The Minnesota State Fire Chiefs Association has named Hopkins' Fire Chief Dale Specken as the Minnesota Fire Officer of the Year for 2010.
The following is from the nomination information provided by the Fire Chief of the Excelsior Fire District:
"Chief Specken is known for his leadership and 'can do' attitude. He is highly respected, dedicated, fiercely loyal and fair. Dale’s history and knowledge in the Fire Department and in the City of Hopkins make him virtually indispensable to the City and the fire service. Chief Specken is a gifted and frequently requested instructor in the fire service. He is a team player and works well with other departments, always offering assistance whenever possible. Chief Specken cares about doing the right thing. Chief Specken is a leader as a teacher and trailblazer. He cares about fire prevention. He trusts the people in his department to do their job and does not micro-manage. Chief Specken has created an outstanding work culture in the Fire Department. Chief Specken is known for going above and beyond the call of duty with firefighter, co-workers, and the community."
Dale Specken joined the Hopkins Fire Department in March of 1981. He was appointed as the full time Fire Chief in 2004. He also serves as the Emergency Manager and Fire Marshal for the City of Hopkins.
The Hopkins Fire Department has been presented with a Life Safety Achievement Award for the year 2009 by the Residential Fire Safety Institute (RFSI) in partnership with the Grinnell Mutual Reinsurance Company.
For 19 years, the Life Safety Achievement Award has recognized local fire prevention efforts that have contributed to reducing the number of lives lost in residential fires. The Hopkins Fire Department qualified for this award in year 2009 because it recorded zero fire deaths in structures during the year. In addition, the department was able to demonstrate the existence of an active and effective fire prevention program and a clear commitment to reducing the number of fires in the homes in their community
Although residential fires in the U.S. account for only 20 percent of all fires, they result in 80 percent of all fire deaths. The RFSI is committed to reducing that number. “Experience tells us that fire prevention activity and public education can significantly reduce life and property loss from residential fires”, the Residential Fire Safety Institute said. “The Life Safety Achievement Award recognizes fire departments for their fire prevention efforts and encourages them to continually improve those efforts.”