There are countless unsung civil servants working behind the scenes to ensure our government effectively provides critical services that meet the many needs of the American people.
On October 3, the nonprofit, nonpartisan Partnership for Public Service will present the prestigious Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medal for Citizen Services to one of the previously named five finalists. These individuals improved customer service at the Social Security Administration, developed new firefighting techniques to save lives, employed technology to speed tax refunds, headed a rapid response to a multistate outbreak of fungal meningitis, and used technology to help agencies provide better service and information.
One of the finalists is Daniel Madrzykowski, a fire protection engineer with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and a great contributor to all areas of NFPA. Daniel has been nominated for "improving firefighting practices and saving lives," an amazing achievement for Daniel and the fire protection community.
Dan Madrzykowski has spent a good portion of his 28 years in government burning down buildings to study how fire behaves, resulting in radical changes in firefighting practices around the country that are saving lives and protecting property.
Working with fire departments across the country, Madrzykowski finds buildings that are scheduled for demolition and recreates previous fires in which firefighters were injured or lost their lives. He uses sophisticated research tools and fire-modeling software that help him analyze the blazes and then spreads the word to firefighters on what he has learned.
Madrzykowski and his team have improved everything from ventilation and fire-suppression tactics to the protective equipment firefighters wear. He has had a major impact on understanding, documenting and mitigating the dangerous problem of fire driven by wind, which occurs frequently on the upper floors of tall buildings.
He is currently a member of the NFPA Fire Investigations Committee (appointed 7/04) and the Fire Service Training Committee (appointed 7/08). His previous committee appointments include:
- Automatic Sprinklers Systems Correlating Committee (1/92-8/06)
- Means of Egress (91-99)
- Mercantile & Business Occupancies (1/91-9/99)
- Safety to Life Correlating Committee (1/96-9/99)
- Forest & Rural Fire Protection (1/96-10/05)
- Residential Sprinkler Systems (10/97-7/06; served as chair)
- Sprinkler System Discharge Criteria (10/97-4/08)
- Water Mist Fire Suppression Systems (4/94-4/08)
Congratulations to Daniel and all of the Medal finalists!