Pinehurst Wins IAFC Excellence Award

Pinehurst Wins IAFC Excellence Award

The Pinehurst (N.C.) Fire Department was presented the IAFC’s 2004 Excellence Award for an innovative project to install free home sprinkler systems in Habitat for Humanity homes.

Former IAFC President Chief Ronny J. Coleman (Ret.) presented the award plaque to Pinehurst Chief James W. McCaskill at the FRI’s final general session. Cosponsored by the IAFC and U.S. Safety and Engineering, the award recognizes innovation and achievement in managing resources to reduce the loss of life and property and fires and other emergencies.

With funding by a 2002 fire prevention grant from the FIRE Grant Program, Pinehurst instituted a project combining firefighters, the sprinkler industry and Habitat for Humanity to install fire sprinkler systems at no cost in new Habitat homes. With more than 107 homes equipped to date, the department is teaching other fire departments across the state how to implement the program. (See the department’s Web site at

Other finalists in the 2004 Excellence Awards were:

Violet Township (Ohio) Fire Department, which instituted a course to provide better insight into the profession of firefighting to physicians, nurses and physical therapists at Ohio State University Medical Center’s Burn Unit. “Participants have gained valuable insight into the reason and potential for the injuries of both firefighters and civilian victims that encounter the unfortunate experience and devastating effects of fire and trauma,” according to the IAFC. Since the program’s inception, burn unit staff have become involved with the fire department and in actively educating the community about burn prevention and fire safety.

Golden (Colo.) Fire Department developed a program based on the Firewise program to teach sixth-graders the importance of wildland fire mitigation in mountain and wildland-urban interface communities. In this hands-on approach to wildland fire mitigation, students use creative thinking and learned behaviors to design and mitigate their mountain property and take the safety practices they learn home.

Springfield (Mo.) Fire Department is installing community rooms, exercise tracks and playground equipment at stations to give back to the community and draw the public to the stations so that the department can conduct fire prevention and education while they use the facilities.

Gwinnett County (Ga.) Department of Fire and Emergency Services offers a 160-hour Relief Driver Certification Course, which is required for all personnel who operate fire apparatus, as well as the Battalion Apparatus Trainer Program, which enables employees to gain additional apparatus certifications after initial training.

ConocoPhillips Wood River Refinery Emergency Response Organization, Roxanna, Ill., implemented a comprehensive intranet site for refinery emergency response personnel. It provides a central clearing house for emergency response information.

Oakville Fire Department, Ontario, Canada, established a Joint Emergency Services Operations Advisory Group of senior staff from the Oakville, Burlington, Milton and Halton Hills fire departments, as well as Halton Region’s Police and Emergency Medical Services. Shortly after the group was established in 2000, a senior staff representative from the Ontario Provincial Police became an integral member of the department’s team.

A compilation of the past award winners is available in the Comprehensive Guide to the IAFC Fire Service Award for Excellence 1989-1995, available through the IAFC publications department at 703-273-0911.

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