Fire Department Awards & Recognition

2012 Life Safety Achievement Award

On Tuesday October 1, 2013, the Minnesota State Fire Marshal, Jerry Rosendahl, presented the Hopkins Fire Department with the 2012 Life Safety Achievement Award.

This award is given to Fire Departments by the National State Fire Marshals and Grinnell Mutual Insurance.

This award is given to departments that have achieved zero fire death in the previous year and also recognizes that the department has a reduction of 10% in fire fatalities.

Hopkins Fire Department Receives $93,000 Grant to Continue and Expand Home Fire Safety Program

The Hopkins Fire Department has received a $93,000 Assistance to Firefighters Fire Prevention and Safety Grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to continue and expand the fire department's home fire safety program. The $93,000 grant will allow the fire department to continue to conduct free home fire safety surveys, provide free smoke and carbon monoxide alarms and offer home safety education. The program will also allow firefighters to continue to perform fall prevention surveys for older adult residents of Hopkins. In addition, an exciting highlight of this grant includes funds to produce fire and home safety information in multiple languages including Somali and Spanish to help reach out to Hopkins' large immigrant populations.

Hopkins Fire Department Grant Coordinator Jon Pritchard states this program is vital to the fire safety of the residents in Hopkins: “we [Hopkins Fire Department] have witnessed some serious and concerning home fire safety issues over the past few years which have resulted in significant fire losses and even more close calls.” Pritchard goes on to say “this home fire safety program will allow us to identify and help mitigate potential fire and household safety issues." The program is completely free and does not include any fines, fees or solicitations and all information is confidential and left with the household to help make them safer from fire and household hazards.

The program was started with a FEMA grant in September 2011 and has had over 200 household participate. The program has received great feedback from households who have participated. To participate in this free program or to request more information, Hopkins residents can call 952-548-6465 or email

Fire Chief Wins State Award

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.

Hopkins Fire Department Earns 2009 Life Safety Achievement Award

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.”