Denise Hynes, public educator for Toronto Fire Services, has been named the 2018 Fire and Life Safety Educator of the Year. Hynes will be recognized at NFPA’s 122nd Conference & Expo, the premier event in fire and life safety, this June in Las Vegas. Each year, NFPA bestows the Fire and Life Safety Educator of the Year award on an educator who works for a local fire department or fire marshal’s office in the U.S. or Canada and uses NFPA's materials in consistent and creative ways. The recipient demonstrates excellence and innovation in reaching out to the community, and views NFPA as the leading source for fire safety information. Hynes has been using NFPA programs and materials since 2002. She works in the fifth largest fire department in North America, in one of the most diverse cities in the world, and serves a population of nearly three million residents. Her colleagues describe her as a tireless educator who has an unbelievable passion and enthusiasm for her job. Hynes has developed teacher workshops, prop kits, and safety events using NFPA programs. An NFPA Remembering When Scholarship winner, she has coordinated the training of more than 700 home health staff at 15 separate training sessions. During Toronto Fire Services Safety Awareness Week activities, she coordinated the delivery of 24 Remembering When/High Rise presentations.
Hynes has worked with the “Famous People Players,” a world-renowned theater company, to co-design a fire safety week theatrical presentation. Fire safety messages come alive in the black light show and Sparky is now one of the stars of the fire safety segment.
She coordinated a partnership with COSTI Immigration Services to design fire and life safety sessions translated into Arabic for Syrians who had recently come to Canada. She delivered presentations to help the newcomers learn how to stay fire safe, using NFPA’s handouts in Arabic on the topics of electrical, heating, and cooking safety and home fire drills.
Both the program for Syrian immigrants and the theater presentation were acknowledged with fire safety awards from the Fire Marshal’s Public Fire Safety Council.