Fire Safety Educator of the Year

FASNY invites departments and organizations across the state to honor their best fire safety advocates with a nomination for Fire Safety Educator of the Year. Each year, the FASNY Fire Prevention and Life Safety Committee recognizes an educator with dedication to fire prevention and the safety of his or her community.

2018 Award Sponsored by:

Law Offices of Mark C. Butler, PLLC


2018 Winner


Robert Sutton

Central Islip Fire Department


Firefighter Robert Sutton joined the Central Islip Fire Department in 1992 and was assigned to the Fire Emergency Services Co. By 1995, Firefighter Sutton had taken over the Fire Prevention Committee and had begun executing his plan to create one of the best programs in the State.

Firefighter Sutton has continued to grow the fire prevention program for Central Islip, turning it into a community staple. Mr. Sutton and his committee have week-long presentations on fire safety in the six elementary schools in the community. Focusing his presentations on the safety of what to do in case of an emergency, how to handle them and stay calm, he is always stressing the importance of being prepared and planning ahead.

Firefighter Sutton has run the poster contest at all the schools, awarding hundreds of certificates to students who demonstrate fire safety. Firefighter Sutton is always going above and beyond for his community, attending PTA meetings and showing the parents everything they can do to prevent fires, what to do in an emergency and who to contact should a problem arise.

Under the direction of Firefighter Sutton, the Fire Prevention Committee also attends events at the local Walmart, Home Depot and a variety of other local businesses during the entire month of October. Firefighter Sutton brings members of the Central Islip Fire Department with him to demonstrate firefighter PPE with a state-of-the-art smokehouse that allows numerous digital presentations representing the importance of fire education.

Mr. Sutton continues this during the year, never turning away anyone in the community who is looking for a firehouse visit, classroom lecture, audio presentation or a hands-on fire safety session.

Perhaps the crown jewel of Mr. Sutton’s fire safety education program is the Central Islip FD open house hosted every October. This is by far the largest open house in the area, featuring Mothers Against Drunk Driving, MTA Police Tracks Unit, School Bus Safety Team, PSEG Task Force, Child ID Program, Suffolk County Police Department Highway Rollover Machine, “No Texting” awareness program, Central Islip Public Library and the Central Islip Teachers Association book giveaway.

Numerous politicians and officials have attended this over the years. Over 1,000 community members attend to watch presentations on kitchen safety, smoke detectors, vehicle extrication, evacuation methods, a hands-on smokehouse maze, and “stop, drop and roll.” The department also uses the open house as a recruitment event.

As a member of the Central Islip FD, Firefighter Sutton takes a handson approach to safety and education for members. He is one of the lead instructors for CPR training, serves as the Department Blood Borne Pathogen instructor and officer, and is one of the lead educators for the department’s OSHA training.

While serving all of these titles, Firefighter Sutton has also served as the President of the Suffolk County Fire Safety Educators from 2006-2009 and from 2011-2017, bringing his passion for fire education to all those in the organization.

Firefighter Sutton has made fire safety and education his passion and life’s work, and the honor of being awarded the FASNY Fire Safety Educator of the Year is a fitting tribute to a man who has dedicated so much time to ensure this important message carries on.

Adapted by a nomination by Patrick Murphy, Central Islip FD Chief

Past Award Recipients

Year Name Fire Deptartment
2005 Glenn Sickles Scottsville Fire Department
2006 Jeffrey S. Burkhart Oriskany Independent Fire and Hose Company
2007 Donald P. Dalrymple Valois, Logan & Hector Fire Company, Inc
2008 David Bowen Vischer Ferry Volunteer Fire Company
2009 Brian Niggli Penfield Fire Company
2010 Kenneth Clair Jr. Brewster Fire Department
2011 Chief Richard D. Tarello South Farmingdale Fire Department
2012 William C. “Billy” Schroeder Lancaster Fire Department
2013 Harry Prodromides Lindenhurst Fire Department
2014 Aaron Cook Johnsonville Volunteer Fire Co.
2015 Jennifer Cortese Whitesboro Fire Department
2016 William J. Wren New Hartford Fire Department
2017 Danny Dunn Enterprise Hose Co. No. 1
2018 Robert Sutton Central Islip Fire Department