Oregon State Fire Marshal Nancy Orr announced Bend Fire Department's Deputy Chief Gary Marshall as the 2006 Golden Sparky Award winner during the May 19th Oregon Fire Service Meritorious Awards at the Portland Metropolitan Exposition Center in Portland. The Golden Sparky, first awarded in 1977, is the highest award given to the fire service personnel by the State Fire Marshal. It honors outstanding achievement in fire prevention and fire safety.
Marshall's innovative program FireFree! Get in the Zone! set a new standard for professional fire prevention programs. The community-based program changed communities' attitudes and the landscaping for defensible space around homes and businesses. Marshall has been a dedicated fire officer and educator for more than 20 years. "We appreciate and commend Gary's dedication and commitment to providing exemplary service in public fire safety education," said Bend Fire Chief Larry Langston.
While fire marshal at Jefferson County Fire District #1, he was among the first to develop collaborative relationships with law enforcement, mental health and educators to address the juvenile firesetter problem. His work resulted in the Accountability Leads to Empowered and Responsible Teens or the ALERT program for holding youths accountable for their behavior.
Marshall served on the Oregon Fire Marshals Association Executive Board and was president from 1994-1995. He currently represents the association on the Governor's Fire Service Policy Council and serves as chair.