Volunteer firefighter Dennis E. Beard is named county's Employee of the Year Worker lauded for efforts to teach children safety

December 23, 1997|BY A SUN STAFF WRITER

A headline Dec. 23 in the Howard County edition of The Sun incorrectly identified Sgt. Dennis E. Beard, Howard County's 1997 Employee of the Year. He is a career firefighter.

The Sun regrets the error.

Sgt. Dennis E. Beard, a life member of the Sykesville-Freedom District Fire Department, is Howard County's 1997 Employee of the Year.

Beard, 51, has worked for 23 years in the Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services and is assigned to the (( Life Safety Bureau.


The award is presented for extraordinary effort to a department's mission, either by special achievement or by sustained performance.

Beard was recognized as the originator of "Kids Safety House," which teaches children the dangers of fire, how to avoid injuries and the importance of survival skills.

Beard also developed and coordinates Howard County's Juvenile Fire Setter program, dealing with children caught setting fires or reporting false alarms.

In addition, Beard was recognized for a program established to address the lack of smoke detectors for citizens who are hearing-impaired or deaf. Under his direction, numerous audible-strobe smoke detectors have been installed free in homes of hearing-impaired residents.

In September, state Fire Marshal Rocco J. Gabriele presented Beard with the Excellence in Fire Safety Education award for his efforts in local and statewide programs, including his chairmanship of the Fire & Burn Safety Coalition of Maryland and his membership on a governor's task force to address the needs of the hearing-impaired and deaf.

Beard said Friday that his latest project, which was requested by the task force, is to help develop a statewide program to raise money so each of approximately 385,000 hearing-impaired and deaf citizens of Maryland can have an audible-strobe detector installed in their homes.

Each costs $97, he said.

Beard has been a volunteer for 32 years, having joined the community Fire Department in Waynesboro, Pa., before he moved to Carroll County in 1971.

Pub Date: 12/23/97

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