Pennsylvania fire commissioner receives award for “Courage to be Safe” program

Pennsylvania State Fire Commissioner Edward A. Mann has been recognized by the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation for his tireless work make sure fewer firefighters die in the line of duty.

After 18 firefighters died in the line of duty in 2004, Mann started the “Courage to be Safe…so Everyone Goes Home” program to reduce the number of casualties. Since then, the program has been replicated across the country and the number of firefighter deaths has dropped.

“I am proud to be recognized by the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation,” said Mann, who was recently honored at the 17th Annual Pennsylvania Fire & Emergency Services Institute Annual Conference and Dinner. “My participation and dedication to the Everyone Goes Home program is fueled by my strong desire to see each firefighter who responds to a call returns home safely.”

Federal Emergency Management Agency head Dave Paulison observed Mann’s tribute and Fire Chief Ronald J. Siarnicki presented the award.

“Ed Mann has led the charge in Pennsylvania for firefighter safety and he continues to push for a better fire service delivery system for the residents of the state,” said Siarnicki. “He is truly committed to the delivery of quality services while ensuring that in such a dangerous vocation, the state’s fire service community is well trained, well equipped and well managed to ensure that ‘everyone goes home’ safe and sound after each call. His dedication to safety is serving as a true model for the entire nation.”

Chief Billy Goldfeder, chairman of the International Association of Fire Chiefs’ safety, health and survival section, said: “Few Fire Service leaders have had the impact that Commissioner Ed Mann has had. Some tell others ‘not to take it personally’ when there are problems that are tough to solve, but Ed took it personally a few years ago when Pennsylvania lead the nation in firefighter fatalities. He started the original Everyone Goes Home program that now is the model for the nation.

“Ed took the deaths of his brother and sister firefighters so personally that he visited with PA firefighters in every part of the state to help them get re-educated and re-energized to stop the needless line of duty deaths,” Goldfeder said.

Mann’s office has conducted nearly 60 Everyone Goes Home presentations, training approximately 8,000 firefighters. For more information about the fire service in Pennsylvania, visit www.osfc.state.pa.us.

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