Jill Bronaugh
Communication Manager
Office of the State Fire Marshal
800 SW Jackson, Suite 104
Topeka, KS 66612-1216
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Press Releases

Kansas fire departments honored as Life Safety Achievement Award recipients

Office of the State Fire Marshal | Aug 21, 2014

The National Association of State Fire Marshals Fire Research and Education Foundation (NASFM Foundation) and Grinnell Mutual Reinsurance Company are pleased to announce that 143 fire departments from 34 states earned the Life Safety Achievement Award for their fire prevention accomplishments in 2013. (See list of award-winning departments below.) For over 20 years, this award has nationally recognized fire departments for actively promoting fire prevention in the pursuit of saving lives.

To qualify for the award, fire departments recorded zero fire deaths in residential structures or a 10 percent reduction of fire deaths from the prior year. In addition, award recipients documented active and effective fire prevention programs as well as a commitment to reducing the number of house fires in the community.

“The heroic efforts of our local fire service aren’t limited to rushing into burning buildings to save families. They also present educational information to local schools and other community groups to make sure people know how to respond to fires and how to prevent them in the first place,” said Alan Clark, assistant vice president of Special Investigations for Grinnell Mutual. “The Life Safety Achievement Award recognizes fire departments for their fire prevention programs that have proven to save lives year after year.”

More than 1.3 million fires were reported in the United States in 2012, the most recent year for which statistics are available from the National Fire Protection Association. These fires caused 2,855 civilian deaths, 16,500 civilian injuries, and more than $12 billion in property damage.

To reduce those statistics, this year’s award recipients organized educational programs targeted to specific age and at-risk groups, conducted fire safety inspections, checked and installed free smoke detectors, provided fire extinguisher training, offered multi-lingual fire prevention resources, and promoted fire safety messages at a variety of community events. Many educational programs, including school visits, fire station tours, and summer camps, were designed to teach kids basic evacuation skills, how to call 9-1-1, and about firefighter equipment and gear. 

In addition, fire departments led the charge to incorporate sprinkler systems into building ordinances and to inform residents about how these systems can save lives and property. In wildfire-prone areas, firefighters promoted the importance of fuel-reduction around homes. Firefighters also conducted additional life-saving programs, including first-aid and CPR courses, fire safety classes for young babysitters, and drunk driving demonstrations as well as promoted disaster preparedness and the installation of carbon monoxide detectors.

“Experience tells us that fire prevention activity and public education can significantly reduce life and property loss from residential fires,” said NASFM Foundation President Butch Browning. “Prevention and education are very cost effective compared to the traditional approach of relying on fire suppression. The Life Safety Achievement Award recognizes fire departments for their fire prevention efforts and encourages them to continually improve upon those efforts.”

The Kansas 2013 Life Safety Achievement Award recipients named in 2014 include:
  • McPherson Fire Department, McPherson 
  • Mulvane Fire Rescue, Mulvane 
  • Ottawa Fire Department, Ottawa