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July 1, 2009 > Fire Inspector receives Volunteer of the Year Award

Fire Inspector receives Volunteer of the Year Award

By Meenu Gupta
Photos By courtesy of Denice Daly

Union City Fire Inspector Denice Daly has been chosen to receive this year's "Bob Perrotti Volunteer of the Year Award" by The Arc of Alameda County. Inspector Daly teaches fire and life safety classes annually to developmentally disabled Arc clients and provides fire Inspection services to the City's residential care facilities.

Arc is the world's largest non-profit, devoted to promoting and improving support and services for all people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The community-based organization includes over 140,000 members affiliated through more than 780 state and local chapters across the nation.

"We provide Fire and Life Safety to the community of Union City through Fire Inspections and Fire Safety classes, such as the Elementary School Education Program, Senior Apartments and Assisted Living Fire Safety Classes, Fire Drills. We also provide Fire Safety Classes and Fire Drills for the special needs populations. We participate and share fire safety information at church and city events too," said Daly.

"I started teaching Fire Safety classes as a volunteer firefighter with Santa Clara County Fire in 1985. Christy Moore, the County's Fire Safety Educator, has the best program and passes on her skills and knowledge to others, such as myself, so I do the same," she said.

"I've taught as a full-time firefighter and Fire Inspector. This has really given me a wonderful experience and the knowledge to touch and help others. I've spent a few summers participating at the Alisa Ann Rush Burn Foundation - Champ Camp. It's a summer camp for seriously burned children. This is where I realized how important educating the public was, especially our high risk population - children, senior and the special needs populations. My primary job is a Fire Inspector but Chief Laura Mapes allows me to spend my extra time providing this service to community, which allows me to be a Fire cop and an educator," she explained.

A typical day's teaching for Daly consists of up to three school assemblies with fellow Fire Inspector Lorenzo Perez or taking and an individual elementary class through Hazard House, which simulates smoke to demonstrate the effects of fire, and lets children learn by actual hands on and visual experience. It also demonstrates the effects and dangers of electricity, with live sparks and actual sound.

Nunzio "Bob" Perrotti has been associated with The Arc of Alameda County since 1970. "He has a son that attends our Union City Vocational Development Program. Bob has been President of Arc's Board of Directors and Executive Director," said Judy Vierra, Executive Coordinator,The Arc of Alameda County.

"He's a board member and president of the Regional Center of the East Bay and a staunch advocate for what we do in the halls of the State Legislature and he does all of this on a volunteer basis so for us, there was no better person to name the Volunteer Award after," she said.

"This award is given to an individual volunteer who's provided significant assistance to our service population or consistent leadership to an Arc facility or the agency as a whole," said Vierra. "Denice Daly was nominated by Shannon Jurich, our Director of Program Development, Quality Assurance and Health & Safety.

"For over 5 years Denice has provided exceptional service and support to all clients and staff at the Union City facility not only in her professional capacity as a fire inspector but also as a trainer in her own time. She has consistently offered her services as a volunteer trainer giving us excellent training tools such as the computerized home so clients and staff could benefit from seeing how to get out of a house that is on fire. She has provided numerous other fire-prevention training and also got us free exit light signs for the whole facility," concluded Vierra.

There were two other nominations for this award but the committee unanimously picked Daly as the recipient. Congratulations Denice Daly!

For more information, visit The Arc of Alameda County at www.tiw-alameda.com

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