The Alan Easy Memorial Award
The Alan Easy Memorial Award (The Award) is awarded to individuals who have shown outstanding service, effort and direction towards the purposes and objectives of the NSWAFI, or those who have rendered distinctive service to the NSWAFI itself.
Any NSWAFI member may receive nominations for The Award over any period of time, however; an Award recipient may only ever receive the Award once in their lifetime.
The Alan Easy Memorial Award was established to recognise the dedication, professionalism and expertise of Alan Easy in the field of fire investigation, along with his commitment as a participating member of the NSWAFI. Alan joined the NSWAFI for the express purpose of ensuring the continuing education of fire investigators and allied professionals. Today, The Award continues this legacy by encouraging fire investigation professionals to become involved in the Association and aligning themselves with its goals.
Alan Easy: A Short Biography
The Award has been named in honour of Alan Easy, once a member of New South Wales Fire Brigades (NSWFB) and one of the first members of the forty-seventh Chapter of the International Association of Arson Investigators (IAAI).
Alan was a highly regarded member of NSWFB, serving throughout NSW and in many areas of the Fire Brigade. One of Alan’s main areas of service involved the Fire Safety Section, where he gained his passion for protecting the safety of the public and determining the origin and cause of fires.
Alan commenced work at the Fire Investigation Unit of NSW Fire Brigades (now Fire and Rescue NSW) at its inception (7 August 1987). The unit only had one other member at this time; John Boath, who had founded the Unit. Additional members joined the Unit as time went by, with a full complement maintaining a twenty-four hour shift system by January 1988. Alan took on the duties of Operations Officer, covering country areas outside Sydney.
Alan was excited to be appointed to the Unit as he had a deep passion for fire cause determination. This passion was tested due to the extreme workload he and John endured during the early days of the Unit, where only they staffed the Unit. He never wavered in responding to investigate a fire, whether it was in Sydney or country NSW. It was not unusual for Alan to respond to one or two country fire investigations a week and receive many early morning phone calls about a suspicious or undetermined fire that required investigating somewhere. He even funded his own overseas trips to learn from other fire investigators in the United States and England.
Alan also enjoyed imparting his knowledge to others at numerous training and educational seminars, which he conducted throughout NSW. These events were always well attended as Alan had an ability to "get the message across" about fire investigation and made the sessions interesting to all of those who attended.
On 31 January 1992, Alan was promoted and became Officer-in-Charge of the Fire Investigation Unit. Together with his hard working team, he developed the Unit into a world-renowned team. The Unit developed such a reputation throughout Australia and overseas that many fire services would send their members to the Unit to learn, so that they may improve their skills and develop their own fire investigation units. With Alan’s encouragement, a very unique liaison was established with the NSW Police Arson (Property Crime) Squad. Intelligence was passed between agencies regarding fires across the state and friendships were established that would last many years.
Alan was highly regarded as The Boss of the Unit and steadfastly supported the members of the Unit throughout his career. He was always ready to receive a call from any member of the Unit who had struck an unusual incident and always provided support by way of information and advice. Alan was also only too ready to attend an incident and offer support to any member of the team, particularly when a fatal fire was encountered and a great deal of media and community attention was involved.
Alan had a driving desire that all fire causes be determined, particularly so that any electrical appliance issues could be identified and a Safety Recall could be issued. In this regard, Alan established a strong relationship with the NSW Office of Fair Trading, Electrical Safety Branch, and allied organisations, with a view to making the community safer. Some of Alan’s enduring concerns were the fire safety of houses fitted with cellulose fibre insulation, flammable air-conditioning ducting and explosions from leaks involving aerosol containers; as well as tilt-slab concrete construction.
Alan left a lasting legacy on the fire investigation industry in NSW. Fire investigation in NSW has developed from those early frantic days to a profession that is well respected, professional and knowledgeable; values that have been garnered from Alan’s professional approach, his sense of ethics, honesty and integrity.
The Award Committee
An Alan Easy Memorial Award Committee (AEMAC), consisting of three existing financial members of the NSWAFI, shall be constituted to review all nominations forwarded to them regarding potential recipients of The Award. The AEMAC will consist of NSWAFI members who possess the following qualifications:
The AEMAC Member must be a financial member of NSWAFI;
The AEMAC Member must have been a Committee Member of the NSWAFI for a cumulative period of at least three (3) years;
AEMAC Members will ideally be past recipients of The Award themselves, or hold the position of Senior Vice President or Junior Vice President of the Association.
The AEMAC membership is to be reviewed annually, and AEMAC members are to be elected by the existing NSWAFI Committee at the first Association Committee meeting after the Annual General Meeting (AGM). The AEMAC shall collectively be responsible for receiving nominations and reviewing the submitted details. The AEMAC shall meet as necessary, whether in person, via teleconferencing, or via electronic communication, once a nomination has been received. After collective review of all nominations, the AEMAC must reach a unanimous decision regarding a single award nominee being worthy of receiving The Award. The AEMAC shall then submit the name of the nominee to the President of the Association at the first Association meeting after the AGM, with a recommendation for acceptance. It should not be presumed that The Award will be presented each year; it is the responsbility of the AEMAC to produce a recommendation to the President only when suitable nominations for The Award are received.
The NSWAFI President, having full knowledge of all existing affairs as they relate to the NSWAFI and its comprehensive membership, has the right to accept or refuse the AEMAC’s recommendation for The Award's issue. In the event that the President determines the nominee is not entitled to receive The Award, either because they have not met the criteria to justify their receipt of The Award, or for any other reason, the President shall advise the AEMAC in writing.
In the event the nominee is, at the time of nomination, the subject of an investigative process relating to a formal complaint, the President need not provide the AEMAC particulars as to why The Award should not be awarded to that recipient. The President may, however, recommend that the AEMAC perform a review of their nomination after the full completion of the nominee's investigation and any requisite appeal period. The President may also recommend that the nomination be reviewed the following year without providing further explanation.
In the event that any recipient of The Award is found guilty of bringing the NSWAFI into disrepute, or found guilty of a breach of the Code of Ethics, the President, with the unanimous support of the AEMAC, has the right to withdraw The Award from that person at any time.
Nominee Eligibility and Selection Criteria
The following Eligibility and Selection Criteria will be applied to each Award nominee by the AEMAC:
The nominee shall be an existing financial Member of the NSWAFI;
The nominee shall be a Member of good standing with the NSWAFI;
The nominee shall have been a financial Member of the NSWAFI for a cumulative period of at least ten (10) years ;
The nominee shall have served for a minimum cumulative period of at least five (5) years as an active NSWAFI Committee Member;
The nominee shall be a Member who has shown outstanding and distinctive service to the NSWAFI;
The nominee shall be a Member who has provided an outstanding effort in supporting the maxim of the NSWAFI, in providing excellence in education for fire investigators;
The nominee shall have presented on at least three (3) occasions, at regularly scheduled NSWAFI meetings, Australasian fire investigation conferences, or any IAAI event;
The nominee shall be a Member who is highly regarded for their knowledge and professionalism in respect of any, or any number, of the following aspects which directly relate to fire investigation:
a. Fire investigation relative to the identification of Fire Cause and Origin;
b. Fire investigation relative to determining the legitimacy of fire-related insurance claims;
c. The formal investigation of fire-related crime;
d. Pursuance of formal legislative processes relating to fire related crime;
e. Pursuance of formal legislative processes relating to fire safety and research;
f. Pursuance of improved fire safety or fire engineering related services;
g. Pursuance of fire-related scientific research and development;
h. Pursuance of forensic, clinical psychological, or behavioural aspects of fire-related human activity and response.
While it will be very difficult for potential future recipients of The Award to attain the qualifying standard required of The Award, the exceptionally high standards for nomination and final selection as a recipient of The Award should remain at such an exceptionally high standard.
Any full financial Member of the NSWAFI has the right and privilege of being able to make a nomination to the AEMAC. However, a NSWAFI Member is not allowed to nominate themselves for The Award. A member may be awarded life membership of the NSWAFI whether or not they have already received The Award. A life member is still eligible to be nominated for The Award.
Nominations for The Award shall be forwarded to the AEMAC when deemed appropriate by the nominating NSWAFI Member. Nominations are to be made directly to one, two or all three of the elected AEMAC members in writing. The nomination shall identify the Nominee Eligibility and Selection Criteria as noted above and be accompanied with a detailed précis of the relative professional history of the nominee, incorporating specific particulars of the nominee's commitment to the NSWAFI to justify their nomination for The Award.
Presentation of the Award
If the nomination is deemed to be successful, The Award shall be presented to the nominee person at the next NSWAFI event, at the next NSWAFI Christmas function, or as otherwise decided by the AEMAC. The Award is to be presented to the recipient either by an immediate family member or descendant of Alan Easy, or in the event such a person is not available, The Award will be presented to the recipient by a previous recipient of The Award. In the event that neither such person is available, the Award may be presented by the President of the NSWAFI.
The Award shall be presented to the recipient by way of a perpetual full-size trophy. The trophy shall be kept by the NSWAFI and not held by the recipient. The trophy will have an inscription identifying each recipient of The Award. A smaller trophy shall also be presented to the recipient, as their own property, to keep once the formal award presentation has concluded. The full-size trophy must be available and placed on display at all NSWAFI AGMs, meetings, conferences and events both as a mark of respect to Alan Easy and so as to make the general membership of the NSWAFI aware of the significance of The Award.