NVFC Names Junior and Junior Firefighter Program of the Year
The National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) has announced the winners of its annual awards recognizing achievement in the junior fire service, sponsored by Tyco. A special banquet to honor the recipients of the Junior Firefighter of the Year and Junior Firefighter Program of the Year awards will take place during the NVFC’s Spring Meeting on May 6, 2016, in Alexandria, VA.
“The nominations received for this year’s awards were outstanding,” said NVFC Chairman Kevin D. Quinn. “The recipients truly exemplify the best of junior firefighting and indicate a bright future for the fire service. We thank these dedicated juniors and programs for all they do for their communities.”
Award recipients receive a trip to Alexandria to attend the award ceremony, a personalized award, and national recognition. The Junior Firefighter of the Year also receives a $500 scholarship to further their education.
Learn more about the NVFC’s awards program at www.nvfc.org/awards. Stay tuned to the NVFC web site and e-newsletters in May for additional information about each award winner as well as photos from the awards banquet.
The 2016 award recipients are:
Junior Firefighter of the Year: Brittany French
Hedgesville (WV) 4-H Junior Volunteer Fire Company
A member of the Hedgesville Junior Volunteer Fire Company for eight years, Brittany French has held the offices of Secretary, Vice President, and President. During her junior and senior years of high school she attended the James Rumsey Technical Institute, where she earned her Firefighter I and II, HazMat Awareness and Operations, EVOC, MCI I and II, CPR, and EMT certifications. While attending the Institute, French participated in the Health Occupation Students of America (HOSA) state competition, earning second place in two-person CPR and first place with her EMT skills and landing a trip to Nationals.
French is currently enrolled in the paramedic course at Blue Ridge Community and Technical College. She recently joined the Hedgesville Volunteer Fire Department, although through the 4-H structure of the junior program she can maintain membership in both until age 21.
French is a third generation firefighter within the department, so she grew up around the fire station. She spends a large amount of her free time at the department helping with anything she can, including fundraisers for both the Junior and Senior Departments. Outside of the station, French is also actively involved with her church. According to her junior program advisor, Keena Crowell, “She is a leader, and a teacher, and always willing to learn new things.”
Junior Firefighter Program of the Year: Northwest Fire Explorer Post 1854
Canal Fulton (OH) Fire Department
The mission of the Northwest Fire Explorer Post 1854 is to spearhead local initiatives and support like-minded organizations that develop both a public purpose (safety, education, prevention) and an internal purpose (teamwork, accountability, empowerment). Through real-world initiatives, these young leaders build upon existing strengths and overcome weaknesses well before many of their peers.
Each year, the Northwest Fire Explorers assist with Fire Truck Day at the Akron Children’s Hospital Burn Center. Not only do the Explorers treat burn survivors to a fun “firetruck water fight,” they and the survivors benefit from the personal interaction, new connections, and lasting friendships. In addition, the City of Canal Fulton and the Explorer program offer two fishing camps during the summer for area youth in which Explorers assist in teaching proper water safety and basic first aid.
Explorers also assist with the annual Safety Town event held by the city, providing fire safety information and helping with other components as needed. For the last three years, the group has done a fire alarm drive, providing free pizza to homes with a working smoke alarm and installing working alarms in those that don’t. And just for fun, the Explorer Post hosts a Community Haunted Hay Ride each fall.
In all of their initiatives, Northwest Explorer Post 1854 works to build future leaders in the fire service and community. Says Program Advisor Shawn Yerian, “There is no doubt that the Northwest Fire Explorer program will continue to demonstrate significant civic impact, innovation, and creativity.”
About the National Volunteer Fire Council
The NVFC is the leading nonprofit membership association representing the interests of the volunteer fire, EMS, and rescue services. The NVFC serves as the voice of the volunteer in the national arena and provides invaluable resources, programs, education, and advocacy for first responders across the nation. Learn more at www.nvfc.org.
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