Dallas-Area 9-Year-Old Receives Heroism Award from National Fallen Firefighters Foundation and Kidde Fire Safety
Mebane, NC, US -
MEBANE, N.C., Aug. 18, 2014 — The National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF) and Kidde Fire Safety honored Dallas-area resident Hector Montoya with the first "Be a Hero, Save a Hero" award at the International Association of Fire Chiefs’ (IAFC) Fire-Rescue International conference on Aug. 15, 2014, in Dallas, Texas. The IAFC also named the elementary school student an honorary "fire chief for a day" for helping to make his community safer. Kidde, a global leader in manufacturing residential fire safety products, is a part of UTC Building & Industrial Systems, a unit of United Technologies Corp. (NYSE: UTX).
Montoya gained national attention earlier this year when he used money that he had saved for a new video game system to buy 100 smoke alarms for homes in his community. Montoya said he made the decision after hearing about a fire in Fort Worth, Texas, that killed a mother and her young daughter. He also reached out to local fire departments to assist with installation. Since April, Montoya has donated 2,600 alarms to his community, and he continues to raise awareness about the importance of working smoke alarms.
"Hector’s selfless commitment to keeping his community safer from fire makes him the right choice for the inaugural ‘Be a Hero, Save a Hero’ award," said Chief Ronald Siarnicki, executive director, NFFF. "The sooner an alarm is heard in an emergency, the more time there is to respond. With everyone out of the house, it reduces a firefighter’s risk of injury or death."
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reports that three out of five U.S. home fire deaths occur in homes with either no smoke alarm or no working alarm, and the main reason smoke alarms fail to operate in a fire is due to dead or missing batteries.
Launched in 2012, NFFF’s Be a Hero, Save a Hero® program encourages homeowners to pledge to install working fire safety equipment and to develop and practice a family fire escape plan. In turn, these actions help keep firefighters safe. Kidde is a primary program sponsor. To learn more, visitwww.beaherosaveahero.org.