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AFSA Board members Linda Biernacki (far left) and Don Kaufman (far right) present AFSA’s Fire Sprinklers Save Lives award to Diane and Les Woods.

Honoring Les and Diane Woods’ Public Education Efforts

Couple Receives Fire Sprinklers Save Lives Award

Les and Diane Woods have helped thousands of people understand the effectiveness of fire sprinkler technology through their dramatic and very effective side-by-side burn demonstrations. Les is a past president of the South Carolina Fire and Life Safety Education Association and Diane is the current president. Their down-to-earth style and the dramatic results of these demonstrations help to dispel the false information often spread through the media. Their work educates children, as well as parents, that “fire sprinklers save lives and property.”

For their dedication, the American Fire Sprinkler Association (AFSA) is honored to present Les and Diane Woods with its Fire Sprinklers Save Lives award. As recipients of this award, the Woods join a distinguished list of fire marshals, building officials, television personalities, and others outside of our industry who have embraced this technology and become advocates of life safety through fire sprinkler protection. The award was presented by AFSA Board Secretary and At-Large Director Linda Biernacki on May 8, 2018, at the closing dinner of the AFSA Chapter Leadership Conference in Austin, Texas.

“What struck me the most about this dynamic duo was their deep-down passion to educate our built communities on what a fire sprinkler system does to protect your most valuable asset you’re family!” comments Biernacki. “I truly believe their passion in spreading the word is working, and I am so proud that AFSA recognized their efforts with presenting them with our Fire Sprinklers Save Lives award.”

The mission of the association is to save the lives of South Carolinians through education and risk reduction. It’s values are:

• To be cutting edge in prevention message content and delivery.
• To be the leader in Public Life Safety Education in South Carolina.
• To constantly strive to publish the mission and prevention messages.

“The AFSA Carolinas [North Carolina] Chapter has worked closely with Les and Diane for the last several years, and through their efforts we have successfully held side-by-side burns in Myrtle Beach [South Carolina] in conjunction with our joint North Carolina/South Carolina convention and trade show, as well as Apex and Wilson [North Carolina] for our North Carolina Code Officials Qualification Board Approved NFPA 13D course for AHJs,” states John W. Turnage, executive director for AFSA’s Carolinas Chapter. “In each case, Les and Diane have provided insight, guidance, and complete follow-through to ensure the success of our burns. They contact, collaborate, and communicate – with whomever it takes to get the job done – all with a sense of humility and integrity that exemplifies the term ‘public service.’”

Turnage continues: “These two incredible people put life safety and the betterment of our industry at the forefront of everything they do, and their work has positively impacted thousands of people. I know of no one that is more deserving of this honor than Les and Diane Woods. Congratulations!”

EDITOR’S NOTE: AFSA established the Fire Sprinklers Save Lives award in 1998, to recognize individuals outside the fire sprinkler industry who help dispel the myths about fire sprinklers by generating public awareness about this life-saving technology. AFSA’s Public Education & Awareness Committee accepts and recommends nominees for this award and they are approved by the AFSA Board of Directors. To nominate someone for the award, email AFSA Director of Communications Nicole Duvall at nduvall@firesprinkler.org explaining who you would like to nominate and why. The nomination will be considered at the next meeting of the committee.

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