Fire safety calendar earns award for fire inspectors society

Photo by Dave Gorgon

Photo by Dave Gorgon

Taylor Fire Marshal John Hager accepts an award from Karla Klas of the University of Michigan Hospital Trauma Burn Center at a recent City Council meeting on behalf of the Michigan Fire Inspectors Society. The award recognized a fire safety calendar that was created and distributed statewide.

TAYLOR — The Michigan Fire Inspectors Society has received the Leland Gayheart Fire Safety and Prevention Award for the group’s 2010 Fire Prevention Calendar.

Fire Marshal John Hager, a trustee with the society’s executive board, received the award on its behalf. It was presented during a recent City Council meeting by Karla Klas, an injury prevention education specialist at the University of Michigan Hospital Trauma Burn Center.

“This year’s award winner is particularly outstanding because its calendar delivers fire safety messages to our community throughout the year,” Klas said.

The award is presented each year by the Gayheart family and the center to recognize the work of Michigan firefighters. It is given as a tribute to Leland Gayheart, a 23-year-old firefighter who lost his life due to a devastating burn injury in 1991.

The award was created to encourage prevention programs by local fire departments. Included is an honorarium, which is awarded annually to the department whose innovative efforts have demonstrated a statewide, countywide or citywide impact on prevention and fire safety.

Hager, a 13-year firefighter, was instrumental in using a $4,000 fire prevention grant from FM Global to create the special calendar. A total of 21,000 calendars has been distributed to fire departments throughout Michigan and given away. Hager said the $500 cash prize that is part of the award will be used to print more calendars.

“I’m proud to accept this on behalf of the Michigan Fire Inspectors Society, he said. “It was a very interesting experience and a lot of the work in the designing, raising the fund and the printing process, but if the calendar saves one life or prevents one fire, then it was well worth every minute.”

The calendar is filled with tips and activities for all ages. It provides a variety of safety messages to help people protect themselves from the dangers of fire, from the importance of sprinkler systems to practicing home fire drills to the dangers of novelty lighters that may be mistaken for toys. It also highlights the many organizations in the local communities that support fire safety. All money raised by the calendar project is used to print more calendars.

“Raising fire safety awareness among the communities across the state of Michigan is one of the most important steps that can be taken to prevent fire-related accidents from occurring,” said state Fire Marshal Ronald Farr. “I congratulate the Michigan Fire Inspectors Society on their 2010 Fire Prevention calendar and thank them for their efforts to raise the level of fire safety awareness.”

The Trauma Burn Center is an internationally recognized leader in patient care, research and rehabilitation. It was established in 1959 as the Burn Center, and it is classified as both a burn center and a Level 1 trauma center. Its programs address preventable injuries to children, adolescents and adults, as well as the medical and social consequences of injury and disability. The TBC is committed to community education on prevention, consequences and treatment of traumatic injury.