NVFC 2018 Fire Service Achievement Awards

The National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) is pleased to announce the 2018 winners of its national awards. These awards recognize excellence and achievements in the volunteer fire service. This year’s recipients are as follows: Ronald Farr, Lifetime Achievement Award, sponsored by Rosenbauer America; Jared Hagen, Junior Firefighter of the Year Award, sponsored by California Casualty; Gaston Volunteer Fire Department Junior Firefighter Program, Junior Firefighter Program of the Year Award, sponsored by California Casualty; and Kenn Fontenot, E. James Monihan Director Award, sponsored by Provident Agency.

“The accomplishments of all the nominees were very impressive,” said NVFC Chair Kevin D. Quinn. “These achievement awards recognize the remarkable and inspirational work that fire service volunteers contribute to the community, and this year’s recipients showcase that spirit perfectly. From a veteran firefighter with over 50 years of service to dedicated junior firefighters just starting out, our honorees have made their department, communities, and our nation stronger and safer.”

A special banquet to honor the recipients of the Lifetime Achievement, Junior Firefighter of the Year, and E. James Mohihan Director awards took place during the NVFC’s spring meeting on April 20, 2018, in Alexandria, VA. The Junior Firefighter of the Year also received a $500 training/education stipend. The recipient of the Junior Firefighter Program of the Year will be presented with their award in their hometown in May so that all of their junior firefighters can attend.

Ronald Farr
NVFC Lifetime Achievement Award

Award sponsored by Rosenbauer America


Lifetime Achievement Award recipient Ronald Farr with his wife, Wendi, and NVFC Michigan Directors Paul Wayco and Cliff Messing (NVFC photo)

Ronald Farr has been an active member of the Michigan fire service for over 50 years. He joined the Plainwell Fire Department in 1967 and continues to serve as a volunteer firefighter with the department. In 1978 he was hired by the Kalamazoo Township Fire Department, where he moved up the ranks to fire chief in 2003. He served as the State Fire Marshal from 2009-2011 before becoming a regulatory fire engineer for UL. Six years ago, Farr founded the nonprofit organization Michigan S.A.F.E. (Smoke Alarms for Everyone), a sustainable, statewide smoke alarm installation program that is aimed at protecting the high-risk populations of children and older adults. Since the program began, over 70,000 smoke alarms have been installed throughout Michigan.

In 2010, Farr was appointed as chair of the newly developed Fire Prevention Organization and Deployment Technical Committee, which oversees NFPA 1730, Standard on Organization and Deployment of Fire Prevention Inspection and Code Enforcement, Plan Review, Investigation, and Public Education Operations and the proposed NFPA 1300, Standard on Community Risk Assessment and Community Risk Reduction Plan Development. These standards provide guidance in the critical areas of fire prevention and community risk reduction to help departments develop a community risk reduction plan and strategically incorporate the community risk reduction process into their department’s prevention and suppression operations.

Farr is a life member of the Michigan State Firemen’s Association and currently serves as 3rd Director. His many awards and honors include: Fire Chief of the Year from the Michigan Association of Fire Chiefs (2010), Excellence in Fire Prevention Activities from the New England Association of Fire Marshals (2008), President’s Award from the National Fire Protection Association (2000), and Fire Inspector of the Year from the Michigan Fire Inspectors Society (1985).

Ronald Farr has been an active member of the Michigan fire service for over 50 years. He joined the Plainwell Fire Department in 1967 and continues to serve as a volunteer firefighter with the department. In 1978 he was hired by the Kalamazoo Township Fire Department, where he moved up the ranks to fire chief in 2003. He served as the State Fire Marshal from 2009-2011 before becoming a regulatory fire engineer for UL. Six years ago, Farr founded the nonprofit organization Michigan S.A.F.E. (Smoke Alarms for Everyone), a sustainable, statewide smoke alarm installation program that is aimed at protecting the high-risk populations of children and older adults. Since the program began, over 70,000 smoke alarms have been installed throughout Michigan.

In 2010, Farr was appointed as chair of the newly developed Fire Prevention Organization and Deployment Technical Committee, which oversees NFPA 1730, Standard on Organization and Deployment of Fire Prevention Inspection and Code Enforcement, Plan Review, Investigation, and Public Education Operations and the proposed NFPA 1300, Standard on Community Risk Assessment and Community Risk Reduction Plan Development. These standards provide guidance in the critical areas of fire prevention and community risk reduction to help departments develop a community risk reduction plan and strategically incorporate the community risk reduction process into their department’s prevention and suppression operations.

 

Jared Hagen
Junior Firefighter of the Year Award

Sponsored by California Casualty


Junior Firefighter of the Year Jared Hagen with NVFC Chair Kevin D. Quinn, Roxanne Dean from California Casualty, and NVFC Pennsylvania Director Bob Timko (NVFC photo)

Jared Hagen has been a junior firefighter with the Northwest Fire Explorer Post 1854 at Canal Fulton (OH) Fire Department (CFFD) for over four years. He has spearheaded many fire and emergency service projects, including charter member of the Fire Explorer club, Honor Guard, and Explorer officer development.

For his Eagle Scout project, Hagen set out to identify hidden fire hydrants throughout the community, a direct benefit to his department and those they serve. He located 12 hidden hydrants and is working on securing funding to mark them all.

Hagen has demonstrated great leadership skills and has served in every leadership capacity in his Explorer Post, including his current role as post president. He also served as lead instructor on topics such as search and rescue and hose advancement at the Ohio Youth Fire and EMS Training Academy.

As part of his educational workload, Hagen attends Stark State College’s Emergency Service Program, where he gains both college and high school credit. These credits will allow him to begin working as a paid-on-call EMT for CFFD immediately upon his high school graduation at the end of this semester. In addition to his involvement in the emergency services, Hagen participates in his school’s choirs and musical theater and is on the varsity soccer team.

 

Gaston Volunteer Fire Department Junior Firefighter Program
Junior Firefighter Program of the Year Award

Sponsored by California Casualty


Gaston (NC) Volunteer Fire Department Junior Firefighter Program (NVFC photo)

The Gaston (NC) Volunteer Fire Department Junior Firefighter Program was established in 2014 as a recruitment tool for the fire department. The program enrolls students between the ages of 14 and 17 to take part in fire prevention and special activities for the department. Members serve as counselors for an annual youth camp, participate in Easter and Christmas programs for the community, and last year, they prepared and served a Thanksgiving feast at the station for a family in need.

The junior firefighters proved their skills in the fall at the Miller’s Ferry Junior Firefighter Muster, where their team came in second place. Nine teams from two states competed in an obstacle-style course that included pulling hose and dragging a 150-pound dummy. The youth are consistently carrying these skills beyond the junior program, and over half of the cadets have joined the department after they graduated. Due to this success, the program has become the major focus of the department’s recruitment efforts. The department recently received a SAFER grant that will allow them to provide needed protective gear, uniforms, and liability insurance for the youth.

 

Kenn Fontenot
E. James Monihan Director Award

Sponsored by Provident Agency


E. James Monihan Director Award recipient Kenn Fontenot with NVFC First Vice Chair Steve Hirsch, Chair Kevin D. Quinn, and Barry Balliet from Provident (NVFC photo)

The E. James Monihan Director Award honors an NVFC board member whose remarkable achievements on the NVFC board exemplify outstanding performance and have gone above normal expectations. Kenn Fontenot, NVFC Louisiana Director, has been advocating tirelessly for the NVFC and the volunteer fire and emergency services since joining the board in 2005.

Fontenot represents the NVFC on the NFPA Fire Fighter Professional Qualifications Technical Committee, which oversees the NFPA 1001 and 1002 documents. He has worked to ensure that the minimum job performance requirements in 1001 and 1002 are realistic and obtainable for the volunteer fire service.

In 2015 Fontenot represented the NVFC on the U.S. Department of Labor’s Emergency Response and Preparedness Subcommittee of the National Advisory Committee on Occupational Safety and Health. The subcommittee spent two years developing a framework for a new set of occupational safety and health regulations for emergency responders. Those regulations are still a few years from being realized, but because of Fontenot’s efforts the volunteer sector was well represented.

As chair of the NVFC Health, Safety, and Training Committee, Fontenot has been a guiding force for the NVFC’s many health and safety initiatives. He was also instrumental in establishing and chairing the Disaster Relief Committee following Hurricane Katrina in 2005. The committee established the NVFC Volunteer Firefighter Support Fund, which to date has provided more than $600,000 in direct assistance to firefighters in need after a large-scale disaster.

 

Award Sponsors

About the National Volunteer Fire Council

The NVFC is the leading nonprofit membership association representing the interests of the volunteer fire, EMS, and rescue services. The NVFC serves as the voice of the volunteer in the national arena and provides invaluable resources, programs, education, and advocacy for first responders across the nation. Learn more at www.nvfc.org.

About California Casualty

Founded in 1914, California Casualty provides auto and home insurance to firefighters, peace officers, educators and nurses in 44 states. The company routinely maintains a 99 percent customer service rating and a 96 percent claims rating. Learn more about their exclusive coverage and discounts at www.calcas.com.

About Provident Agency

For over 70 years, Provident Agency has been providing benefits to emergency service personnel who put their lives on the line for their fellow Americans every day. Responders are entitled to the best. Provident Agency offers dependable, comprehensive accident and health protection meeting the changing needs of today’s emergency responders. www.providentbenefits.com

About Rosenbauer America

Rosenbauer America is the world’s leading manufacturer of firefighting vehicles and equipment. With locations all over the globe, the North American operations are based in Lyons, South Dakota; Wyoming, Minnesota; and Fremont, Nebraska. Rosenbauer incorporates the international strength and innovation of a global company with top American manufacturing firms to build firefighters what they need to help keep their communities safe. For more information, please visit www.rosenbaueramerica.com.

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