Marvin L. Austin Distinguished Leadership Award

About the Award

Marvin L. Austin joined the Homewood, Illinois, Fire Department in 1954 and served as their training officer for many years. He worked his way through the ranks of the department until his retirement as assistant chief in 1971. Chief Austin joined the Illinois Fire Service Institute in 1960 and taught at their fire college for more than 20 years. His courses included salvage, aerial ladders and elevated platforms, pump operations, apparatus tests, maintenance and specifications, and many more. He also served on the IFSI Advisory Committee.

Following his career with the Homewood Fire Department, Chief Austin became the assistant manager of Insurance Services Office of Illinois. This role kept Chief Austin connected to fire departments in Illinois, where he could help them become more effective.

His leadership contributions to the fire service were many. He was the chairman of Fire Department Instructors Conference and executive secretary of the International Fire Service Training Association Executive Board. This position on the IFSTA board provided many opportunities for Chief Austin to work closely with Fire Protection Publications staff at Oklahoma State University.

Chief Austin loved people, had quick wit and an incredible sense of humor. The FPP staff was particularly fond of him. During his time with IFSTA he served on several committees and was critical to the success of the organization for many years. Chief Austin passed away in 2018.

2023 Award Recipient

Jeff Fortney, former Fire Protection Publications lead senior editor and photographer, was awarded the 2023 Marvin L. Austin Distinguished Leadership Award during the 90th IFSTA Summer Validation Conference July 8, 2023.

During his 21 years with Fire Protection Publications, Fortney has served as a writer and editor, committee liaison, mentor, and photographer for numerous IFSTA manuals.

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Past Recipients

  • 1981 Marvin Austin
  • 1983 Roger Sweet
  • 1986 Max and Vera Thomas
  • 1992 Harold Mace
  • 1998 Dennis Compton
  • 1999 William Vandevort
  • 2000 Carol Smith
  • 2001 John Hoglund
  • 2002 Gene Carlson
  • 2005 Jimmie and Charlotte Badgett
  • 2007 Don Davis
  • 2008 Jim and Kay Simms
  • 2009 Barbara Adams
  • 2009 Richard Giles
  • 2010 Arlen and Ardith Gross
  • 2011 Frank Cotton
  • 2013 George Dunkel
  • 2014 Dr. Robert England
  • 2015 Richard and Kathy Pippenger
  • 2016 Lynne Murnane
  • 2017 Glenda Bentley
  • 2018 Steve Ashbrock
  • 2019 Ann Moffat
  • 2021 Nancy Trench
  • 2022 Cindy Brakhage
  • 2023 Jeff Fortney

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