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Posted on: December 19, 2019

John Barrett Receives Boy Scouts of America’s Highest Leadership Award

PFD John Barrett accepting award

A series of life choices from his teen years led Lt. John Barrett on a path destined for great achievements. Winning the Boy Scouts of America’s (BSA) William H. Spurgeon, III Award is just one notch on John’s impressive list of accomplishments to date. This BSA honor is their highest recognition for individuals who contribute significantly to the Exploring Program.

PDF Barrett as a teenThe Lieutenant was a young Explorer with the Denver Fire department in 1991. After joining Plano Fire-Rescue in January 2008, he was happy for the chance to continue his involvement with this mentorship program when he took the job as the department’s Community Outreach and Education and Explorer Post Committee Chair in 2018. “The formal name of our post is Plano Fire-Rescue Explorer Post 215. When full, we work with 17 young adults at a time between the ages of 14 and 21,” he said about the program.

The Exploring Program is based on a unique and dynamic relationship between youth and organizations within the community. Organizations initiate a career-specific Exploring Post by matching staff and resources to the career interests of the group. The result is an immersive program of interactive activities which help participants pursue their goals while developing character, leadership abilities and life skills.

John adds, “The mission of Post 215 is to provide Plano area youth in-depth exposure to the firefighting and EMS professions. Part of our vision is to become the region’s preeminent Explorer Post.” Through this program, public safety agencies have a great group of potential recruits to pick from.

Lt. Barrett is also the founder of and the continuous driving-force behind the annual Dallas 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb which debuted in 2016. This event rallies over 500 public safety officers from several states to commemorate the tragedies of September 11, 2001. In addition, John:

  • Holds Texas Commission on Fire Protection certifications as a Fire Instructor III and Incident Safety Officer
  • Serves on the National Fire and EMS Exploring Committee
  • Chairs the Planning Committee for Disaster 2020 – a large scale exercise for Explorer Programs across North Texas

The BSA Spurgeon Award was developed in 1971 to recognize people like John Barrett! Congratulations!

Dallas Stair Climb2

PFD Barrett mentoring


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