Fire departments from all 50 states participate in the NVFC National Junior Firefighter Program.

Deadline Nears for NVFC Junior Firefighter Awards

Fire departments have until Feb. 12 to apply for two junior firefighter awards sponsored by Tyco International. Almost 1,100 departments from all 50 states now participate in the National Junior Firefighter Program.

Feb. 12 is the deadline to apply for two awards recognizing stars of programs that encourage young people to join the U.S. fire service. Both are being presented April 30 in Alexandra, Va., during a banquet at the National Volunteer Fire Council's Spring Meeting, and both are sponsored by Tyco International.

The NVFC Junior Firefighter of the Year Award honors a junior firefighter who has gone above and beyond in service to his or her fire department. The Junior Firefighter Program of the Year Award honors a junior firefighter program or Boy Scout Explorer Post that has demonstrated significant community impact, innovation, and creativity.

Almost 1,100 departments of all sizes, representing all 50 states, have registered with NVFC's National Junior Firefighter Program, which was launched in July 2007 to help departments recruit young members. Tyco, whose Tyco Safety Products unit includes Scott Health & Safety, Ansul, and several other fire detection, life safety, and fire suppression brands, is one of two corporate sponsors currently. The other is Spartan Motors Inc., a Charlotte, Mich.-based manufacturer of fire and emergency vehicles.

Rachel Higginbotham, director of the National Junior Firefighter Program, said some participating departments have only one or two junior firefighters enrolled. "I've heard of some that have up to 50," she said Feb. 1.

Nominees for the Junior Firefighter of the Year Award must be registered with the program, but registration is free at www.nvfc.org/juniors. The nomination form is available here. A 500-word essay and two letters of recommendation, including one from department chief or program advisor, are required.

To be eligible for the program award, a program must have been in operation for at least a full year, have demonstrated "exemplary creativity and community impact," and be registered with the National Junior Firefighter Program. Again, registration is free.

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