Categories: People

Lauri Volkert named Fire and Life Safety Educator of the Year


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The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has announced that Lauri Volkert, fire inspector for the Windsor (Conn.) Fire Marshal’s Office, has been named the 2021 Fire and Life Safety Educator of the Year. Each year, the award is bestowed upon an individual who works for a local fire department or fire marshal’s office in North America, consistently uses NFPA materials in creative, educational ways, and demonstrates excellence and innovation in reaching out to the community.

Over the past 12 years as a staff member of the Windsor Fire Marshal’s Office, Volkert has created partnerships with the town’s social and senior services division to reach its most vulnerable residents, using the NFPA Remembering When program to reach approximately 200 households, many of which are located in public housing communities. She has also re-imagined and strengthened the town’s fire and life safety educational program, reaching 2,500 students in grades Pre-K through sixth grade through coordinated fire prevention programs in support of Fire Prevention Week each October. In addition, Volkert has established a strong social media presence across multiple platforms to communicate fire and life safety messages to broader audiences within the community.

“Creating and implementing an effective fire prevention program is critical to increased safety, but that’s often a lot easier said than done given today’s stretched budgets and staffing, among other challenges,” said Lorraine Carli, vice president of Outreach & Advocacy at NFPA. “Lauri Volkert’s passion, creativity, and hard work have generated measurable, impactful results for the Town of Windsor. We’re proud to recognise and celebrate her impressive efforts and continued commitment to safety.”


The cumulative impact of Volkert’s efforts is reflected in a 50 percent reduction in structural fire calls to the Windsor Fire Department since 2015, along with a 15 percent decline in reported false alarms and a 27 percent drop in reported cooking fires for the same time period.

Additionally, Volkert played a major role in creating coordinated, effective internal and external communications during the COVID-19 pandemic, finding new ways to promote safety messages in the absence of traditional in-person programming. She has also been a participant of an NFPA Community Risk Assessment pilot program with plans to create a multi-disciplinary approach for future community risk reduction strategies.

As the recipient of the NFPA Fire and Life Safety Educator of the Year award, Volkert will receive a $1,000 honorarium, compensated travel to NFPA Conference & Expo in Boston next June, and an engraved Sparky statue. In addition, the Windsor Fire Marshal’s Office will receive a $1,000 donation to support their public education activities.

All nominations for the NFPA Fire and Life Safety Educator award are submitted to NFPA’s public education division, which reviews all submissions and selects the most qualified recipient.

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