Lt. Annmarie Pickett, public education officer for the Worcester Fire Department in Massachusetts,
looks back fondly on her year as NFPA 2015 Fire and Life Safety Educator of the Year. When the citizens of Worcester found out that Lt. Pickett had been chosen for the award, they wanted to give her a sendoff she would
Not only was she given the key to the city at a city council meeting, she was also honored
with a video tribute. The six-minute video highlighted her work and included
on-camera testimonials from the mayor, city manager, the fire chief, staff and
participants of the Worcester Senior Center, and most importantly, her mom.
The accolades continued as Lt. Pickett was honored in Chicago during the 2015 NFPA Conference & Expo
general session and presented with the Sparky statue by Chairman of the Board Ernest Grant. Also during the Conference, she gave the keynote address at the Education Section business meeting.
“Words cannot say how thankful I am to NFPA,” Lt. Pickett said when I spoke to her today. “We
are a city of 200,000 with a department of 400 or so–second largest city in New England. Having said that, I have worked as a public servant for this city since the age of 16 and it is home and a small town to me. The equity, relationships, and validity of the education and outreach program have risen to heights unimaginable with this prestigious award. To be recognized and honored by my city with a key to the city and the love and support is just amazing."
In an effort to recognize educators who take the lead role in making their communities safer, NFPA presents the Fire and Life Safety Educator of the Year Award annually. Lt. Pickett is known for her steadfast commitment to bringing fire and life safety messages to as many people as possible. Under her leadership, the Worcester Fire Department public education division in 2014 conducted more than 700 workshops reaching 40,000 residents compared to 10 workshops reaching 161 residents in 2008, just before she joined the division.
She has fostered a partnership between two groups at high-risk of fire: older adults and young children, forming an intergenerational partnership between the senior center and nearby elementary school. She will speak on this topic at the 2016 Conference next week in Las Vegas during the education session, "Fire Safety Education-Bringing Children and Older Adults Together."
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