Southeastern Fire Chiefs Honors TDCI Deputy Commissioner

Friday, June 26, 2015 | 04:40pm

NASHVILLE - Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance (TDCI) Deputy Commissioner Gary West was awarded the prestigious H.D. Crossnine Award at the Southeastern Association of Fire Chiefs (SEAFC) 87th Annual Leadership Conference in Birmingham, Ala. on Saturday, June 20, 2015.

The SEAFC is one of eight divisions of the International Association of Fire Chiefs which is one of the oldest professional organizations in the United States and is dedicates to educating professional fire and emergency service leaders.  The SEAFC represents 10 states across the Southeast as well as Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

The SEAFC’s H.D Crossnine Award is the highest honor bestowed by the organization in the area of fire prevention, public education, and fire code development. In the award’s 20- year history, it has only been given nine times to fire service leaders.

Established in 1995, the award is named in honor of former Memphis, Tenn. Fire Marshal Herbert D. Crossnine who served the SEAFC for more than 20 years as chairman and vice-chairman of various fire code development committees and helped administer the Standard Fire Prevention Code in the Southeast.

“I am deeply humbled and honored to receive this award from my peers in the fire service whom I respect and admire,” West said. “I will continue to ensure the State Fire Marshal’s Office continues to serve, educate, and protect Tennesseans and build strong relationships with our partners across the state.”

Deputy Commissioner West was recognized for his leadership in developing life-safety programs such as “Get Alarmed Tennessee” which today has distributed nearly100,000 smoke alarms across Tennessee. As deputy commissioner, West oversees TDCI’s Fire Prevention Division, which includes the State Fire Marshal’s Office.

The “Get Alarmed Tennessee” program began in November 2012 in an effort to reduce Tennessee’s fire death rate. At that time, Tennessee was ranked as having the nation’s 6th highest fire death rate. The “Get Alarmed” program has resulted in the largest reduction in fire fatalities in Tennessee recorded history. Today, the program has documented saving the lives of 92 Tennesseans fire victims who were alerted by smoke alarms and able to escape fires in their homes and properties.