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When I began working at NFPA almost eight years ago, my youngest brother Tony was the only one in the family that knew what NFPA was. In fact, he was pretty excited that I was going to be working here. He told me about the importance of codes and gave me a quick primer on fire safety, getting me off to a good start.
Tony had joined the Everett Fire Department in 2000, a few years after serving in the U.S. Coast Guard and jumped in with both boots. In the last 13 years he has fought a lot of fires. He has also prevented countless others from occurring when he came off the line to work in code enforcement and fire prevention.
Today, as I oversee NFPA’s outreach and advocacy efforts I still call on him for his perspective. We talk often about the challenges in urban firefighting and the intersection with NFPA. The job of a firefighter is different than it was decades ago as we rely on our fire service to be the first line of defense and the offense for every conceivable disaster that could strike a community. We rely on them to think about and prepare for the unthinkable. We trust they will respond in times of need. We also count on them to be the delivers of critical fire safety information in their communities. All of these things combined make us all safer from fire and other hazards.
But what has not changed is the dedication and commitment of those that become firefighters. We should all be grateful that these men and women are there every single day.
Last night I was proud to see Tony become a captain in my hometown – Everett, MA. Congratulations!
- by NFPA's Lorraine Carli</p>