New York State
Association of Fire Chiefs

Providing Service to Those Who Serve


2018 James W. Wright Public Education Award Presented

Captain Larry Dawson of the Hagaman Volunteer Fire Department was recently honored with this award to recognize excellence in the delivery of fire and life safety public education in the Empire State.

The New York State Association of Fire Chiefs (NYSAFC) is pleased to announce that Captain Larry Dawson of the Hagaman Volunteer Fire Department (Montgomery County) has been named the 2018 recipient of the “James W. Wright Public Education Award.” NYSAFC has presented this prestigious award since 1995 in recognition of outstanding effort in delivering fire and life safety public education programs to citizens in New York state.

The award was presented to Dawson on May 5, 2018, during the 45th Annual Fire & Life Safety Educators' Conference hosted by NYSAFC and the New York State Office of Fire Prevention & Control at the New York State Academy of Fire Science in Montour Falls, N.Y.

Dawson joined the Hagaman Volunteer Fire Department in 2002 and took over as chairman of the Fire Prevention Team in 2005. In 2011, he became a certified public fire and life safety educator. Each year, Dawson and the Fire Prevention Team devote countless hours to ensuring their community is a safer place to live and work.

Team members participate in approximately 30 events annually using tools such as the department's fire safety trailer demonstration unit to educate the public about fire and injury prevention, as well as proper life safety behaviors in the event of a fire or other emergency. The team educates approximately 6,000-7,000 adults and children each year, providing life saving information to citizens in eight counties – Montgomery, Fulton, Saratoga, Albany, Schenectady, Hamilton, and Otsego. Under the leadership of Dawson, the team assists other fire departments with public education, participates in community events such as the Montgomery County Fair, Montgomery County Youth Day, and Home Depot Safety Days, makes numerous school visits in the region, and conducts a fall/injury prevention program at a local senior center, reaching all age groups with their safety messages.

Dawson was nominated for the award by the 2015 recipient, the Cranesville Volunteer Fire Department. NYSAFC President Chief John Sroka said, “An important part of our mission is to help the members of the communities we serve to prevent fires and injuries, and we must also prepare them to know what to do in the event an emergency occurs. Our association proudly presents this award to Larry Dawson for his dedication to public safety education and his tireless effort to save lives.”