National Fire Heritage Center Franklin Award
Benjamin Franklin Annual Fire Writers Award
Benjamin Franklin is recognized as the “Father of the American Fire Service”. In almost any reference, whether it is fire prevention, fire suppression, fire engineering or even fire education, his name is invoked as being among the first in this nation to be the advocate of fire and life safety.
However, he was most proud of his chosen trade; that of a printer. He made his fortune as a writer. Poor Richard’s Almanac was only one of his efforts to convert ideas into words and to act upon them in a meaningful manner. He had a profound impact not only on the fire service but upon our government, the insurance industry, our lifestyles and the sense of self-assessment that still rings clear in contemporary society.
One of his efforts was to create the JUNTO in 1736 which also resulted in the creation of the first lending library, the creation of a volunteer fire company, the national postal system and the insurance industry. All of these institutions exist in contemporary society today.
Franklin left a huge legacy of written products. He encouraged writers to “go on record” as to their beliefs, their observations and their support of both public and private initiatives. Unfortunately, in spite of all of these efforts, there is no national writer’s award that recognizes the relationship between Franklin and the Discipline of Fire Protection in our society.
The National Fire Heritage Center is going to correct this oversight by encouraging the publication of fire-related information by advocating the submission of written work, in a wide range of categories, for an opportunity to win the Benjamin Franklin Fire Writers Award.