A Valley Regional Fire Authority firefighter holding an award in front of flowers.

Public Information & Education Officer Kimberly Terhune Awarded 2019 Fire Educator of the Year

Public Information & Education Officer Kimberly Terhune received the Fire Educator of the Year award at the annual Washington Fire Prevention Institute Awards Banquet in Lake Chelan last week. The Washington Public Fire Educators (WPFE), a division of the Washington Fire Chiefs, gives this award out each year to a Washington fire educator that has shown outstanding dedication, leadership, and service in fire and life safety education to the citizens in their community.

Kimberly began her career with the legacy Auburn Fire Department in June of 1991. Over the past 28 years, she has been a leader in bringing lifesaving programs to the Algona, Auburn and Pacific communities as well as greater King County and the state of Washington.  Notable accomplishments include starting a juvenile firesetter program for children and a fall prevention program for older adults. If you grew up in Auburn and remember firefighters coming to classrooms or currently have kids in the Auburn School District who talk about firefighter visits, Kimberly had a hand in making those visits happen.  She was instrumental in bringing the NFPA 1035 Fire and Life Safety Educator I certification to Washington State. She served as both an instructor and evaluator for this nationally recognized certification program. Because of these efforts, the Washington Survey and Rating Bureau (WSRB) gave superlative marks for the department during their periodic rating process. In 2012 and 2017, the VRFA received the highest score for public education ever given to any fire department in the state of Washington. Kimberly also spent several years as an instructor at Bates Technical College where she taught fire and life safety education to firefighter recruit classes.

“I was fortunate to walk into an education program that was already well established and successful when I began my career with the VRFA 10 years ago. Kimberly has a positive attitude and is always willing to share her wealth of knowledge with her peers. We are all better fire and life safety educators because of her leadership,” says VRFA Public Information & Education Officer Kelly Hawks.

Deputy Chief Dave Larberg says, “Kimberly is consistently bringing the highest level of professionalism and dedication to her job. She is a highly respected member of the fire educator community and is always willing to help wherever needed.”

The Valley Regional Fire Authority congratulates Kimberly on this well-deserved award and looks forward to her continued success and leadership in fire and life safety education.