March 13 2014 – The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has named Samantha Hoffmann, public fire and life safety officer and PIO for the Barrie Fire & Emergency Service in Barrie, Ontario, Canada, as the 2014 Fire and Life Safety Educator of the Year.
NFPA’s Fire and Life Safety Educator of the Year Award recognizes a fire and life safety educator who works for a local fire department, uses NFPA’s materials in consistent and creative ways, demonstrates excellence and innovation in reaching out to the community, and views NFPA as the source for safety information.
Hoffmann’s true passion for spreading fire and life education stems from her early work as the fire marshal and emergency planning co-ordinator for the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto. Having used NFPA materials since 1989, she quickly implemented the Learn Not to Burn program for use with the hospital’s younger patients. As her career progressed, Hoffmann later successfully introduced the Learn Not to Burn program in every school in North York after joining the North York Fire Department in Toronto in 1996.
Hoffmann continued to be successful in her youth education efforts after joining the Barrie Fire and Emergency Service, where she teamed up with the TVO Kids program to create a large-scale version of Learn Not to Burn that would allow the program to reach a massive audience. She is a frequent guest on the show and also makes programming contributions. She developed the “Push the Button” campaign to encourage children and their parents to test their smoke alarms, as well as an assortment of videos and online safety games. Along with her outreach of the Learn Not to Burn program, Hoffmann reaches out to older audiences with the Remembering When™ program, working alongside an acting troupe to present fire safety information in a fun and entertaining atmosphere.
NFPA recognizes that educators like Hoffmann are instrumental in the distribution of NFPA materials and messages, and in keeping their communities safe. Along with the award, she has also earned a $1,000 honorarium and free travel to Las Vegas for an award presentation at the opening general session of the NFPA annual conference. The Barrie Fire and Emergency Service will also receive a $1,000 donation to support public education activities.
On behalf of the Ontario Municipal Fire Prevention Officer’s Association we would like to congratulate Samantha on wining this prestigious award. Way to make us Canadians proud! Job well done!