The National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) bestowed its 2009 Lifetime Achievement Award to Fred G. Allinson, a volunteer firefighter from Washington State. With a distinguished record of service, including six years as NVFC Chairman and 39 years as a volunteer firefighter, Allinson's accomplishments exemplify outstanding performance. The NVFC Lifetime Achievement Award is sponsored by Scott Health and Safety, a business unit of Tyco International.
"Scott Health & Safety is proud to sponsor this prestigious award," said Mike Ryan, Vice President and General Manager of the Scott business. "I cannot think of anyone more deserving than Fred Allinson. Over the course of a lengthy and distinguished career as a firefighter, Fred has demonstrated great leadership ability and earned immense respect from his peers in the fire service."
Allinson received the award during a special ceremony at the NVFC Board Meeting on September 25 in Coralville, IA. Current NVFC Chairman Philip C. Stittleburg praised Allinson's achievements and commended him for the growth the NVFC experienced under Allinson's leadership, especially financially. "Fred's fundraising efforts placed the NVFC on solid financial ground that allows the NVFC to continue to do its important work even in these tough economic times."
Allinson started volunteering in 1963 at King County (WA) Fire District 2 after witnessing a friend drop everything to answer a call. He volunteered there for 30 years and rose to the rank of Battalion Chief. He earned praise and admiration from his fellow department members by leading through example, not just words.
In 1993, Allinson moved to North Highline (WA) Fire District where he served as a Battalion Chief and was placed in charge of the volunteer program in this combination department. He retired from the department in 1999 to focus on serving as the Chairman of the NVFC, a position he held from 1995 until retiring from the Board in 2001.
An active Board member in the Washington State Fire Fighters Association (WSFFA) from 1973 to 1983, Allinson served as WSFFA President in 1980. He was also the WSFFA's conference coordinator for 17 years. In addition, Allinson has served as a member of the World Federation of Volunteer Firefighters Association, NVFC representative on the Congressional Fire Services Institute's National Advisory Committee, National Fallen Firefighters Foundation Board, and the Forestry and Rural and Technical Correlating Committees of the National Fire Protection Association.
Allinson has been an important advocate of the fire service. He testified before Congress in 2000 regarding the Volunteer Fire Assistance Program, which provides grants to fire departments protecting communities of 10,000 or less to purchase equipment and training to improve wildland firefighting readiness. He also attended the President's Summit for America's Future on the NVFC's behalf, advocating volunteer first responder issues.
Among the awards he has received for his service, Allinson was named Volunteer Fire Chief of the Year in 1999 by Fire Chief Magazine and was honored by the King County Council in May 2001 with a proclamation for "Fred Allinson Day." He is retired from UPS. Allinson and his wife of 54 years, Carolyn, have three children and many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.