NFPA awards James M. Shannon Advocacy Medal to James D. Ford, Jr. for long-standing commitment to fire safety

June 6, 2022 - The National Fire Protection Association® (NFPA®) announced James D. Ford, Jr., retired deputy chief and current director of community risk reduction (CRR) for Cave Creek, Arizona, as the winner of the 2022 James M. Shannon Advocacy Medal. Ford has been awarded this year’s medal for his dedication and career-long commitment to fire safety.

The James M. Shannon Advocacy Medal was established in honor of Jim Shannon, who served as NFPA president for 12 years, beginning in 2002. Shannon was known for his tireless advocacy. Under his leadership, NFPA significantly advanced its mission of promoting fire safety and protecting the general public and members of the fire service alike by proactively working towards key changes that reduce fire loss. He was also a vocal advocate for home fire sprinklers and intensified NFPA’s efforts in support of requirements for this technology.

Ford is being awarded the James M. Shannon Advocacy Medal in recognition of his involvement with groundbreaking residential sprinkler initiatives in Scottsdale, Arizona, which began when a series of successful fire tests (in which Ford was directly involved) resulted in the passing of a residential sprinkler ordinance in 1986. He went on to develop data-driven reports detailing the impact of the ordinance over a 10- and 15-year period. These documents ultimately laid the groundwork for numerous organizations and jurisdictions to strengthen fire sprinkler measures in communities nationwide, which has played a direct role in helping reduce residential fire risk.

Ford is currently director of community risk reduction (CRR) for Cave Creek, Ariz. where he is responsible for oversight and development of the town’s newly created “All-Hazard” emergency fire and medical service. He also oversees implementation of community outreach efforts that work to better educate residents about wildland/urban interface measures and other fire safety issues. Previously, as a deputy chief, Ford helped establish highly successful community fire protection and risk reduction programs and measures that led him to present on the “Scottsdale Experience” to other countries, including Canada, Sweden, England, Scotland, Aruba, Singapore, Prague, Amsterdam, and Wales, as well as organizations like NFPA, UK, HFSC, NFFF, NFSA, AFSA, Vision 20/20, and Fire Team USA.

Ford has received 15 awards for his efforts over the past 20 years and maintains professional affiliations with more than a dozen organizations.

Photo is available; please contact

For this release and other announcements about NFPA initiatives, research and resources, please visit the NFPA press room.

NFPA: 125 Years of Protecting People and Property
The National Fire Protection Association® (NFPA®) is a global self-funded nonprofit organization devoted to eliminating death, injury, property, and economic loss due to fire, electrical, and related hazards. The association began its work to solve the fire problem in a young, industrialized nation in 1896 and has since become a global force known for advancing safety worldwide. NFPA delivers information and knowledge through more than 325 consensus codes and standards, research, training, education, outreach, and advocacy, and by partnering with others who share an interest in furthering the NFPA mission. NFPA will formally celebrate its 125th anniversary at its Conference & Expo in Boston on June 6 – 9, 2022. For more information or to view NFPA codes and standards for free, visit

Contact: Lorraine Carli, Public Affairs Office: +1 617 984-7275