Tennessean Named 2019 Fire and Life Safety Educator of the Year

Barry Brickey, public education and information officer for the Kingsport (TN) Fire Department and voice of Sparky the Fire Dog®, as the recipient of the 2019 Fire and Life Safety Educator of the Year Award.

The National Fire Protection Association announced March 18 that it has selected Barry Brickey, public education and information officer for the Kingsport (TN) Fire Department and voice of Sparky the Fire Dog®, as the recipient of the 2019 Fire and Life Safety Educator of the Year Award.

"Fire safety education is critical to saving lives and reducing loss from fire," said Lorraine Carli, vice president of Outreach and Advocacy for NFPA. "Barry's commitment and passion for sharing safety messages is a tremendous service to his community and a model for others."

NFPA presents this award annually to a dedicated educator who works for a local fire department or fire marshal's office in the United States or Canada and uses NFPA's materials in consistent, creative educational ways. Brickey is being awarded a $1,000 honorarium, travel to the NFPA Conference & Expo in San Antonio, Texas, in June, and an engraved Sparky statutette. The Kingsport Fire Department will receive a $1,000 donation to support public education activities.

NFPA's release said Brickey has been using the NFPA Learn Not to Burn® preschool program since 2006 and NFPA's Remembering When™ program for older adults since 2010. In 2006, he developed a billboard campaign themed with Fire Prevention Week™ slogans and home fire sprinkler messaging. The Kingsport Fire Department partnered with the state fire marshal's office for a smoke alarm billboard in October 2018.

In 2011, Brickey won a national contest to become the voice of Sparky for NFPA's "Sparky the Runaway Robot" and to celebrate Sparky’s 60th birthday. For that year's Fire Prevention Week, he participated in a national radio media tour as the voice of Sparky.

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