CFSI and IFSTA Announce The 2017 Dr. Anne W. Phillips Award for Leadership in Fire Safety Educaiton

March 23, 2017

Marsha P. Giesler to be honored with the Award at the 29th Annual National Fire and Emergency Services Dinner in Washington, DC, April 6, 2017

The Congressional Fire Services Institute (CFSI) and the International Fire Service Training Association at Fire Protection Publications, Oklahoma State University (IFSTA/FPP/OSU) are pleased to announce that Marsha P. Giesler has been selected as the 2017 Dr. Anne W. Phillips Leadership in Fire Safety Education Award recipient. Ms. Giesler is the Public Education Officer for Downers Grove Fire Department (IL).

Marsha Giesler is the model of a local fire safety educator whose excellence in program design and implementation has transcended well beyond her work at the local level. Her advocacy for fire safety education and community risk reduction has significantly impacted the state of Illinois as well as fire safety educators across America.

Ms. Giesler’s work fulfills the spirit of Dr. Phillips’ minority report to America Burning by inspiring others to prevent fires as the best method to reduce burn injuries and fire loss. Her work as an excellent and enthusiastic educator has placed her in the position to advocate for fire prevention in Illinois and to help provide leadership and guidance as Illinois mandated fire safety education and community risk reduction for company officer and chief officer certification. Marsha can be described as a disciple of Dr. Phillips as her passion today matches the lifetime passion for fire safety of Dr. Phillips.

Because of her creativity in developing best practices, a willingness to share ideas, and an ability to mentor and inspire others, Marsha’s ideas have been adopted by fire services across the country, including the NFPA Education Section. Marsha has served as a presenter and instructor at conferences across our country and is often a consultant to national and state organizations on programs and curriculum development.

This is not the first national award that recognizes Marsha and her impact on fire safety education. She was named the NFPA Educator of the Year in 2012. Ms. Giesler is best known for authoring the respected and widely used text book, Fire and Life Safety Educator: Principles and Practices. The text is now in its second edition.

Bill Jenaway, CFSI President; Craig Hannan, Director of Fire Protection Publications at OSU; and Mike Wieder, IFSTA Executive Director issued a joint statement honoring the 2017 recipient. “Marsha Giesler is a very worthy recipient. Her impact on fire safety education as a teacher, a mentor, and an advocate are unsurpassed. She works tirelessly to make her work more effective and then goes the extra mile to share her design and implementation expertise with others. More than that, Marsha inspires passion in others for fire safety and her work is not complete! She continues to work today as an educator teaching fire safety and injury prevention to preschool through high school students, older adults, families, and businesses in her community.

Recognizing IFSTA's support of the program, Jenaway extended his thanks to IFSTA/FPP and Oklahoma State University. "On behalf of my fellow board members, including Louis J. Amabili who served with Dr. Phillips on the National Commission on Fire Prevention and Control, I extend my personal thanks to IFSTA/FPP/OSU for its continued support of CFSI. This particular award program is very important to maintaining a constant awareness of fire and life safety education throughout the nation."

The award will be presented on April 6 at the 29th Annual National Fire and Emergency Services Dinner in Washington, DC.

For more information contact Bill Webb at CFSI 202-371-1277 or Nancy Trench at IFSTA/FPP 405-744-8100.

Please visit the Congressional Fire Services Institute's website ( for additional information about the 29th Annual National Fire and Emergency Services Dinner and Seminars Program. Almost 1,500 fire and emergency services leaders throughout the nation are expected to attend the annual program. In addition to the dinner and seminars, attendees will schedule meetings on Capitol Hill to discuss important fire and life safety issues.

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