The 2014 Earl Peterson Current Achievement Award for Fire Protection was presented to Tom Harbour at the NASF Annual Meeting in St. Paul, Minnesota.
This year’s Earl Peterson Current Achievement Awardee first started as a firefighter in central California in 1970. This individual has been involved in wildland fire and aviation management his entire career. He has an extensive background in wildland fire suppression and management and has served has as Incident Commander and Area Command across the country. Our awardee has worked for the United States Forest Service for more 40 years and for the last decade as the Director for Fire and Aviation Management.
As Director of Fire and Aviation Management for the Forest Service, this awardee has regularly attended NASF Fire Committee meetings to provide USFS fire and aviation updates and to participate in discussion on key interagency wildfire issues between the NASF and the USFS. He is always committed to being part of the solution and finding a direction that both the Federal and State agencies can agree upon.
This individual was instrumental in the national effort to clarify roles and authorities for wildfire billing and state to state mobilizations and supported efforts to ensure that state fire resources continued to be supported by the USFS national fire mobilization process.
Our awardee has lead the USFS effort to restore and modernize the national large airtanker fleet and has sought out State Forester input to this process to ensure that we address the many different wildfire conditions and issues from one region of the country to another.
He has made a tremendous effort to include state foresters in the leadership efforts across the country such as the Federal Fire Executive Council (FEC) where he has invited the Chair of the NASF Fire Committee to be an active member of this group. He also encourages state forester participation at the USFS Fire Leadership meetings and on the Federal Fire Policy Committee. He has been a great liaison to the state foresters in wildland fire both at the state, regional and national levels including looking out for state forestry interests in Washington, DC.
On large wildfire events this year’s awardee has been engaged with the state foresters in support of their efforts and seeks out ways to improve the overall coordination of federal and state fire assets. He is one of the first people to call when states are impacted by serious accidents or the loss of wildland firefighters. He has truly been a supporter of state forestry agencies during their darkest hours and assists the states to the greatest extent possible.
We were pleased to present the Earl Peterson Current Achievement Award for Fire Protection to Tom Harbour.