The Oak Ridge Fire Prevention Office has been named Tennessee Fire Educators of the Year for 2013, officials said Wednesday.
The department was nominated by Oak Ridge Fire Department Chief Darryl Kerley in “recognition of the outstanding efforts put forth by the Fire Prevention staff this year,” a press release said.
Oak Ridge officials was notified of the honor by the State Fire Marshal’s office.
“The nomination was selected above all others from across the state, recognizing the tremendous education and outreach efforts accomplished by the Oak Ridge Fire Department,” said Assistant Commissioner Gary West of the Fire Prevention Division in the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance.
The Oak Ridge Fire Prevention Office is managed by Assistant Fire Chief Josh Waldo and consists of several areas of service, the press release said. Building construction plans review and commercial inspections are performed by state licensed inspectors from the ORFPO. School public education programs are developed by several talented employees, such as Capt. Jason Benjamin, staff videographer and producer; school program presenter Shane Bass; dancer Austin Keathley, who plays the role of Sparky the Fire Dog; audio/video technical coordinator Scott Prosise; and several other supporting staff members working in conjunction with the on-duty firefighters who provide more than 3,000 school children with annual public education programs in October of each year.
In addition to inspections and public education, the office provides home escape planning along with the installation and maintenance of home smoke alarms through a program supervised by Capt. Carver Lovely. All of these individuals working along with the fire suppression staff provide exceptional public safety efforts in conjunction with the State Fire Marshal’s efforts to reduce fire deaths in Tennessee, the release said. The prevention office staff has been invited to attend the awards banquet scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 25, at the Tennessee Fire Service and Codes Academy in Bell Buckle, Tennessee.
For more information, visit www.oakridgetn.gov.