Leading the fire and emergency service to excellence

Ray Picard Award

Nominations are now closed

2024 Ray Picard Award Recipient

The recipient of the 2024 Ray Picard Award is Station Chief Christopher Swift, FO, Joint Base Charleston Fire & Emergency Services, South Carolina. Chief Swift demonstrates a strong commitment to the Accreditation process. As the agency’s Accreditation Manager, and a CFAI Peer Assessor, he regularly trains personnel from within his own department as well as other departments to help them obtain accredited status. He regularly goes above and beyond his duties, being the “first to work and the last to leave,” according to his nomination package, leading by example and focusing on encouraging others to challenge themselves. He is constantly seeking innovation and improvement within his department and mentors others in their path towards Credentialing. He also works closely with neighboring agencies in an effort to improve safety for the community. Such an example was that he was able to develop a mutual aid response package with other departments that has resulted in closer working relationships and the tangible outcome of multiple life and property saves.

Congratulations, Chief Swift!

In 2000, the Commission on Fire Accreditation International (CFAI) established the Ray Picard Award. We designed this annual award to recognize Chief Ray Picard’s vision in pioneering quality improvement for the fire and emergency service. Chief Picard was one of the earliest champions of the self-assessment and accreditation process that has led to a culture and paradigm shift within the fire service.

This annual award will be presented to an individual who exemplifies the ability, character, dedication, leadership, and visionary attributes Chief Picard exhibited. The individual should personify Chief Picard’s contributions and exceptional leadership to the CFAI and the accreditation of fire service organizations.

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

This annual award recognizes an individual who exemplifies the ability, character, dedication, leadership, and visionary attributes Chief Picard exhibited. The individual should personify Chief Picard’s contributions and exceptional leadership to the CFAI and the accreditation of fire service organizations.

Eligibility:

Any Peer Assessor, individual member of an accredited agency, former CFAI or CPC Commissioner, and former CPSE board members are eligible to compete for this award. CPSE staff, contractors, and current members of the CPSE board, CPC, or CFAI are ineligible to compete for this award.

Criteria:

Individuals will be assessed for their significant achievements or contributions to the assessment and accreditation process in the following areas:

  • Accomplishments (within the accreditation process)
  • Initiative (including helping others with the accreditation process)
  • Technical competence (including serving as a peer assessor, team leader, or instructor)
  • Leadership ability (including spreading the word)
  • Additional achievements and contributions

Procedures:

  • Nominations will open on October 16, 2023.

Questions should be addressed to Debbie Sobotka, CPSE COO.

Previous Recipients

2023 – Gwen Nieuwdorp 2011 – Mike Brown
2022 – Norma Jean Valdez 2010 – Ken Helgerson
2021 – Christian Jacobs, CEMSO 2009 – Mark Puknaitis, CFO
2020 – Thomas Thompson, CFO 2008 – No Award
2019 – Mike Hall, FO 2007 – Gary Tokle
2018 – Brad Brown, FO 2006 – Gary Curmode, CFO
2017 – Rob Ugaste, CFO 2005 – Dennis Gage
2016 – No Award 2004 – Ronny Coleman, CFO
2015 – Brian Dean, CFO 2003 – Ray Flowers
2014 – Ernst Piercy, CFO 2002 – Martel Thompson
2013 – Cliff Jones, CFO 2001 – Bill Killen, CFO and Randy Bruegman, CFO
2012 – Barry McKinnon