Subscribe to our newsletters & stay updated
The American Fire Sprinkler Association (AFSA) is honored to present its 2022 Fire Sprinkler Advocate of the Year award to the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation's Executive Director Ron Siarnicki for his work and dedication to fire and life safety. Siarnicki has made a lifelong commitment to protecting people from the dangers of fire and to educating the public about the benefits of fire sprinklers.
At 18, Siarnicki began his journey in the fire safety world as a volunteer firefighter in his hometown of Monessen, Pennsylvania. Shortly after, he went to Prince George's County Fire/EMS Department. Siarnicki spent 24 years in Prince George's County, working his way up to become fire chief in 1998. Notably, in 1992, the county worked to pass legislation approved and signed into law requiring that all new single-family homes be protected by an NFPA-approved 13D residential sprinkler system. Studies conducted would later show that the ordinance enacted by the county helped save millions and, most importantly, lives.
As executive director of the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF), Siarnicki oversees all programs, services, and activities of the foundation. One initiative developed by fire service constituencies that NFFF executes is "Everyone Goes Home" to reduce firefighter line-of-duty deaths and injuries. One of those 16 initiatives is #15, "Code Enforcement and Sprinklers."
"Most firefighters have realized fire sprinklers work parallel with the fire service industry," Siarnicki said. "If we can ensure everyone gets out of the structure by the time firefighters arrive through working smoke and CO2 alarms and fire sprinklers, firefighters can do what they must do in a safer environment. Property can be replaced. Lives cannot. Having the prevention pieces improves the safety of the public and fire service community."
Siarnicki also finds time to serve the industry and people affected by fire through other organizations, including the Phoenix Society for Burn Survivors, Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition (HFSC), and Maryland State Fireman's Association. Read more about Siarnicki's accomplishments in the July/August issue of Sprinkler Age.
AFSA created the Fire Sprinkler Advocate of the Year award to honor individuals not directly involved in the fire sprinkler industry whose efforts have significantly advanced the fire protection industry and automatic fire sprinklers. Nominees are recommended by AFSA's Legislative Committee and approved by the Board of Directors.
Siarnicki will be presented with AFSA'S Fire Sprinkler Advocate of the Year award during the general session at AFSA41: Convention, Exhibition & Apprentice Competition to be held Oct. 16-19 at the Bellagio Las Vegas. To learn more about AFSA41, view the schedule, and register to attend, visit www.firesprinkler.org/AFSA41.