CFSI AND IFSTA ANNOUNCE The 2018 Dr. Anne W. Phillips Award for Leadership in Fire Safety Education

April 4, 2018

Mike Weller to be honored with the Award at the 30th Annual National Fire and Emergency Services Dinner in Washington, DC, April 19, 2018

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 Mike Weller has been selected as the recipient of the 2018 Dr. Anne W. Phillips Award for Leadership in Fire Safety Education. Mike Weller was the Public Education Officer for Hagerstown, Maryland Fire Department (retired).

Mike Weller was a driving force and founding member of the team who developed the Children’s Safety Village of Washington County, MD. The Children’s Safety Village is a two-day experience for second grade children and has reached a multitude of children and families with fire safety education. The Safety Village experience continues to foster a culture for children to learn that the root causes of fires are understandable, predictable and preventable. The Safety Village is also on display for hundreds of National Fire Academy (NFA) students to observe the impact a comprehensive fire safety curriculum partnered with home safety visits has on a community. NFA students see firsthand a model program with fire department-leader support, a comprehensive plan supported with data, and bolstered by community partners.

Mr. Weller’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. Mr. Weller has been a pivotal force in the design and delivery of public education and community risk reduction (CRR) courses at the National Fire Academy. His expertise, passion and ceaseless energy serve to fuel the ultimate educational outcome – change. Students report, “I was changed by the CRR course and forever impacted by the passion you show . . . My motivation links directly back to you.” Perhaps his influence has been greatest in developing and teaching the Executive Analysis of Community Risk Reduction course as part of the NFA’s Executive Fire Officer Program. This course contributes to the formation of decision makers who make fire prevention and community risk reduction a priority in the communities they serve and protect.

Mr. Weller was also the catalyst who led the City of Hagerstown to achieve International Safe Community recognition by The World Health Organization for Safe Communities. When Hagerstown received the honor, it was the first community recognized in Maryland and only the sixth in the United States.

Mike can be described as a disciple of Dr. Phillips as his passion today matches the lifetime passion for fire safety of Dr. Phillips. His work spans more than 30 years and also includes co-author of the IFSTA Fire and Life Safety Educator, Third 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 2018 recipient. “Mike Weller’s passion for fire prevention is contagious. Over and over, his dedication and commitment to teaching have a profound impact on the educational experience of NFA students. He has become one of the strongest national advocates for fire safety education with his articulate voice and passion.”

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 the late, 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 is very important in maintaining a constant awareness of the value of fire safety education throughout the nation."

The award will be presented on April 19 at the 30th 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 FPP 405-744-8100.

Please visit the Congressional Fire Services Institute's website for additional information about the 30th Annual National Fire and Emergency Services Symposium and Dinner. Approximately 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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