At the Thursday morning General Session in the Sagamore Ballroom, Chief (Ret.) Rick Lasky, a 37-year veteran of the fire service, was presented with the 2017 Tom Brennan Lifetime Achievement Award. Lasky, the interim chief of the Trophy Club (TX) Fire Department, was chief of the Lewisville (TX) Fire Department for 12 years and, prior to that, chief of the Coeur d’Alene (ID) Fire Department.
In summarizing Lasky’s significant achievements, FDIC Education Director Bobby Halton, notes: “Few firefighters have impacted the fire service to the degree that Chief Rick Lasky has. Whether it is his innovative work in the Saving Our Own program or his inspirational and aspirational work in his Pride and Ownership program, Rick has set the bar high and always exceeded expectations. He has a commitment to the fire service that is unparalleled in modern times.”
Lasky has influenced numerous, diverse areas. His role in helping to develop the “Saving Our Own” program, wherein firefighters are taught how to save firefighters trapped or lost in a burning building, earned him the 1996 International Society of Fire Service Instructors “Innovator of the Year” award. He has been a long-standing editorial advisory board member for Fire Engineering and the Fire Department Instructors Conference (FDIC) International. He has written articles related to fire department operations, administration, training, and safety; he is the author of Pride and Ownership-A Firefighter’s Love of the Job and co-author of Five-Alarm Leadership: From the Firehouse to the Fireground, published by PennWell Books. Lasky co-hosts the radio show “The Command Post” on Fire Engineering Talk Radio and “Humpday Hangout “The Issues and Challenges in Today’s Fire Service” on the third Wednesday of the month on fireengineering.com. In addition, he writes a blog on Firefighter Nation.
He has an AAS degree in fire science from Columbia Southern University (CSU) and was selected as the CSU 2012 Distance Education and Training Council Outstanding Graduate; he is a member of its Fire Science Advisory Board. He serves from time to time as an on-air analyst for FOX News regarding fire service-related topics.
The Lifetime Achievement Award is named for Tom Brennan, who was the editor of Fire Engineering for eight years and a technical editor. Brennan had more than 35 years of fire service experience, including more than 20 years with the Fire Department of New York and five years as chief of the Waterbury (CT) Fire Department. He was co-editor of The Fire Chief’s Handbook, Fifth Edition (Fire Engineering Books, 1995) and the recipient of the 1998 Fire Engineering Lifetime Achievement Award.