The National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) is pleased to announce the recipient of the 2016 Fire Prevention and Education Award. Lieutenant Michael McLeieer of Olivet, MI, will be recognized at a banquet during the NVFC’s spring meeting on May 6, 2016, in Alexandria, VA. McLeieer was selected through a nationwide nomination process for his exemplary dedication to fire prevention in his community and beyond.
The Fire Prevention & Education Award, sponsored by Nest, was established in the memory of volunteer firefighter and NVFC board member Marc Mueller. The award annually honors an individual who has made a major contribution in the field of fire prevention. As part of the award, McLeieer will receive a trip to Alexandria to attend the award ceremony, a complimentary one-year NVFC membership, and a personalized award.
McLeieer has demonstrated an outstanding commitment to public education in his community and nationally. More than two decades ago, he founded the nonprofit charitable organization E.S.C.A.P.E. (Education Showing Children and Adults Procedures for Evacuations), whose mission is to teach children and adults about fire prevention, CPR, and first aid. Students who participated in McLeieer’s fire safety education program achieved a 98 percent success rate when tested on how to respond correctly to a fire. The importance of his course was demonstrated when a four-year-old led his parents from their smoke-filled home the night after the child had participated in McLeieer’s class.
McLeieer has also played a role in education on a state and national level. For seven years, he served as the Training and Scheduling Coordinator for the Massachusetts Firefighting Academy and was in charge of the statewide Youth Fire Intervention program. McLeieer has presented at the National Fire Academy, Vision 20/20 Models in Fire Prevention Symposium, the Fire Department Instructors Conference, and the National Fire Protection Association’s International Conference.
In 2013, McLeieer returned to Michigan, focusing his efforts on the state’s growing civilian fire death problem. With the support of USFA and Michigan’s State Fire Marshal, he assembled a group of subject matter experts from the fire service, education, law enforcement, and other community organizations and formed the Michigan Fire and Life Safety Educator Coalition. This multi-disciplinary group developed goals and objectives to create education curricula that could be utilized in schools, train firefighters as public fire and life safety educators, and provide smoke alarms to fire departments to be installed in at-risk homes, resulting in a 25 percent reduction in fatalities over the next five years throughout Michigan.
McLeieer assisted in securing funding for a multiple-organization initiative called Michigan S.A.F.E. (Smoke Alarms For Everyone), which distributed and installed over 7,300 10-year long-life sealed battery smoke alarms in at-risk homes across Michigan. He also launched a campaign in western Michigan called Operation Save A Life, which provided fire safety messaging on-air through a local television station and smoke and carbon monoxide alarms to fire departments in a 14-county region. Operation Save A Life reduced home fire fatalities in its target area by 40 percent in the first year.
McLeieer joined the Merrimac (MA) Fire Department as a volunteer firefighter in 2000 and the Olivet (MI) Fire Department in 2013. He exemplifies the philosophy of fire prevention, educating over one million people in the last two decades.
Learn more about the NVFC’s awards program at www.nvfc.org/awards. Stay tuned to the NVFC web site and Dispatch e-newsletter in May for additional information about the 2016 award winners as well as photos from the awards banquet.
For more information, go to www.nvfc.org