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NVFC wins Fire Service Safety Leadership award

Published on 8 April 2010

NVFC will be awarded at 22nd Annual National Fire and Emergency Services Dinner on April 29 in Washington DC
NVFC will be honoured with the award for its services towards fire industry
NVFC is committed to the health and safety of first responders and has established many initiatives to promote firefighter health and safety.

The Congressional Fire Services Institute (CFSI) and the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF) have selected the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) as one of three recipients of the 2010 Paul S. Sarbanes Fire Service Safety Leadership Award. The NVFC is being honoured for establishing and promoting the Volunteer Firefighter Health and Safety Priorities.

CFSI President Bill Jenaway and NFFF Chairman Dennis Compton issued a joint statement recognizing the recipients, which also included the Virginia Fire Chiefs Association and the City of New York Fire Department, for their achievements. "We are honouring three organizations for their outstanding efforts to enhance firefighter health and safety at the national, state, and local levels. While we will be paying special recognition to these organizations at the National Fire and Emergency Services Dinner, there are a growing number of organizations throughout the nation embracing the ideals of the Sarbanes Award and the Life Safety Initiatives and to them we extend our gratitude and congratulations."

The NVFC is committed to the health and safety of first responders and has established many initiatives to promote firefighter health and safety. To further these efforts, the NVFC's Health and Safety Committee developed the Volunteer Firefighter Health and Safety Priorities to guide departments on key issues that will keep department members safe and eliminate cases of preventable injury and death.

 

These Priorities are set forth in a series of practices that fire and emergency service departments should follow in order to stay strong. They are divided into four main focus areas, abbreviated as B.E.S.T.: Behavior, Equipment, Standards and Codes, and Training. While created with the volunteer fire service in mind, the concepts laid out in the B.E.S.T. practices apply to all fire and emergency service departments. All departments are encouraged to adhere to the B.E.S.T. practices to keep their members safe.

Volunteer firefighter health and safety priorities are an agenda of NVFC

To ensure that all departments are aware of the B.E.S.T. practices and keep them at the forefront of their minds, the NVFC partnered with Provident Agency to distribute 30,000 B.E.S.T. posters that were sent to every fire department in the country. In addition, the NVFC has partnered with national and state fire service media to bring the Priorities to the attention of fire service personnel across the nation.

The NVFC also expanded the health and safety section of its web site at www.nvfc.org/health_safety to correspond with the B.E.S.T. practices. This section features resources and tools to help departments implement these practices, such as the Heart-Healthy Firefighter Program and the Emergency Vehicle Safe Operations program, among many others. Departments can also download the B.E.S.T. poster or order additional hard copies to hang up in their departments.

"The NVFC has always been a committed advocate for health and safety in the fire service," said Kenn Fontenot, Chair of the NVFC Health and Safety Committee. "We created the Volunteer Firefighter Health and Safety Priorities to provide departments and personnel with the practices they need to implement to make sure their members come home. We are grateful to CFSI and the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation for recognizing this effort and bringing further attention to the importance of the B.E.S.T. practices."

The awards will be presented at the 22nd Annual National Fire and Emergency Services Dinner on April 29 in Washington DC. Named after retired-Senator Paul S. Sarbanes of Maryland, a strong advocate of our nation's firefighters and rescue personnel during his 36-year career in Congress, the award recognizes organizations for their outstanding contributions to firefighter health and safety. Both State Farm Insurance and VFIS serve as the corporate supporters of the award program.

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