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John Rossi receives 2021 Golden Sparky award from office of Oregon State Fire Marshal.

COURTESY PHOTO - Mount Angel Fire District's John Rossi (left) receives the 2021 Golden Sparky award from Oregon State Fire Marshal Mariana Ruiz-Temple.During an emergency, firefighters are often the first responders on the scene. But aside from the more public side of the job, the other half of the coin is being prepared for emergencies and educating the public on fire prevention. And for that, Mount Angel Fire District's John Rossi stands among the best in Oregon.

Rossi received the 2021 Golden Sparky award from Oregon State Fire Marshal Mariana Ruiz-Temple in June, the highest award the Fire Marshal's office gives out each year, recognizing efforts in fire prevention and fire safety education in the state.

"He spends countless hours installing smoke alarms for those that need it the most," Ruiz-Temple said. "John's commitment to his community and service to others shines through in his work through his tireless dedication to community prevention efforts."

As a public information officer for the MAFD, Rossi has created a social media following that has allowed for great reach in the community to educate on various topics, including smoke alarms, defensible space and burn bans.

Since its inception in 1977, the Sparky award has been given out to two people each year. The Golden Sparky is awarded to a fire service member, while the Silver Sparky award goes to a public member for contributions to fire prevention and fire safety.

Joining Rossi in this year's recognition was Kris Babbs, president of Keep Oregon Green, who received the Silver Sparky trophy.

Keep Oregon Green is a nonprofit that focuses on fire prevention across the state. Babbs puts in countless hours and possesses a remarkable dedication to prevent fires across the state, according to a press release from the Oregon State Fire Marshal office.

In addition, Babbs' leadership has elevated relationships among state and federal agencies. Her projects have brought OSFM and the fire service into the conversation and leveraged our programs and footprint in Oregon to further prevention and life safety.

"Oregon has never needed such an important leader in this space now and into our future," Ruiz-Temple said. "I want to thank Kris for being a friend to OSFM, the fire service and for being a strong partner."

For more information on the office of the Oregon State Fire Marshal, go to oregon.gov/osp/programs/Pages/SFM_Programs.aspx.


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