Health & Survival Section has announced the winners of its 2017 awards. The section awards recognize both organizations and individuals who have made a significant contribution to health and safety within their own organizations and the fire service.
Every year, winners are selected by a committee appointed by the Safety, Health & Survival Section. The awards will be presented during the section’s general business meeting, to be held on Wednesday, July 26 at Fire-Rescue International in Charlotte, NC.
“The individuals and organizations who have received these awards are pioneering new ways for our profession to not only promote better health and safety, but also produce encouraging and impressive results,” said Lieutenant Steve Tullis, chairman of the Awards Selection Committee. “It is our honor to recognize their achievements as examples for others to follow in doing everything possible to embrace the goal that Everyone Goes Home. We also thank our corporate sponsors and partner organizations whose commitment and support make it possible for us to celebrate these accomplishments,” added Tullis.
Alan Brunacini Fire Service Executive Safety Award
Sponsored by Provident Insurance
Deputy Chief Jeffery Merryman, Alexandria Fire Department, VA – Deputy Chief
Merryman’s influence created a ripple effect through the department—not only with his words, but more resoundingly in his actions. He transformed a single-person Health, Safety and Risk management unit into a robust agency that writes policy, advocates for injured employees and collaborates with city officials as well as representatives of the Virginia OSHA. Deputy Chief Merryman led the investigation into a tragic LODD of a department member in hopes to prevent another incident of this type. This investigation process is now being used as a model throughout the private and public sectors.
Billy Goldfeder Fire Service Organizational Safety Award
Sponsored by VFIS
City of Richmond, Virginia Fire and Emergency Services – The City of Richmond, Virginia Fire and Emergency Services is paving the way for “best practices” in fire service health and safety. Under the leadership of Interim Fire Chief David Daniels, the department launched a Safety Team that focuses on improving fire ground safety, increasing cancer prevention, advocating vehicle and driver safety, and occupational safety. The Safety Team operates like an advocacy group, obtaining certifications, training at the highest level and rolling out programs that not only reinforce the 16 Life Safety Initiates, but also foster real change in the department. The results speak for themselves. A reduction in worker compensation costs from $1,002,240 in 2015, to $227,260 in 2016. In addition, lost time injuries have steadily decreased as well. In the last quarter, Richmond Fire companies responded to 54 working structure fires and only one firefighter suffered lost time injury.
Garry Briese IAFC Safety Performance Award
Sponsored by WHP Training Towers
Fire Chief Edward Hadfield, Rincon Fire Department Valley Center, CA – Chief Edward Hadfield exemplifies the very essence of this award. He launched a concept called “A round trip ticket home,” which provides the critical elements of a supportive personnel safety program. He writes articles, hosts Pod casts and teaches throughout the country on the benefits of establishing Functional Movement Screening, Functional Fitness Programs and proper nutritional strategies—all of which have led to zero worker compensation claims in the last 16 months and a 38% reduction in sick leave usage. Chief Hadfiled introduced and integrated the Blue Card Training Program and it has become the standard within the North San Diego County.
Safety Officer of the Year
Cosponsored by MSA and FDSOA,SHS
Assistant Chief Kevin Body, Thornton Fire Department Thornton, CO – Assistant Chief Kevin Body is the Training Chief for the City of Thornton Fire Department. He holds additional certifications as an Incident Safety Officer and the Health & Safety Officer. As part of his normal duties, he also serves as the department’s injury and exposure officer and representative on the City’s Safety Committee and facilitates the newly developed department’s safety committee.
With his passion for safety and health, he developed specific training methods geared towards safety of our members. Link of the Week, which is a web link that takes a look at various health, safety, and training issues, and the 2 Minute Trainer, which is a one to two page illustrative training document with recent documentation of cancer prevention, PPE extractor instructions, and ballistic vest use & care.
In addition, he developed a department tracking system (close calls) for injuries and near misses in a non-punitive manner. He assisted with the development of a new EMS position called SAM 71. Each shift has a SAM unit and is responsible for EMS related functions and serving as the safety officer at structure fires & high risk events.