By Lauren Estes
The Cullman Times
Cullman Fire Rescue has received the Life Safety Achievement award for 2012, and the City of Cullman is commending the efforts of all those involved in the department.
The award was presented by the NASFM Fire Research and Education Foundation. Cullman Mayor Max Townson and city council member Andy Page, chairman of the city council’s Public Safety Committee, and others were present at the presentation. Accepting the award were Fire Chief Edward Reinhardt, Jr. and Fire Marshal Chris Chaffin.
“Cullman Fire Rescue is one of only five fire departments in the State of Alabama, and one of only 117 in the United States, to receive this award,” Townson said. “We are very proud of all of our fire rescue personnel for their dedication and commitment to protecting life and property in our community!”
Reinhardt expressed his gratitude for the award and the hard work of the programs the department offers to the community.
“We’re just proud of our firefighters and the prevention programs we have here,” Reinhardt said. “As far as the enforcement goes, keeping up with the code requirements also gives the public awareness of safety and it has really played out in the schools. We were able to get a smaller firetruck to use with the kids that talks to them, plays music and helps them learn about fire safety. We call it Freddy the firetruck. It’s been a great tool in teaching children about safety, fire prevention, and reacting to fires.”
In a press release the NASFM noted:
“Experience tells us that fire prevention activity and public education can significantly reduce life and property loss from residential fires,” the NASFM Fire Research & Education Foundation said. “Prevention and education are very cost effective compared to the traditional approach of relying on fire suppression. The Life Safety Achievement Award recognizes fire departments for their fire prevention efforts and encourages them to continually improve those efforts.”
The Life Safety Achievement Award has recognized local fire prevention efforts that have contributed to reducing the number of lives lost in residential fires since 1994. Cullman Fire Rescue qualified for this award in 2012 because it recorded zero fire deaths in structures. In addition, the department was able to demonstrate the existence of an active and effective fire prevention program and a clear commitment to reducing the number of fires in homes in the community.
Although residential fires in the U.S. account for only 20 percent of all fires, they result in 80 percent of all fire deaths. The NASFM Fire Research & Education Foundation is a public interest group whose mission is to reduce residential fire deaths and injuries.
The Foundation advocates the use of residential fire sprinklers, smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors, and teaching people fire-safe behavior. The Foundation also assists fire departments with implementing residential sprinkler/smoke alarm programs on a local basis.
The Foundation’s partners include the United States Fire Administration, the National Association of State Fire Marshals, and private industry/associations with an interest in the commitment to residential fire safety.
More information on the NASFM Fire Research & Education Foundation can be found at www.firemarshals.org.
Cullman Fire Rescue and a NASFM press release contributed to this article.
Lauren Estes can be reached at email@example.com or 256-734-2131, ext. 137.