Fire Engineering wins 2007 Jesse Neal Award

A message from Robert F. Biolchini
President and CEO

I am pleased to announce that the staff of Fire Engineering received a 2007 Jesse Neal Award for "best single theme or special issue of a magazine or newspaper/news tabloid" for its May 2006 issue "Hurricane Katrina Response and Recovery." The award was presented at the 53rd Annual Jesse H. Neal National Business Journalism Awards luncheon, held yesterday at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City.

The Neals are the most prestigious editorial awards in business-to-business publishing. Please join me in congratulating Editor in Chief Bobby Halton, Executive Editor Diane Feldman, Senior Associate Editor Mary Jane Dittmar, Associate Editor Robert J. Maloney, Presentation Editor Josh Troutman, Illustrator Steve Hetzel, and Technical Editor Glenn Corbett. They were finalists in their classification (B¿gross advertising revenue combined with circulation revenue of $3,000,000 to $7,000,000), competing with Reed Business Information's Building Design+Construction "Green Building 2006" and Hanley Wood LLC's residential architect June 2006 issue.

When asked by American Business Media to describe the significance and intent of the Katrina issue and why it was of service to Fire Engineering readers, the staff wrote: "It immediately became evident in the first hours of the U.S. response to Katrina that our nation's federal response mechanism was no match for the scope of the problems the hurricane posed. Many 'lessons' were learned¿lessons that had to be heeded if our nation's emergency response network was to be prepared for future disasters. This dedicated Katrina issue presents an overview of the problems encountered and recommendations for rectifying them prepared by local, state, and federal responders on the scene. Through this issue, Fire Engineering serves as the catalyst for disseminating this information throughout the national emergency response network so that these lessons can be incorporated into the national response plan so that the needs of victims of future disasters can be met to the fullest potential."

Of the more than 1,100 entries in the competition, there were 34 winners. Members of the current staff of Fire Engineering won a Neal in 1995 for coverage of the first World Trade Center Bombing, a Neal and the first ever awarded Grand Neal in 1996 for coverage of the Oklahoma City Bombing, and a Neal in 2002 for an article on search.

Fire Engineering has been the premier training magazine of the fire and emergency services for 130 years. Its readership includes leaders and members of all types of firefighting, emergency medical services, and special response organizations (hazardous materials and heavy rescue teams, for example) across the world; fire investigators, fire prevention specialists, weapons of mass destruction specialists; regulatory agencies; law enforcement agencies; code and standards developers and organizations; legislators and legislating bodies¿any individual or organization in the nation's vast emergency response network responsible for managing and mitigating natural and man-made emergencies of all sizes. The staff now also includes Managing Editor Jack Rogers and Online Editor Peter Prochilo.

Fran and I were pleased to join Eric Schlett and the Fire Engineering editors staff at the Waldorf Astoria and to be present to congratulate our wonderful Fire Engineering editorial staff for receiving their third Neal Award in the past 11 years. All of us at PennWell are proud of the editorial excellence that Fire Engineering has displayed in the media business.

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