NVFC cites Vogltance as “hero of prevention”
Bob Vogltance was the 1996 recipient of the Marc Mueller Award of Excellence, an award cosponsored by the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) and Master Protection Corporation “to attract well-deserved attention to the heroes of prevention.”
Vogltance has been an active member of the West Point (NE) Volunteer Fire Department since 1961. He has served as an assistant instructor, a head instructor, an assistant chief, chief, truck foreman, and fire marshal and as a member of the board of directors. He has served with the Nebraska Fire Marshals office and is working with the Nebraska Forestry Department, Fire Resources Division. He has been a member of the Nebraska State Fire School for 20 years and has been a class instructor for at least that same number of years or more. He is actively involved with the Fire Prevention Program through his department and the Forestry Department. He was instrumental in organizing and has continuously served on the Fire Prevention Committee.
He founded the Cuming County Mutual Aid Association, a Fire Prevention Bureau in West Point, and the Fire Prevention Mutual Aid Association, consisting of 12 counties. In addition, he organized a fire prevention display for the local library; coordinates a program that makes videotapes, cassettes, books, and handout materials available during the year; and sets up monthly fire prevention messages on the Channel 27 Community Bulletin Board. He also organized the 4-H Fire Prevention Contest with the Cuming County Extension Office and recently founded a Senior Citizen`s Partners in Fire Prevention Program in West Point.
He was instrumental in developing, with State Farm Insurance, a regional fire prevention program and has been the catalyst for starting fire prevention programs in volunteer fire departments in the state of Nebraska.
While stating that great strides have been made in fire prevention, Vogltance, in an interview with Fire Engineering, noted the following: “Basically, there are so many people who don`t understand what fire prevention is. They teach `stop, drop, and roll,` but that is fire safety. To practice fire safety, there first has to be a fire. Fire prevention is practiced before a fire.”
“You`ve got to take the message to the public all the time,” he continued, “not just one week a year or monthly.” He observed that only a limited number of people want to engage in fire prevention activities. “We need an attitude adjustment,” he maintained. “We can eliminate 90 to 95 percent of fires if we put our minds to it.”
Deadline for the 1997 award nominations is June 1, 1997. For nomination criteria, contact the NVFC at (1-888) ASK-NVFC.