Nominations are now closed.

 The recipient of the 2023 Randy R. Bruegman Agency Innovation Award is the Henrico County, Virginia, Division of Fire for their Community, Assistance, Resources, and Education (CARE) Team. This team strives to increase knowledge and accessibility of services and support for community members to address unmet needs. This is accomplished by collaborating with various county departments and community partners to connect citizens with the appropriate resources. The program has had hundreds of interactions per month along with a commensurate reduction in response to high-frequency callers. It has also resulted in a boost in morale as those in the field feel heard and can see how they are making a difference in the community beyond their 911 response. Henrico County Division of Fire has several non-traditional teams, of which the CARE Team is one, and believes that this is the future of the fire service to address an aging and evolving community.

Congratulations, Henrico County Division of Fire!

In 2018, the Center for Public Safety Excellence® (CPSE) established the Randy R. Bruegman Agency Innovation Award in recognition of his quarter century of dedicated service to CPSE between 1992 and 2017. Building on CPSE’s core values, this award will be presented to an agency that has embraced continuous improvement, is focused on outcomes, and embodies progressive leadership.

This annual award will be presented to an agency that is internationally-accredited by the Commission on Fire Accreditation International® (CFAI) and has worked collaboratively within their agency and community to innovate a practice leading to improved outcomes that could serve as a model for the greater fire and emergency service. The goal of the award is to recognize, incentivize, and advocate for innovation in the fire and emergency service.

Learn about other CPSE awards or contact CPSE if you have any questions.

Previous winners

2022 The City of Riverside Fire Department, California

2021 Clayton County Fire and Emergency Services, Georgia 

2020 Clackamas Fire District #1, Oregon

2019 Lincoln, Nebraska, Fire & Rescue


The award is open to all CFAI-accredited departments regardless of size, location, or type. Past award winners are excluded from applying for a period of five years following receipt of the award.


  • The innovation being submitted for consideration must have been implemented within the last three years.
  • The innovation may be a process, approach, or service that is focused internally on agency operations or externally on services provided to the community.
  • The application will be evaluated and scored on five criteria:
    • Outcomes – A measurable improvement in lives and/or properties saved and/or injuries prevented. Community Risk Reduction efforts that have shown measurable outcomes are encouraged. Data must be provided to support the outcomes measurement. (30 percent)
    • Innovation – A new, not previously-seen, practice or creative approach to an existing practice that aligns with the agency’s strategic direction. (20 percent)
    • Collaboration – Depending on the scope of the practice, collaboration within the agency, municipality, and/or community is required. (20 percent)
    • Replicability – The ability by other fire and emergency service agencies to implement a similar practice. (20 percent)
    • Application – Submittals must be thorough and complete. (10 percent)


  • The application period will open each July and close each October. Applicants must complete the form provided and submit electronically by 5 p.m. Eastern on October 31 via the online form below.
  • The application will be reviewed by a board-designated subcommittee that will recommend an award winner. The CPSE Board of Directors will review the subcommittee’s recommendation and choose the award winner. A single award will be made each year.
  • The award winner will be announced during the General Session of the CPSE Excellence Conference.

The winning agency will be invited, but not required, to attend the general session. In addition, the agency will be encouraged to present on their innovative practice during the conference, and present on their practice by web. 

If you have any questions, please contact CPSE Chief Operating Officer Debbie Sobotka at