(From Wildfire Leadership)
Congratulations to Grassroots Wildland Firefighters (GWF) for being selected as one of the recipients for the 2021 Paul Gleason Lead by Example award. Three individuals and one group from across the wildland fire service have been chosen to receive this national award.
The award was created by the NWCG Leadership Committee to remember Paul Gleason’s contributions to the wildland fire service. During a career spanning five decades, Paul was a dedicated student of fire, a teacher of fire, and a leader of firefighters. The intent of this award is to recognize individuals or groups who exhibit this same spirit and who exemplify the wildland fire leadership values and principles. GWF’s work in support of the Wildland Fire Leadership Development Program has been a demonstration of motivation and vision.
The GWF organization is recognized for tirelessly advocating and lobbying legislators and members of the executive branch to create a better system of support for our valued federal firefighting resources. Their advocacy efforts have given a voice and face to the wildland firefighter, highlighting the challenges we face. Through it all, they have remained professional, never seeking credit, relaying simple facts, and respecting federal agencies during briefings and through press releases.
GWF is commended for successful efforts to establish a federal fire series, implement pay improvements, and bring about OWCP reform. These efforts are a welcome relief to a weary federal wildland fire service. Their vision through the Tim Hart Act, if enacted, would dramatically impact the wildland fire service in terms of pay, recruitment/retention, and the health and mental well-being of the federal wildland firefighter.
GWF has provided an example for others to follow.