Johnson County Fire Corps Coordinator Honored, Receives NVFC Fire Prevention Award Sponsored by First Alert

Tuesday, 11 April 2006

For immediate release

Kimberly Ettinger
202-887-4809 ext. 19
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Photo Courtesy of Ed Tenney,
Rockville Volunteer Fire Department.

The National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) presented the 2006 NVFC Fire Prevention Award to Dayna Hilton during the NVFC's spring meeting in Washington, DC. As Public Fire and Life Safety Educator with Johnson County Rural Fire District #1 in Clarksville, Arkansas, Ms. Hilton serves as volunteer coordinator for her department's exemplary Fire Corps program. She was recognized during an awards ceremony on April 7 for her dedication to keep her community fire-safe.

Each year the NVFC bestows the Fire Prevention Award to a volunteer firefighter who exemplifies the philosophy of fire prevention through their contributions to the field. Nominated by their peers, the recipients are awarded a trophy and a place in NVFC history. The NVFC Fire Prevention Award, which is sponsored by First Alert, is one of only two awards that the Council bestows.

About Dayna Hilton

Dayna Hilton is a volunteer firefighter and Public Fire and Life Safety Educator with Johnson County Rural Fire District #1 in Clarksville, Arkansas. Before she took on the role of public educator in 2002, the department had no budget for fire prevention activities and averaged only 30 minutes a year on related activities. Since then, the department has established a Fire Prevention Division and has added fire prevention to its mission statement. Ms. Hilton helped establish the department's highly successful Fire Corps program in 2004.

Arkansas has one of the highest numbers of fire-related deaths according to the United States Fire Administration, and Ms. Hilton is dedicated to changing this unfortunate distinction. She volunteers almost 3,000 hours a year to develop, implement and evaluate fire prevention and safety programming for the department and has brought in almost $150,000 in grants and awards for the departments' fire prevention efforts. Her programs have been credited with a 36% decrease in fire-related residential property losses between 2004 and 2005.

Ms. Hilton developed a very active and effective fire prevention team consisting of over 60 students from the University of the Ozarks' Phi Beta Lambda organization, who serve as members of the department's non-operational Fire Corps program. Ms. Hilton, her Fire Corps team and the department's firefighters have reached over 42,000 adults and children in Arkansas through more than 100 fire safety programs and activities held within Johnson County and surrounding communities.

Ms. Hilton also coordinates the department's sponsorship of the Annual Fire Safety Awareness Billboard contest, in which local billboards display winning artwork from area students, and the departments' Fire Safety Calendar contest, featuring winning artwork from each grade level. Her passion for fire safety education and her ability to work with children has led Ms. Hilton to train her two Dalmatians to play an important role in the department's fire safety and prevention programming. Sparkles and Spanner capture children's attention as they demonstrate fire-safe techniques such as dialing 9-1-1, crawling under smoke and going to a designated meeting place.

To reach even more people with fire safety and prevention messages, Ms. Hilton and Johnson County Rural Fire District #1 have focused their efforts on helping other departments in the state achieve this same level of fire prevention success by providing equipment, training, manpower and assistance with grant-writing and program development. Ms. Hilton also serves as the coordinator for the area's Annual Fire Safety Awareness Parade and Kidsfest Safety Fair.

Ms. Hilton is a certified IFSAC Level II Public Fire and Life Safety Educator, a member of the NFPA 1035 Technical Committee and the IFSTA Validation Committee for the Public Fire and Life Safety Educator Manual and was recently appointed to the Arkansas Fire Prevention Commission by Governor Mike Huckabee.

The NVFC Fire Prevention Award was created in memory of Marc Mueller, a former NVFC Board member from California, to honor his leadership and passion for fire prevention and to attract well-deserved attention to the heroes of public education. The award is sponsored by First Alert, who supports fire prevention activities; more information can be found at For more information regarding the award, visit To learn more about Fire Corps, visit


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