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The Fire Protection Person of the Year
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The Fire Protection Person of the Year Award

The Fire Protection Person of the Year Award was created in 1973 to recognize significant achievement in the protection of humanity and the environment from the ravages of unwanted fire and an outstanding contribution to fire protection from outside the membership of SFPE which is broad in scope and has apparent lasting effects. Specifically, the individual must have made an outstanding contribution to fire protection within recent years, the contribution must be broad in scope and of national importance, the contribution must have lasting effects, and the individual must come from beyond SFPE (cannot be a Fellow, Professional Member or Member).


2016 Recipient

John E. "Jack" Crowley

Graduating from the Fire Protection Engineering Program of  Illinois Institute of Technology in 1966, John "Jack" Crowley apprenticed with the insurance rating bureau in Kentucky and with Underwriters Laboratories in Chicago prior to his 1973 appointment as Technical Services Director for Star Sprinkler Corporation in Philadelphia. There he developed simpler and significantly lower cost techniques for engineering that placed smaller sprinkler firms on an equal footing with their larger corporate competitors. An early adopter of microcomputers, he founded Crowley Design Group in 1978,  an engineering service bureau and software development firm.  Best known for his work on microcomputer programs for hydraulics, estimation, stocklisting and CAD, his contributions also included numerous educational seminars that helped give rise to a new generation of technically savvy. 

Prior Recipients

  • Arthur Sampson, Administrator, General Services Administration (1973)
  • Richard E. Bland, Chairman, National Commission on Fire Prevention and Control (1974)
  • Anne W. Phillips, M.D., Founder and Executive Director, The National Smoke, Fire and Burn Institute (1975)
  • Dick Van Dyke, Movie and Television Star (1976)
  • Dr. John L. Bryan, Professor and Chairman, Department of Fire Protection Engineering, University of Maryland (1977)
  • Duane D. Pearsall, President, Small Business Development Corporation (1978)
  • Jackson Weaver,the voice of "Smokey Bear," WMAL Radio (1981)
  • Dr. Howard W. Emmons, Gordon McKay Professor of Mechanical Engineering, Harvard University (1982)
  • Dr. Dougal Drysdale, Lecturer, Fire Safety, University of Edinburgh (1983)
  • Dr. Gunnar Heskestad, Factory Mutual Research Corporation (1984)
  • Congressman Doug Walgren, Chairman, Science, Research and Technology Subcommittee, U.S. House of Representatives (1985)
  • Dr. Richard A. Waters, Environmental Physicist, Ove Arup and Partners (1987)
  • Congressman Curt Weldon, Chairman, Congressional Fire Services Caucus (1989)
  • C. Douglas Woodward, OBE, Director, Fire Protection Association (1990)
  • Robert W. Grant, National Fire Protection Association (1991)
  • G. Richard Morris, Chairman, Cerberus Pyrotronics Inc. (1992)
  • Edward G. "Chris" Watkins, President, Simplex Time Recorder (1994)
  • Jennifer Garland, ABC, Canadian Tire Child Protection Foundation (1995)
  • George D. Miller, President, National Fire Protection Association (1996)
  • Dr. Frederick W. Williams, U.S. Department of the Navy (1999)
  • Meri-K Appy, Vice President, National Fire Protection Association (2000)
  • Chief Daniel A. Nigro, Fire Department New York, (2002)
  • R. David Paulson, U.S. Fire Administration (2003)
  • William E. Barnard, Maryland State Fire Marshal (2006)
  • John R. Hall, Jr., Ph.D., National Fire Protection Association (2007)
  • Raymond E. Orozco, Chicago Fire Department (2008)
  • James M. Shannon, National Fire Protection Association (2009)
  • Dennis "Skip" Parks, Ed.D., California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo (2010)
  • Christopher C. Pascual, Ph.D., P.E., California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo (2010)
  • Jim Crawford, Vision 20/20 (2011)
  • John "Sonny" Scarff, Marriott International's Global Fire & Life Safety (2013)
  • Tonya L. Hoover, State of California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (2014)
  • John Lentini, American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS) (2015)
  • John E. "Jack" Crowley (2016)

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