FFS Research Ecologist Matt Jolly (right) and Meteorologist Larry Bradshaw recently received the most prestigious award offered by the wildland fire community, the Paul Gleason Lead by Example Award, for their efforts to modernize and improve the National Fire Danger Rating System (NFDRS).
“You are being recognized for your work transitioning the NFDRS indices into a valuable decision support tool. Your commitment to making things better for firefighters on the ground became a reality with an updated system that better reflects conditions on the ground, resulting in increased safety and the ability to manage risk,” said Shane Olpin, Chair of the National Wildfire Coordinating Group (NWCG) Leadership Committee.
The RMRS Fire Lab in Missoula, Montana, released the first National Fire Danger Rating System in 1972. This system is widely used by all in wildland fire. The updated version, known as NFDRS 2016, is noted for being able to meet the needs of decision makers at all levels, while remaining simple and relevant to operational fire fighters. The new system also takes into account fuel moisture levels and improves forecasting and multiple scales.
The National Wildfire Coordinating Group, which represents the entire wildland fire community, including federal agencies, states, tribes, and more, presents this award, recognizing those who set the example through leadership and practice of the wildland fire leadership values and principles and to those who stand out because they are visionaries, mentors, or innovators.
This award is different from other firefighting or agency awards because it focuses specifically on leadership in the firefighter ranks.