U.S. Senators Bill Frist (R-TN) and Lamar Alexander (R-TN) applaud the life-saving efforts of Dickson public education officer and firefighter Julia Holt who today will receive the 2005 national Safety Education Hero Award from the Home Safety Council and the Congressional Fire Services Institute (CFSI).
“Julia Holt’s passion for public service has not only changed, but literally saved lives,” said Frist. “The valuable lessons she has shared with children and adults have prepared countless Tennesseans to respond appropriately to fires and other emergency situations. I congratulate Julia on this well-deserved recognition; she is a tribute to the Volunteer State spirit.”
“I’m very proud of Julia and the life-saving lessons she's teaching our children," said Alexander. “I hope her hard work will inspire other fire departments and families in Tennessee and across the country to invest time and effort into fire prevention education. It saves lives.”
In 2004, Holt was named Tennessee’s Fire Educator of the Year by the Tennessee State Fire Marshal’s Office.
As a public education officer with the Dickson Fire Department, Holt teaches fire safety lessons at six elementary schools from kindergarten through sixth grade.
In February 2004 Holt’s fire safety lessons were put to the test when 7-year-old Dustin Stephens got too close to a wall heater and his clothing ignited. His older brothers, 10-year-old Ryan and 15-year-old Jonathan, were home with him that day. Holt had taught Ryan’s class the previous week and he immediately put his fire safety training into action. The brothers pushed Dustin to the floor, wrapped him in a blanket to smother the flames, called 9-1-1 and put Dustin in a tub to cool his burns. The responding firefighters said that the quick action of his two brothers saved Dustin’s life.
The Safety Education Hero Award seeks to recognize the outstanding efforts of those individuals who work diligently at the local level, teaching the public how to help prevent and respond to home fires and how to reduce the risk of other unintentional home injuries. Eligible nominees for the award include individuals whose work or volunteer efforts involving an injury prevention educational program resulted in a life saved or a tragedy averted in the previous calendar year.
The Home Safety Council will present Holt with the 2005 Safety Education Hero Award at the annual Congressional Fire Services Institute (CFSI) dinner in Washington, D.C. today.