Congratulations to the 2013 Playground Safety Award Winners!

Ahren's Playground Safety Advocate of the Year Award

The Ahren's Playground Safety Advocate of the Year Award is given by the National Program for Playground Safety to an individual that has displayed outstanding effort to provide playground safety for children.

The Ahrens Playground Safety Advocate of the Year for 2013 is Captain Ron Zabrocki.  Recently retired from the United States Public Health Service and now residing in New Mexico, Ron is responsible for increasing the knowledge of Indian tribes regarding playground safety. The Environmental Health Support Center (EHSC) for the Indian Health Services coordinates a variety of training opportunities for the tribal and federal Environmental and Engineering programs.  Starting in 2006, the EHSC contracted with the National Program for Playground Safety to deliver training on SAFE Playground Assessment.  The target audience for this playground training included inspectors, designers, maintenance staff, and teachers associated with schools, Head Starts, and any location that had a public playground. 

During the past seven years, courses were offered in Albuquerque, NM; Phoenix, AZ; Farmington, NM; Duluth, NM; Bismarck, ND; Window Rock, AZ; Chinle, AZ; and Billings, MT.  Forty-one different tribes were represented at these training.  154 individual successfully completed the training.  Approximately 50 individuals were federal employees that serve as consultants for the tribal environmental health programs.  The remaining individuals were primarily tribal employees that provided direct services to a tribally run facility, generally a school or Head Start Program.  Ten Head Start maintenance staff from Navajo Bureau of Indian Affairs completed the training.  The staff is responsible for the installation and maintenance of playground equipment at over 150 Head Start locations on the Navajo Nation.

We are pleased to present this award to Ron for being sure that tribal elders and adults are trained to ensure children are SAFE on playgrounds and play areas.  Congratulations Ron!

John Preston Playground Safety Award

The John Preston Safe Playground Award is given by the National Program for Playground Safety to a group that has displayed outstanding effort to provide playground safety for children.

The 2013 award is given to the BCI Burke Playground Company.  Founded in 1920, It is one of the first playground companies that was created.  Housed in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, BCI Burke follows the ASTM standards and the CPSC Guidelines as it develops its commercial and home playground equipment.  It sends representatives to the ASTM standards meetings on a regular basis.  President Tim Ahern has served on the board of directors of National Program for Playground Safety since 2005.  In addition, it has distributed Supervision Kits to over 8,000 elementary schools.  According to the National Center for Educational Statistics for 2010-2011, that is 16% of the public schools in the United States.  Further, they have distributed several thousand Intensity Kits to help the physical education teachers teach school children how to use movement on the Burke equipment, connecting curriculum to the playground equipment. They are in the process of developing a similar kit for childcare teachers.  That kit will be available by November 2013.  

BCI Burke has gone beyond selling equipment by giving adults information to use to help them use curriculum in relation to their equipment.  In addition, they have given the adult information to be better supervisors.  They put the interest of children first by ensuring that equipment is designed according to the developmental needs of children.  They do this by consulting child development specialists in relation to the size and kind of equipment developed.

Congratulations, BCI Burke!