Professional Firefighter Mark Sanchez was known as “Father Fire” through his educational programs in Flagstaff. He was tragically taken in a fatal highway crash on Sept. 11, 1993. In memory of Mark and his dedication to the children and his community, AFBEA established the “Mark A. Sanchez Memorial Award.” The recognition is given to an individual who has displayed a real dedication to promoting fire and life safety in their community or state through characterization and is awarded during the annual Community Risk Reduction through Characterization Conference.
This year’s honoree is Terry Ricketts, APS Volunteer Clown Troup Coordinator. (Applause!)
As a longtime supporter of AFBEA conferences and programs, Terry is no stranger to fire and life safety messages. After working with Goodyear CRR coordinator Tanja Tanner on new a script and set design, the Ben Franklown program now incorporates safety messages for smoke alarms, drowning prevention, cooking safety and several other safety concepts for elementary age children.
As a result of the partnership between the APS Ben Franklown program and AFBEA, tens of thousands of children have participated. Schools in the Goodyear area were the first to participate. The program spread to include many other schools in the Phoenix metro area, as well as other schools in Flagstaff, Globe, Coolidge, Casa Grande, Scottsdale, Glendale and Tonopah.
The dedication to the safety message has been further illustrated through visits to communities outside the APS service area. The Ben Franklown program has also been included in several high visibility statewide events, such as the Arizona State Fair.
For 30 years, Terry Ricketts has demonstrated the highest degree of dedication to delivering fire and life safety messages to the community, state and to the hundreds of attendees from all across the nation at AFBEA sponsored Educational Characterization events and truly embodies the spirit of the Mark Sanchez Award.