PFESI Now Accepting Nominations for the 2019 Charles A. “Chet” Henry Fire Service Advocacy Award

Charles A. “Chet” Henry

Fire Service Advocacy Award

Presented by the Pennsylvania Fire and Emergency Services Institute



The Charles A. “Chet” Henry Fire Service Advocacy Award annually recognizes one who has improved awareness of fire, emergency service or life-safety issues, whether at a local, county, regional, state, or national level. Established in 2015 by the Pennsylvania Fire and Emergency Services Institute (PFESI), the award encourages emergency service advocates to develop and maintain leadership that improves public safety across Pennsylvania and the country.


Eligibility and Nomination

Anyone from the fire, emergency-service or life-safety community can be nominated. One may NOT nominate oneself. A LETTER OF NOMINATION consisting of one fully typed page must:


— describe how the nominee has shown leadership to promote issues important to the fire, emergency services or life-safety communities, either as a volunteer or employed by self, a private company or a government agency.


— specify how the candidate achieved at least ONE of the following goals:

  • improved readiness of fire or emergency services at any level of government
  • strengthened public safety by developing and delivering effective educational programs
  • acted as a catalyst to improve fire and emergency services in some other specific way


Additional consideration will be given for letters of support from public officials familiar with the candidate’s leadership in emergency related issues. Submit them with the nomination.


Selection Committee

The honoree will be selected at the sole discretion of the Selection Committee, which shall consist of three members of the PFESI State Wide Advisory Board (SWAB). Members are chosen by the President of the Executive Board each year at the Executive Board meeting in November.



The recipient of the PFESI Charles A. “Chet” Henry Fire Service Advocacy Award will be honored with presentation of an engraved bronze medal, a cash prize, and two tickets to the annual dinner of the Pennsylvania Fire and Emergency Services Institute held in Harrisburg in November.


About Chet Henry

The award honors the legacy of Charles A. “Chet” Henry, a proud Pennsylvanian who was a tireless advocate for fire and emergency service workers everywhere. A U.S Navy veteran, Chet Henry joined the Harrisburg Fire Department in 1963 as a firefighter and advanced to the rank of chief. In 1977, then Gov. Milton Shapp appointed him as Pennsylvania’s first-ever State Fire Commissioner after Chet’s work on the landmark report, “Pennsylvania Burning.” With an intense focus on public fire-safety education and firefighter training, Commissioner Henry led the office until his retirement in 1989. Chet also was an early advocate of firefighter fitness, a championship handball enthusiast, and noted for his exceptional oratorical skills. He passed in 2011 at age 84 in his hometown of Harrisburg.


Send nominations by October 15 each year to: PFESI, 223 State Street, Harrisburg, PA 17101 (717-236-5995) or submit my email to: