During the General Session of The International Fire Service Training Association (IFSTA) 82nd Annual Validation Conference, the 2015 Everett E. Hudiburg Memorial Award For Outstanding Achievement in Fire Service Training was presented to Kevin Roche, Assistant to the Fire Chief, Phoenix (AZ) Fire Department (retired) and Managing Partner, FACETS Consulting, LLC.
Kevin Roche was recognized for his fire service career, spanning more than 35 years, dedicated to firefighter training and safety. He made significant contributions to the development of many NFPA standards that impact firefighter safety. Most notably NFPA 1710 and NFPA 1500 were impacted by his work. Kevin’s work is also recognized in producing the annual national firefighter death and injury reports, as well as national fire station activity reports that are widely distributed. These reports are extensively referenced and have informed the work of others involved in firefighter safety.
The Award is the highest honor IFSTA can bestow to an individual who has made significant contributions to the training of firefighters, and is named after Everett Hudiburg who was Editor from 1955 through 1975, of IFSTA publications, that were known as “The Red Books”. His contributions to the organization’s training materials are recognized through this award which bears his name.
During the award presentation Mr. Roche was noted for his leadership as he emphasized emerging fire service issues through creating and managing more than 30 conferences as part of the Phoenix Fire Department. These conferences, with national scope, trained thousands of firefighters and fire officers across America in the critical areas of Health and Wellness, Incident Command, and Managing Change when these issues were first emerging as fire service priorities.
Mr. Roche’s other achievements include his expertise in firefighter occupational safety and health and the implementation of national standards for incident response. He was called upon to serve in leading roles in a number of firefighter line-of-duty death investigations, including the team that investigated the Charleston, SC fire with 9 line of duty deaths.
Kevin contributed significantly, as a behind the scenes technical leader, in the ground breaking National Fallen Firefighter Foundation 2004 Firefighter Line of Duty Death Summit in Tampa, Florida, and the later meetings in California (2007), and the 2014 Tampa 2 Summit. The important outcomes from each of these major events were made possible by the quality of the reports, the follow-up information, and the training materials that became available to the fire service.
In presenting the award, Mike Wieder, IFSTA Executive Director, commented, “Many of the significant results we see in firefighter safety implemented across our nations’ fire services were impacted by the technical and intellectual leadership of Kevin Roche. Someone must record the speaker sessions, discussions and the reaching of consensus. Someone must assemble the outcomes and turn them into meaningful and actionable lists, and paragraphs and final reports that can be used by a broad audience of readers. Kevin Roche is the man behind the development of many reports that we all have read, quoted, used in research proposals, and proudly crossed off our “to do list” as accomplished. IFSTA is pleased to recognize Kevin and the body of work he has produced which has continually charted the course toward making firefighters across our country safer and better trained to serve and protect the communities they serve.”
Chief Dennis Compton wrote in his nomination, “Kevin has never sought the spotlight or public credit, even though he earned it as much – or more – than some who did get it. To this day, Kevin continues to use his talents and passion to improve the quality of firefighter training and lead firefighter safety and health initiatives. He is a most worthy recipient of the IFSTA Everett E. Hudiburg Memorial Award. It is my honor to nominate him.”
Kevin earned a B.S. degree in Fire Protection and Safety Engineering Technology from Oklahoma State University and a Master’s degree in Political Science with a Certificate in Public Administration from the University of Florida. He retired in 2014 as Assistant to the Fire Chief for the Phoenix Fire Department in Arizona. During his career in Phoenix, Kevin managed the fire department’s planning, fire prevention, and logistics operations.
IFSTA was established in 1934 with the mission to develop and validate training materials for the fire service and other emergency responders. IFSTA is an association that attracts the world’s leading experts who are dedicated to advancing firefighting and emergency response techniques and firefighter safety through validated training materials. Fire Protection Publications at Oklahoma State University, is the IFSTA headquarters, publishing and distributing the validated training texts and other materials that support firefighter and emergency responder teaching and learning.