Christopher J. Naum, a battalion captain with the Onondaga County (N.Y.) Fire and Rescue Services, is the International Society of Fire Service Instructors’ 1987 National Fire Instructor of the Year.

The award is given each year to the instructor who shows commitment to the fire service and its training needs and exemplifies the highest qualities of an instructor and educator. Naum received the award at the ISFSI’s March conference in Cincinnati.

A recognized expert on building construction and fireground risk management, Naum has given lectures and instruction throughout the country on operational, safety, and command topics. He’s currently a battalion operations officer. The author and photographer is a practicing fire protection and training consultant and a member of several fire service organizations.

Richard N. Hicks, who served 30 years with the Metro Nashville (Tenn.) Fire Department and was active on the state level, died on March 29 from complications arising from cancer.

Upon his retirement in 1978, Hicks was serving as chief training officer for the department. In 1979, former Gov. Lamar Alexander appointed him executive director of the State of Tennessee Commission on Fire Fighting Personnel Standards and Education. He oversaw the growth of his state’s firefighter certification program, which is based on national standards, until December 1987. Under his guidance, the number of fire departments participating in the program grew to more than 100.

The USFA’s Tom Smith was inducted into the U.S. Space Foundation’s Hall of Fame for his role in developing a lightweight breathing apparatus for firefighters.

During the early 1970s, Smith was part of a project to develop a better breathing apparatus for firefighters. (Firefighters responding to a survey before the project began reported a large number of smoke inhalation injuries.) He formed a users committee of firefighters to work with National Aeronautics and Space Administration engineers on the design. After several modifications, a manufacturer brought the device to the commercial market.

The project was nominated for induction into the hall of fame by NASA officials. The selection was made by a panel of judges, which included House Speaker Jim Wright; U.S. Senators Robert Byrd and Jake Gam; former NASA administrator James Beggs; and officials of space-oriented corporations.

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