Lasky is ISFSI`s 1996 Innovator of the Year; Fleming is Instructor of the Year
Rick Lasky, a battalion commander for the Darien-Woodridge (IL) Fire Protection District, has been awarded the 1996 International Society of Fire Service Instructors (ISFSI) Innovator of the Year award, sponsored each year by Elkhart Brass Manufacturing.
Lasky`s entry, “Saving Our Own,” is an initiative that has as its objective the training of firefighters to rescue trapped and injured firefighters on the fireground (see “Saving Our Own” in Training Notebook–June, July, and September 1997 issues). Lasky, also in charge of the department`s safety training, was nominated by Lieutenant Rich Collins, a fellow officer in the Darien-Woodridge Fire District, who observed: “Rick`s innovation along with his aggressive back-to-basics training programs have led to a highly motivated, well-trained force of firefighters. Rick`s devotion, tenacity, and caring nature toward his colleagues spread like wildfire through the firefighter ranks.”
In accepting the award, Lasky acknowledged all who influenced the program`s success: “I am extremely honored to have received this award and would like to thank the International Society of Fire Service Instructors and Elkhart Brass for their recognition. The `Saving Our Own` program has been a great success for a variety of reasons. One is that we were able to assemble some of the best talent in the country to teach it–instructors who brought experience, knowledge, and a personal touch to the program and who presented it with a passion that struck home with the students. This program would not have been possible if it had not been for the Illinois Fire Service Institute and its staff. The Institute provided support, funding, and its highly regarded reputation to `Saving Our Own.` Nor would the program have been successful without the support of the members and administration of the Darien-Woodridge Fire District, who received this program with an aggressive and enthusiastic attitude, or the support of my best friend and wife Jami. Most importantly, this program is a tribute to Lieutenant Joseph Samec, who gave his life in the line of duty on December 6, 1989. Joe enjoyed teaching firefighters and wanted to instruct at the Illinois Fire Service Institute. Through this program, I truly believe he does.”
Robert Fleming, Ph.D., of Conshohocken, Pennsylvania, was awarded the George D. Post Instructor of the Year award, sponsored by Morning Pride Manufacturing, Inc. A senior instructor at the Montgomery County (PA) Fire Academy, Fleming was instrumental in developing and presenting the Academy`s Fire Officer I program, approved as a pilot program by the Pennsylvania Fire Service Advisory Certification Committee and the National Board of Fire Service Professional Qualifications. He developed and coordinates the Emergency Services Executive Development Education (ESEDE) program, an intensive course that prepares emergency service leaders.
Richard B. Arwood, chief of training for the Memphis (TN) Fire Services, was Instructor of the Year first runner-up. He coordinated the development of an associate`s degree program in fire science at State Technical Institute in Memphis, Tennessee.
Second runner-up Michael O`Neil Randolph, a lieutenant with the Tallahassee (FL) Fire Department–chosen as Instructor of the Year by ISFSI`s Florida chapter earlier this year–has been a leader in the Fire Service Executive Development Institute, on the Florida A&M University campus. He is also mentor to at-risk youth in his community and has been instrumental in facilitating scholarships for GED students so they can earn their high school diplomas.
The deadline for nominations for the 1998 ISFSI awards is January 15, 1998. To obtain an application form and additional details, contact the ISFSI at (800) 435-0005.
In another matter, Joseph Murabito, director of the Delaware State Fire School, was appointed to serve as a director-at-large for the ISFSI for an unexpired term ending in 2000. Lieutenant Jesse Atterberry of the Seattle (WA) Fire Department was appointed to complete a term ending in 1999.