ResponderSafety.com and the Responder Safety Learning Network congratulate Stephen P. Austin, Project Manager, on his induction into the Firehouse Hall of Fame. Firehouse Editor-In-Chief Peter Matthews noted Austin’s long career of service, “Steve has spent more than 40 years improving accreditation for training organizations and instructing on firefighter safety at roadway operations. Steve has been critical in shaping the fire service we know today at both the local and national levels. His unwavering commitment to firefighter safety helped develop the Emergency Responder Safety Institute that is focused on the safety of fire and emergency crews working on roadways—which was one of the leading causes of firefighter injuries and deaths in 2019.”
Austin’s distinguished career began in 1963 as a volunteer firefighter. He has served with fire companies in four states. He is a Past President of both the Delaware Volunteer Firefighter’s Association and the Cumberland Valley Volunteer Firemen’s Association. Austin is a life member of Aetna Hose, Hook, and Ladder Company (Newark, DE) and Vice President of Allison Hook & Ladder No. 2 (Harrisburg, PA). He is well-known for his love of fire department history and antique fire apparatus and equipment. Steve is retired from State Farm Insurance Company after a 37-year career as a Senior Public Policy Analyst. Austin received the CFSI Mason Lankford Fire Service Leadership Award in 2018.
Austin’s work in fire investigation earned him the International Association of Arson Investigators’ Distinguished Service Award. An IAAI Life Member, he has served the Association in many capacities, including Governmental Affairs Director, Co-Chair of the Advocacy Committee, and contributing editor to Fire & Arson Investigator. Austin is also a Charter Member and Past President of the Delaware Chapter of the IAAI. Austin serves on multiple Boards of Directors, including for the Congressional Fire Services Institute, IFSTA, and the First Responder Center for Excellence.
After the line-of-duty deaths of Fire Police Captain Joseph Kroboth, Jr. (The Volunteer Fire Company of Halfway, MD) and Firefighter Dave Good (Lionville Fire Company, PA) in two separate struck by incidents on the roadway in the spring of 1998, Austin focused on roadway incident response safety. He is a founding member the Emergency Responder Safety Institute, a committee of the Cumberland Valley Volunteer Firemen’s Association, and serves as its project manager. ERSI’s groundbreaking work to bring roadway response safety and traffic incident management training to every responder has included ResponderSafety.com, the Responder Safety Learning Network, NFPA 1091: Standard for Traffic Incident Management Personnel Professional Qualifications, the Certified TIM Technician credential (in partnership with the Fire Department Safety Officers Association), the National TIM Certificate in association with the Federal Highway Administration, and numerous studies, white papers, and training presentations and programs.
Everyone who has been touched by Steve Austin’s work in the fire service over nearly 60 years would agree that no one is more deserving of the Firehouse Hall of Fame honor. In characteristically humble fashion he said of the honor, “In 1976, upon reading the first edition of Firehouse Magazine, my eyes were opened to the fire service world outside my home company. In Firehouse, I read the words of some of the greatest firefighters to have ever worn the uniform. I never thought for a moment, that I would have the opportunity in my career to write for the magazine much less to become friends with many of these legends. That led to working on safety, health, and professional development issues together. To follow some of these leaders into the Firehouse Hall of Fame is a humbling experience.”
More information: Firehouse Hall of Fame Announcement