Kidde Fire Safety has teamed up with Craig Morgan, Country Music star and former first responder, Firehouse, the magazine of the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC), NFPA and National Fallen Firefighters Foundation to launch “Step Up and Stand Out,” a national campaign to increase awareness of the need for volunteer firefighters.
An integral part of the campaign is a contest that launched nationwide yesterday to reward volunteers who have gone above and beyond in their community. Hosted on Firehouse.com, the contest invites the public to upload a brief video submission nominating a current volunteer firefighter or support volunteer for their service. Five finalist prizes and one grand prize will ultimately be awarded after the public selects who has “stepped up and stood out” the most.
“As a former first responder, I want to continue to do what I can to help keep families safe,” said Morgan. “That means making sure our volunteer fire departments have the support they need. This program is a great way to show volunteer firefighters how important they are to us and their communities.”
At select stops along Morgan’s 2016 tour, he will meet with local volunteer fire departments, and donate Kidde 10-year sealed battery smoke alarms. Also, members of IAFC will hold open houses at different stations along the route.
Most of America’s 30,000 fire departments (87 percent) are either fully or partially staffed by volunteers. These men and women act as the first line of defense in an emergency, provide medical services and protect more than 50 percent of Americans, particularly in rural communities; however, their numbers have steadily declined. Volunteers dedicate significant training hours to ensure they are prepared, often at their own expense.
Submissions will be accepted from now until May 21, and voting will begin in June. The five finalists will be announced at IAFC’s Fire-Rescue International Show, the IAFC's Annual Conference & Expo on Aug. 18. A final public vote will determine the grand prize winner who will be announced at Firehouse Expo in October. The finalists and grand prize winners will receive a prize pack consisting of Kidde smoke alarm donations, safety grants, an NFPA Fire Prevention Week Kit, and more. The complete rules are available at www.firehouse.com/vf.