NVFC Announces 2018 Award Winners

The National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) is pleased to announce the 2018 winners of its three national fire service awards. Ronald Farr will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award, sponsored by Rosenbauer America; Jared Hagen will receive the Junior Firefighter of the Year Award, sponsored by California Casualty; and the Gaston Volunteer Fire Department Junior Firefighter Program will receive the Junior Firefighter Program of the Year Award, sponsored by California Casualty.

“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 pool of nominees showcased that spirit perfectly. The recipients of these awards are truly the embodiment of outstanding commitment and service.”

A special banquet to honor the recipients of the Lifetime Achievement and Junior Firefighter of the Year awards will take place during the NVFC’s spring meeting on April 20, 2018, in Alexandria, VA. In addition, the Junior Firefighter of the Year will receive a $500 training/education stipend. The recipient of the Junior Firefighter Program of the Year will be presented with their award in their hometown so that all of their junior firefighters will be able to attend.

Learn more about the NVFC’s awards program at www.nvfc.org/awards. Stay tuned to the NVFC web site, Twitter, Facebook, and Dispatch e-newsletter in late April for additional information about each award winner as well as photos from the award presentations.

The recipients of the NVFC’s 2018 awards are as follows:

Ronald Farr
NVFC Lifetime Achievement Award
Award sponsored by Rosenbauer America

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 continued to serve as a volunteer firefighter for over 36 years. 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. ln April 2014, he presented an overview of NFPA 1730 at the Vision 20/20 Models in Fire Prevention Symposium to help participants 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).

Jared Hagen
Junior Firefighter of the Year Award
Sponsored by California Casualty

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 a Fire Explorer Club, Honor Guard, and explorer officer development. He has also served in every leadership capacity in the post, including the current elected post president.

For his Eagle Scout project, Hagen is identifying hidden fire hydrants throughout the community, a direct benefit to his department and those they serve. He has located 12 hidden hydrants so far, installing markers on several and working on securing funding to mark the others.

Hagen’s leadership skills have also been utilized at the Ohio Youth Fire and EMS Training Academy, where he has served as lead instructor on topics such as search and rescue and hose advancement. As part of his educational workload, he 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

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.

Northampton County EMS Supervisor Paul Nowell explained, “This group represents the future of our fire and rescue service.”

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 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.

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.