The Yvorra Leadership Development Foundation, also referred to as YLD, is a non-profit organization founded in 1988 in memory of Deputy Fire Chief James G. Yvorra, who was killed in the line of duty. YLD offers scholarships to individuals who demonstrate exceptional leadership potential. These scholarships are designed to support individuals in their pursuit of leadership development and provide them with the necessary resources to develop their skills. The foundation believes that investing in leadership development is crucial for creating positive change in society.
Jim Yvorra dedicated his life’s work to the fire and emergency medical services. After graduating from Indiana State University (Pennsylvania) with a degree in English and journalism, he began his career in 1974 as the emergency medical services training coordinator for Lycoming, Tioga and Sullivan Counties in Pennsylvania.
In 1976, he moved on to the Maryland Fire and Rescue Institute where he was an EMS instructor. His leadership style and personal commitment to his profession helped many young men and women begin successful careers as EMTs and paramedics at a time when the profession was just developing.
In 1978, Jim combined his talents in journalism and emergency services by joining the Robert J. Brady Company as editor of fire and EMS publications. While there, he was responsible for producing an impressive list of publications, including “Emergency Care” (third edition), “First Responder, “Trench Rescue” and “Investigating the Fire Scene.”
After six successful years with the Brady Company, he formed Peake Productions in 1983 to focus on specialty topics. In just five years, his company produced Alan Brunacini’s “Fireground Command” for the National Fire Protection Association and Fire Protection Publication’s “Hazardous Materials: Managing the Incident,” which he co-authored.
Despite his academic background, Jim Yvorra was a hands-on kind of guy. He served as an active volunteer with the Berwyn Heights (Maryland) Volunteer Fire Department and Rescue Squad for 11 years, holding every rank through deputy chief and president. He was also a founding member of the Prince Georges County (Maryland) Hazardous Materials Response Team.
Yvorra was investigating a crash on the Capital Beltway when he was struck by a passing vehicle and killed.
In addition to Yvorra, YLD scholarships are awarded in memory of Emergency Medical Technician Donald E. Sellers, Fire Chief G. Crawford Wiestling and Fire Chief John M. Eversole.
The primary goal of YLD is to promote the importance of leadership as a key element in developing and improving emergency services in the United States.
To accomplish this goal, the foundation provides financial support to qualified applicants to pursue advanced leadership development training and education. Applicants include career and volunteer members of emergency services organizations such as fire and rescue departments, emergency medical services, emergency management agencies, homeland security, and active duty, reserve and national guard military members who have an emergency preparedness and response job description e.g. firefighter, medic, disaster preparedness, etc. Applicants must be active members of the emergency services and must be a citizen of the United States. Since YLD was founded, they have awarded over $225,000 in scholarships to members of the fire and emergency medical services.
The foundation consists of a Board of Directors and a Scholarship and Awards Committee. The board is primarily responsible for the administration and management of the organization.
The Scholarship and Awards Committee evaluates applications and selects suitable candidates.
The committee reviews qualified applicants in the fall of each year and selects award recipients by letter ballot. Awardees are selected based on broad criteria. These include:
- Potential to have a positive impact upon the future of his or her organization and the emergency response community
The Yvorra Leadership Development Foundation is currently accepting applications for its 2023 scholarships and leadership special projects related to
Annual awards are approximately $3,000 each and five or more awards may be issued to U.S. citizens in 2023. In addition to one award for firefighters, there is an award set aside for hazardous materials responders, one for emergency medical service responders, and one or more for the Chief G. Crawford Wiestling Award. Special awards of greater value may be issued for leadership development related special projects proposed by individuals or groups.
For additional information about YLD and to request an application, go to http://www.yld.org and click “Applications."
The deadline for applications is Oct. 30, and awards are announced in late December.