by NFPA's Karen Berard-Reeed
NFPA is sad to hear the news of the passing of Alonzo King, Jr. from Columbus, Ohio. Our hearts are with the city of Columbus as they celebrate the life of a great public servant. Firefighter King was the Fifty Year Plus Program Coordinator within the Community Relations Office at the Columbus Division of Fire. He was involved with NFPA public education programs for many years and a faithful advocate for fire safety in his community. In 2008, Alonzo was involved in the first NFPA Urban Fire Safety Project set in Columbus. He, along with Lt. David Sawyer, was instrumental to the success of this endeavor.
Alonzo was a key player in working to reduce the fire incidence in high-risk neighborhoods and headed up an installation program for interconnected smoke alarms in the homes of older adults. Alonzo further demonstrated his passion for fire prevention when partnering with NFPA to develop an arson safety program which was used across North America. Firefighter King cared deeply about the older adults in his community and was a strong proponent for the NFPA Remembering When program. He worked with hundreds of older adults in Columbus over the years to help them prevent fires and falls in the home and established important partnerships with other community organizations to strengthen his efforts.
I am sure anyone who had the pleasure of working with Alonzo will remember his infectious smile, his ability to connect with his audiences with humor and music, and his dedication to helping his community. The city of Columbus is left with big shoes to fill.