John Cowie, left, and IAFC President (2013-2014) Chief William R. Metcalf, right.
The Ready, Set, Go! Program learned this week of the untimely passing of one of the pioneers of our program, and 2014 Ready, Set, Go! Award for Excellence honoree, John Cowie of the Barnegat Volunteer Fire Department and New Jersey Forest Fire Service.
John’s work with the program began in 2010 when Barnegat Volunteer Fire Department was selected to be one of the pilot programs for RSG. In true Cowie fashion, John didn’t just pilot, he ran with RSG and worked it into his community at all levels to make sure they had the support they needed to protect themselves from the threat of wildland fire and, as seen when RSG was used during Superstorm Sandy, from other hazards.
Given the success he had on the local level, John worked on implementing RSG on the state level. He was instrumental in the forming of the New Jersey Fire Safety Council. He also worked with the state to add RSG as one of the Emergency Management & Resiliency actions that communities could take to earn points for the Sustainable New Jersey program that provides grants and resources to municipalities in New Jersey. Over the years, John provided valuable input to help grow and improve the program nationally including working on a team that toured the state of Texas after their devastating fires in 2011 to deliver our first RSG trainings, making a major impact.
John’s work with the Ready, Set, Go! Program is one of the many legacies he will leave behind. He will always be remembered for his dedication and hard work to make his community safer for his colleagues and area residents alike.
The IAFC and the RSG! Program extend our deepest sympathies to the friends and family of John Cowie. He will be missed.