June 5, 2024

Karla Klas, B.S.N., R.N., CCRP, from the Michigan Medicine Trauma Burn Center is the first person ever in history to win the “Triple Crown” equivalent of national injury and violence prevention awards!  She is the recipient of the prestigious lifetime achievement award Dr. Anne W. Phillips Award for Leadership in Fire Safety Education, American Burn Association Burn Prevention Award, and Safe States Alliance Injury and Violence Prevention Program Achievement Award.  Klas was presented with these honors during recent annual meeting conferences.  Click here to learn more. 


Karla Klas receives the prestigious 2024 CFSI/IFSTA Dr. Anne W. Phillips Award for leadership in fire safety education

The Congressional Fire Services Institute (CFSI) and the International Fire Service Training Association/Fire Protection Publications/Oklahoma State University (IFSTA) have announced Karla Klas as the recipient of the 2024 CFSI/IFSTA Dr. Anne W. Phillips Award for Leadership in Fire Safety Education.

This accolade is awarded to individuals who have made outstanding contributions to fire safety education at the national level.

The award ceremony is set to take place during the 34th Annual National Fire and Emergency Services Dinner in Washington, DC, on April 29.

Karla Klas, serving as Managing Director of Injury/Violence Prevention at the University of Michigan Trauma Burn Center, has been a formidable force in the realm of fire and life safety for over three decades.

Her work spans several areas including trauma/burn critical care nursing, injury prevention, and community risk reduction.

Klas has been instrumental in developing numerous burn and fire prevention programs that have impacted all 50 states and extended to over 150 countries.

Her collaborative efforts with various state and national organizations highlight her commitment to improving fire safety education and prevention globally.

Leading the charge in fire safety education

Chief Mary Cameli, Chair of the IFSTA Executive Board, commended Klas’s dedication and passion for fire safety education: “Karla’s passion and dedication to fire safety education truly embody the spirit of this award.

“She is an exceptional leader who has inspired others to follow her lead in advancing fire safety education in the U.S. and in other parts of the world.”

Jim Estepp, President of the Congressional Fire Services Institute, also praised Klas’s unwavering commitment to fire prevention, likening her dedication to that of the late Dr. Anne W. Phillips: “Like the late Dr. Anne W. Phillips, Karla Klas has demonstrated an unwavering dedication to fire prevention as the basis for reducing the toll of fire in this country.

“My fellow board members and I take great pride in recognizing national leaders in fire safety education with this award to give them the recognition they deserve.”

A lifelong commitment to fire safety and prevention

Klas’s career has been marked by significant achievements in fire safety and prevention.

Her role at the University of Michigan Trauma Burn Center has allowed her to spearhead initiatives that have not only addressed immediate community needs but also fostered a culture of safety and prevention on a national and international scale.

Her collaborative projects with organizations such as the International Association of Fire Fighters Burn Foundation, the National Fire Protection Association, the American Burn Association, and Vision 20/20 have solidified her position as a key figure in the fight against fire-related injuries and fatalities.