The Arizona Fire and Burn Educators Association is proud to announce that two of Arizona’s top community risk reduction educators were honored at Opening Ceremonies of the 45th Annual Arizona State Fire School. Linda S. Kirby, Ret., Phoenix Fire Department, was inducted into the Arizona Fire Service Hall of Fame. Additionally, Maureen Carney, Goodyear Fire Department, was chosen as the Arizona Fire and Life Safety Educator of the Year.
“AFBEA members have known for years the caliber of talent of these two women,” said Lori Schmidt, president of AFBEA. “We are thrilled to have them celebrated in front of the fire community this way.”
Linda Kirby served for 20 years as civilian for PFD in various capacities. Through her years at Phoenix Fire, she was involved in writing policies and guidelines for a variety of programs, including TRT. But it was her work outside of the department that impacted the fire service across Arizona that is celebrated.
Kirby was instrumental in developing the Urban Survival program that is used by fire departments across the state. It was Arizona’s local answer to the NFPA Risk Watch program. It recognizes that community risk reduction goes beyond just fire safety. The educational components also addressed latch-key kids, water safety, bullying and outdoor safety. The program serves as the umbrella under which most of the Arizona safety programs taught by fire departments are taught.
As a member and training committee chair for the AFBEA, Kirby wrote the current training classes taught throughout Arizona for Fire and Life Safety Educator I, II and III. She also developed a one-day Objectives Creation workshop.
Kirby helped create the pilot pool and spa safety training for the National Drowning Prevention Alliance. The training was shifted to the National Injury Prevention Council and is now being implemented across Arizona.
She is not shy to share her knowledge. Kirby has presented at numerous conferences and is invested in training future Community Risk Reduction educators. Her years at the National Fire Academy have had her teaching beginner educators to fire chiefs. She is dedicated to helping future leaders understand how best to make a positive impact on their specific communities.
Kirby’s contribution to the community is far reaching. Community Risk Reduction is at the heart of her entire career from water safety, to smoke alarm programs, to car seat programs and beyond. No words can express the number of families her programs have impacted and the lives saved.
Maureen Carney is always pushing to do more and continues to prove her worth daily to the Goodyear Fire Department and the residents of Goodyear. She started her work with the fire department as a volunteer. She has said that she truly believes that helping others to understand the importance of fire and life safety is her calling.
Carney is a Community Risk Reduction Specialist, Fire and Life Educator I certified, Child Passenger Safety Technician and a certified CPR instructor. She wanted to learn more, so when asked if she wanted try characterization, she jumped at that request. She continues to utilize those skills during Fire Pal lessons.
Carney partnered with Arizona Public Service (APS) Ben FranKlown program that reaches school age children in a fun interactive way of learning electrical and fire safety. Not only did Goodyear elementary students benefit from this wonderful program, she volunteered her time to ensure other students around the state learned the important fire and life safety messages when APS asked for her assistance.
In 2017, Maureen wanted to better understand fire prevention and provide residents more information when asked. Maureen attended and passed the Arizona Fire Inspector I course with the highest test score on the exam. Even after losing a part time educator at the department, she didn’t flinch at taking on new schools and other duties as assigned — at only works 19 hours a week.
“Both of these individuals represent the best of the best of educators in our state, and they would definitely stand up against anyone across the country,” said Schmidt. “It is our honor to present them with these awards.”
Since its inception, the Arizona Fire and Burn Educators Association has remained at the leading edge of innovative and transitional training making the Public Educator a true professional. Through its various seminars, AFBEA has become a force on the national front, gaining recognition for our state and the distinctive challenges, which face the fire service today.
The Arizona State Fire School is brought to the state through the volunteer efforts and commitment of the Arizona State Fire Training Committee (ASFTC). Since the first Fire School in 1973, the goal has been to improve the safety of Arizona’s firefighters by offering high quality training. Well trained and knowledgeable firefighters can better protect the citizens of their respective communities from the many hazards of daily life. Each year, the State Fire School continues the work of the ASFTC in meeting this goal. From Basic Skills Training, Fire Prevention & Investigation, to Fire Leadership, the State Fire School provides education in the skills and knowledge a modern firefighter needs to be effective while remaining safe. The State Fire School brings the Arizona Fire Service together, not only to educate, but to celebrate our history and recognize our members, past and present, whose work and vision have created today’s fire service.