GAC Spirit of Excellence Award

The Governmental Affairs Committee of the Fire Apparatus Manufacturers' Association and the Fire and Emergency Manufacturers and Services Association recently presented the Edward H. McCormack, Jr. Spirit of Excellence Award to Mr. Steve Austin, Director of Government Relations for the International Association of Arson Investigators and to Mr. Alan Caldwell, Manager, Government Relations for the International Association of Fire Chiefs.

FAMA/FEMSA GAC presented the Edward H. McCormack, Jr. Spirit of Excellence Award to honor Austin and Caldwell for their many years of commitment to the American Fire Service. In presenting each award to Austin and Caldwell, GAC Co-Chair Steve Lawrence described "Big Ed" McCormack's dedication to the American Fire Service. Lawrence said, "With McCormack's spirit in mind, the FAMA/FEMSA GAC applauds you as a fellow 'beacon in our hearts' for your achievements, and honors you with the Edward H. McCormack, Jr. Spirit of Excellence Award."

Steve Austin is a fire service consultant specializing in political and organizational issues that impact the delivery of emergency services. He was with State Farm Insurance Company's fire, arson and life safety issues for over 30 years and is a life-member of the Aetna, Hose Hook and Ladder Company, Newark, DE, past president of the New Castle County DE Volunteer Firemen's Association and was president of the Delaware Volunteer Firemen's Association. Austin was appointed by the United States Fire Administrator to the National Juvenile Fire setter/Arson Partnership. He participated in the Leadership Team of the National Highway Incident Management Coalition, chaired the NFPA Technical Committee on Fire Investigator Professional Qualifications and is on the NFPA Correlating Committee on Fire Service Professional Qualifications, twice chaired the Congressional Fire Services Institute National Advisory Committee (NAC) and named "CFSI Fire Service person of the Year" in 1996.

In 1998 Austin was Chair of Federal Emergency Management Agency's "Blue Ribbon Panel" to review the operation of the United States Fire Administration and the National Fire Academy. He has served on advisory committees and panels for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, the National Fire Academy, the United States Fire Administration and the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Steve received the IAFC President's Award for his commitment to the fire service. Steve was named as a Senior Fellow at the George Washington University Homeland Security Policy Institute.

Alan Caldwell - After serving in the military, Caldwell's career included working for two Fortune 500 companies in management and government relations. He was Director of the Washington Office for the Alliance for Fire & Emergency Management prior to joining the International Association of Fire Chiefs in 1996 as the Director of Government Relations.

Caldwell is a former volunteer chief with Fairfax County Fire & Rescue Department and former chief and board of trustees for the Dunn Loring Volunteer Fire Department, Fairfax County, VA. Caldwell's commitment to furthering the professionalism and raising political awareness of the fire and emergency services won him the Dennis Duffy Citizenship Award from the Fairfax Bar Association, the Fire Chiefs Award of Fairfax County and the prestigious Mason Lankford Award from the Congressional Fire Service Institute and Motorola.

The Edward H. McCormack, Jr. Spirit of Excellence Award was initiated in 2006 by the FAMA/FEMSA GAC to celebrate Mr. McCormack's 40 years of dedication to the American Fire Service through training and education. Of McCormack's many accomplishments, one of his proudest was his charge to pass legislation that led to the creation of the Massachusetts Fire Training Academy in the mid-1960s. Through that effort, McCormack learned quickly about politics, the importance of working behind the scenes with appropriate stakeholders and soon became one of the most respected fire service advocates in the country. In 1974, McCormack was one of the writers of legislation that created the United States Fire Administration and the National Fire Academy. "Big Ed" McCormack, who died in April 2006, was a man ahead of his time who had extraordinary vision...in spirit, action and deed. For his leadership through service to others, compassion for his fellow man, and his perseverance, Ed McCormack was truly a beacon in the heart of the American Fire Service.

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