congressional Fire Services Institute National Advisory Committee and currently serves as Chair of that committee.