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Inaugural Ready, Set, Go! Program Special Recognition Award

Author: Kaitlin Sullivan/ Friday, February 10, 2017

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Chief (Ret.) Bob Roper, EFO

The International Association of Fire Chiefs’ (IAFC) Ready, Set, Go! Program is pleased to announce the inaugural recipient of the RSG Special Recognition Award. This award is reserved to recognize the most influential individuals in the wildland-urban interface arena and their significant contributions to the creation of behavioral change within the fire service and communities, at local, regional and national levels, through education, training and mitigation utilizing the Ready, Set, Go! Program. The 2017 RSG Special Recognition Award winner is Fire Chief (Ret.) Bob Roper, EFO.

Chief Roper began his career as a volunteer firefighter in Ventura County (Calif.) where he worked his way through the ranks becoming Fire Chief in 1997, a position he held until 2012. Following his time in Ventura County he served as the administrator of the Nevada Division of Forestry from 2015-2016.  

During his nearly four decades working in the fire service, Chief Roper has served as a representative on several committees and groups including IAFC’s Wildland Fire Policy Committee (WFPC), Firefighting Resources of California Organized for Potential Emergencies (FIRESCOPE), Association of Contract Counties, Governor Schwarzenegger’s Blue Ribbon Task Force, and the Wildland Fire Leadership Council (WFLC) to name a few.  

As chair of the WFPC, Chief Roper played a pivotal role in the support and development of the National Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy as well as the IAFC’s Ready, Set, Go! Program. He grew the fire adaptation concept and was instrumental in the development and implementation of Ready, Set, Go by making it a part of the Ventura County Fire Protection District’s public outreach and education programs to raise awareness about wildfire threat he was able to empower community members to take personal responsibility and action to prepare. 

After local acceptance and success, Ready, Set, Go gradually expanded throughout California with continuing success and support from wildland fire preparedness advocates. Roper brought Ready, Set, Go to the IAFC to grow the program nationwide. Since 2009, IAFC’s wildland fire programs has been managing and expanding the breadth of the Ready, Set, Go! Program messaging, assisting fire and emergency response agencies of all levels to empower the members of their communities to be proactive against the threat of wildland fire.

Chief Roper’s passion, dedication and career positions have allowed him to advocate for wildfire awareness, personal action and preparation for individuals and agencies from local to national, and even international levels.

It is with great pleasure that we recognize Fire Chief Bob Roper for his unparalleled contributions to community wildfire readiness. 

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The IAFC represents the leadership of firefighters and emergency responders worldwide. Its mission is to support current and future career, volunteer, fire-rescue and EMS chiefs, chief fire officers, company officers and managers of emergency service organizations throughout the international community through vision, information, education, services and representation to enhance their professionalism and capabilities.

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