NFPA announces 2018 Fire and Life Safety Educator of the Year Award winner

Denise Hynes, Toronto Fire Services

March 8, 2018 – The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has named Denise Hynes, public educator for Toronto Fire Services, as the 2018 Fire and Life Safety Educator of the Year. Hynes will be recognized at NFPA’s 122nd Conference & Expo, the premier event in fire and life safety, this June in Las Vegas. 

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Each year, NFPA bestows the Fire and Life Safety Educator of the Year award on an educator who works for a local fire department or fire marshal’s office in the U.S. or Canada and uses NFPA's materials in consistent and creative ways. The recipient demonstrates excellence and innovation in reaching out to the community, and views NFPA as the leading source for fire safety information.

Hynes has been using NFPA programs and materials since 2002. She works in the fifth largest fire department in North America, in one of the most diverse cities in the world, and serves a population of nearly three million residents. Her colleagues describe her as a tireless educator who has an unbelievable passion and enthusiasm for her job.

She has developed teacher workshops, prop kits, and safety events using NFPA programs. As an NFPA Remembering When Scholarship winner, Hynes has coordinated the training of more than 700 home health staff at 15 separate training sessions. During Toronto Fire Services Safety Awareness Week activities, she coordinated the delivery of 24 Remembering When/High Rise presentations.

Hynes has worked with the “Famous People Players,” a world-renowned theater company, to co-design a fire safety week theatrical presentation. Fire safety messages come alive in the black light show and Sparky the Fire Dog® is now one of the stars of the fire safety segment.

Hynes coordinated a partnership with COSTI Immigration Services to design fire and life safety sessions translated into Arabic for Syrians who had recently come to Canada. She delivered presentations to help the newcomers learn how to stay fire safe, using NFPA’s handouts in Arabic on the topics of electrical, heating, and cooking safety and home fire drills.

Both the program for Syrian immigrants and the theater presentation were acknowledged with fire safety awards from the Fire Marshal’s Public Fire Safety Council.

Following the devastating fire in Brooklyn, New York, in which an Orthodox family of seven children died in a house fire, Hynes worked closely with a Jewish Toronto firefighter to design fire and life safety sessions, which she delivered along with two rabbis. Hynes used NFPA’s Shabbat Fire Safety and Religious Candle Safety tip sheets as part of the presentations and along with the firefighter, received a letter of recognition from Toronto Fire Services for the initiative.

For this release and other announcements about NFPA initiatives, research and resources, please visit the NFPA press room.

About the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)
Founded in 1896, NFPA is a global, nonprofit organization devoted to eliminating death, injury, property and economic loss due to fire, electrical and related hazards. The association delivers information and knowledge through more than 300 consensus codes and standards, research, training, education, outreach and advocacy; and by partnering with others who share an interest in furthering the NFPA mission. For more information visit All NFPA codes and standards can be viewed online for free at

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