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NFPA Fire and Life Safety Educator of the Year Award

In an effort to recognize educators who take the lead role in making their communities safer, NFPA presents the 2021 Fire and Life Safety Educator of the Year Award.


We are looking for fire and life safety educators in the United States or Canada who:

  • Work for a local/municipal fire department or fire marshal’s office.
  • Use NFPA educational programs and materials in a consistent and creative way for their community/audience.
  • Demonstrate excellence and innovation in reaching out to the community with NFPA materials. 
The Educator of the Year receives:
  • $1,000 honorarium which recipients can accept or forward to the charity of their choice.
  • Sparky FLS Educator of the year statue
  • Paid registration to attend the NFPA 125th Anniversary Conference Series virtual events.
  • The local fire department or the fire marshal’s office receives a $1,000 donation to support public education activities. 

Questions? Contact

Submit your nomination
Nominations are due April 21Download the nomination form (DOCX) and send to

Recipient will be notified by May 20, 2021.

2020 recipient

NFPA congratulates Maria Bostian of the Kannapolis Fire Department who has been selected as the 2020 Fire and Life Safety Educator of the Year. Bostian has 21 years of experience delivering fire and life safety to her community through presentations to varied audiences, a robust Fire Prevention Week campaign, and an ongoing social media initiative. NFPA materials and resources serve as the backdrop to all she does. 

Bostian’s primary role in the department is to serve as educator to their district’s preschool and elementary students; because of her efforts, a great working relationship has been established. Bostian reaches nearly 4,000 children with fire safety every month during the school year. Using her experience as a former Montessori elementary teacher, Bostian incorporates movement and hands-on activities into NFPA’s Learn Not to Burn® lessons to connect with and motivate students.

When Bostian isn’t on duty at Kannapolis Fire Department, she can be found promoting fire safety through the two children’s picture books that she has authored, connecting vital safety messaging from NFPA’s Educational Messaging Advisory Council’s Desk Reference.

In addition, Bostian regularly reaches older adults in her community with the Remembering When® Program, including those home-bound with special “Birthday Boxes” that are filled with personal items, including NFPA’s safety tip sheets, and smoke alarms are installed where needed. Bostian’s fire safety even reaches her community’s four-legged furry friends as she teams up each year with a local pet supply store July 15 for Pet Fire Safety Day!


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