Paul Gleason Lead By Example Award
Know any firefighters who are good mentors? Provide motivation or vision? Initiate or innovate? Now's the time for recognition by nominating them for the Lead by Example Award! (LBE Award nomination form)
The Paul Gleason Lead by Example Award is presented by the NWCG Leadership Committee to remember Paul Gleason's many contributions to the wildland fire community and recognize individuals or groups that exhibit the same spirit and dedication to leadership...those who lead by example. This national recognition will acknowledge those in the wildland fire service who exemplify the wildland fire leadership values and principles.
The Paul Gleason Lead by Example Award Program will:
- Recognize actions associated with wildland fire;
- Recognize actions within the last two years;
- Recognize individuals or groups at all levels; and
- Promote the wildland fire leadership values and principles.
Nominations will be accepted in three categories:
- Mentoring and Teamwork: This award recognizes an individual or group for outstanding effort or accomplishment related to the wildland fire leadership principles of developing others for the future and building the team.
- Motivation and Vision: This award recognizes an individual or group for providing inspired vision and clear intent. This could be demonstrated by influencing others to achieve an exceptionally difficult mission or improve the organization.
- Initiative and Innovation: This award recognizes an individual or group for executing an outstanding initiative or innovation related to the implementation of the wildland fire leadership development program.
Evaluation of nominees will be based on the following criteria:
- Demonstration of significant accomplishment in the stated category
- Alignment with the wildland fire leadership values and principles
- Scope of the accomplishment, considering available resources.
Evaluations will be accomplished through a five-member cadre that represent a cross-section of the wildland fire service.
Nominations must be received by December 31st. Selections will be made by January 31st. Awards will be presented in the spring. Presentations will be made by a Leadership Committee member at an appropriate venue for each recipient.
The Paul Gleason Lead by Example Award 2020 Winners:
Motivation and Vision:
National Rappel Specialist
USDA – FS WO Fire and Aviation Management
FS WO Engineering NTDP
Initiative and Innovation
Training and Training Support
National Advanced Fire and Resource Institute (NAFRI)
Captain, West Metro Fire Rescue
Mentoring and Teamwork
Fulton Hotshot Superintendent
USDA – Sequoia National Forest
What makes this award different from other firefighting awards?
This award was developed to recognize firefighters who lead by example and exemplify established wildland fire leadership values and principles. The values – Duty, Respect, Integrity – help guide the decisions and actions of each firefighter, especially those in leadership roles. The 11 leadership principles provide the specific actions leaders should take in order to demonstrate the core values. Principles such as “Know Yourself and Seek Improvement,” and “Make sound and timely decisions,” issue sound marching orders for firefighters, whether they are striving to become leaders or already fill a leadership role.
How do I nominate someone for an award?
First, you must choose the category under which your nominee will fall. The categories include 1) Mentoring and Teamwork; 2) Motivation and Vision; and 3) Initiative and Innovation. Second, you must write the nomination using the following criteria: 1) demonstration of significant accomplishment in the stated category; 2) alignment with the wildland fire leadership values and principles; and 3) scope of accomplishment, considering available resources. The award must be submitted by December 31, and include the name and unit of nominee, and name and unit of person submitting the nomination, as well as other important information.
How are the winners chosen?
Winners are chosen by January 31 each year by a panel consisting of people from the wildland firefighting community. Awards are presented the following spring.
Do the nominees have to be federal employees?
No, nominees can be employees of state, tribal or local firefighting organizations. The important point is that they are setting the example for leadership in the wildland firefighting community.
Can I nominate a group of individuals?
Yes, nominees may be individuals or groups. The same categories and criteria apply for both.
Who is Paul Gleason?
In short, Paul Gleason was a leader. Paul succumbed to cancer in 2003 following a wildland fire career that spanned several decades. During his career Paul led and mentored firefighters, he studied and taught wildland fire, and through his contributions to the wildland fire community, improved firefighter safety. Paul developed the LCES (Lookout, Communication, Escape Routes, Safety Zones) concept that became the foundation of firefighter safety. When asked what he would like his legacy in fire to be, Paul said this: "I suppose I would want my legacy to be that firefighters begin to realize the importance of being a student of fire and that I was able to help make that happen."
On April 27, 2005, the Wildland Fire Leadership Development Program awarded the first ever Paul Gleason Lead By Example Award - for Lifetime Achievement to Ted Putnam, PhD. Read Ted Putnam's Lead by Example Lifetime Achievement Award.
In 2010, Bud Moore's family received a LBE Lifetime Achievement Award in sincere appreciation and reverence for Bud's service and example. Read Bud Moore's Lead by Example Lifetime Achievement Award.
In 2019, the NWCG Leadership Committee awarded Jim Karels a Paul Gleason Lead by Example Lifetime Achievement Award in sincere appreciation for his service and leadership example. Read more about Jim Karels' years of service.