The National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) announced the winners of its three national fire service achievement awards. The recipients of this year’s Lifetime Achievement, Fire Prevention and Education, and Junior Firefighter of the Year awards were selected through a competitive nationwide nomination process.
Award winners will be recognized at a banquet during the NVFC’s spring board meeting on April 7, 2017, in Alexandria, Virginia. As part of their award, recipients receive a trip to Alexandria to attend the award ceremony, complimentary registration for the NVFC spring meeting, and a personalized award. The NVFC thanks award sponsors California Casualty, Nest, and Rosenbauer for their support of the volunteer fire service.
The recipients of the NVFC’s 2017 awards are as follows.
Chief Freddy Johnson Sr.
NVFC Lifetime Achievement Award
Award sponsored by Rosenbauer
Chief Freddy Johnson, Sr., has served his community through the Stoney Point Volunteer Fire Department (SPVFD) in Fayetteville, North Carolina, since 1976, where he quickly moved up the ranks to lead as chief. The department has grown from less than 30 members and one station to over 100 members, mostly volunteer, at two stations, which now also offer rescue and emergency medical service. Johnson’s leadership at SPVFD guided the department to attain international accreditation with the Commission on Fire Accreditation International in 2012, a distinction further enhanced by a recent recommendation for reaccreditation, a status never before achieved by another volunteer department anywhere in the world.
In addition to his own department, Johnson presently serves as Emergency Services Director for the Hoke County Sheriff’s Office & Emergency Management, President of the Cumberland County Fire Chief’s Association, and a nominated member of the North Carolina Fire and Rescue Commission. In 2008, he served as a Homeland Security Fire Service Grant Peer Review member and, in the years following, he authored several million dollars’ worth of Assistance to Firefighters Grants that vastly improved emergency communication capabilities within his state. He has received several Volunteer Chief of the Year awards from organizations such as the International Association of Fire Chiefs, as well as Cumberland County Volunteer of the Year (1993), Young Deputy Sheriff of the Year (1988), and two state awards for volunteer service. Chief Johnson also received numerous awards and decorations during his service in the United States Army, where he retired as Sergeant Major after 23 years.
NVFC Fire Prevention and Education Award
Award sponsored by Nest
Firefighter William Wren, a 28-year member of the New Hartford (NY) Fire Department (NHFD), is well known for bringing fire safety messages to his community and adapting to the needs of various populations. After several years of targeting elementary school students, the NHFD Fire Prevention Program Committee realized that their educational programming should extend to junior high school and senior high school students. Wren developed several programs for the older students, covering topics such as fire extinguisher use, recognizing by-products of fire, and escaping from dangerous fire situations. He also developed a program specifically for high school seniors to address the unique aspects of fire prevention and dorm safety at college.
In addition to reaching older students, Wren adapted programming to reach other groups within the community such as day cares, preschools, Boy and Girl Scouts, and senior