Leland Gayheart Prevention Award

Leland Gayheart was a 23 year old firefighter that lost his life due to a devastating burn injury in 1991. As a tribute, the Leland Gayheart Prevention Award was created to encourage prevention programs within local fire departments. An honorarium is awarded annually to fire departments whose innovative efforts have demonstrated a statewide, countywide, or citywide impact on prevention and fire safety. This award is presented in joint effort by the Gayheart family and the University of Michigan Trauma Burn Center.  This prestigious award includes an honorarium and a plaque.


All Michigan Fire Departments that are actively involved in fire safety and prevention.


All nominees must complete a nomination form and adhere to the format and length limitation described below to be considered for the award. All entries must include and will be scored on the following criteria:

  • A synopsis of the program that explains its basic structure and outcomes to a broad audience. This section must include a paragraph describing the program and the problems it addresses; a list of organizations or individuals who have collaborated in the problem's design and/or implementation; a paragraph describing the essential elements of the strategy for implementing the program; and a brief summary of the program's outcomes. Synopsis must be typed, double-spaced and not to exceed five pages.
  • A brief description of how the award monies would be utilized and spent
  • A sample of supporting materials utilized in the program (optional)
  • Completed nomination form


All nominations will be reviewed by the University of Michigan Trauma Burn Center Gayheart Award Committee.  Programs are scored on the program design, outcomes, leadership role, target audience and impact on local, state or national level.


We are now accepting applications for the 2024 Gayheart Prevention Award!   This year's award honorarium is $1,000.  All nominations for the 2024 Leland Gayheart Award must be submitted by August 1st. Please email completed nomination forms and supporting materials to:  traumaburn@umich.edu  If the files are too large to send by email, please contact traumaburn@umich.edu so that a link for the online uploading of files can be provided.

Leland Gayheart Award Committee
Michigan Medicine - University of Michigan Trauma Burn Center
Phone:  734-232-3814

Email:  traumaburn@umich.edu

Click here to download the nomination form.


The winner of the 2023 Leland Gayheart Prevention Award is the Northville Township Fire Department for their “Kindergarten Fire and Life Safety Education". Congratulations!


  • 2022 Dutton Fire Department for its comprehensive CRR, including: Sound Off with the Home Fire Safety Patrol, summer youth camp, smoke/CO alarm installation, older adult and disability focused outreach, and Protect the Protectors programs.
  • 2021 Benton Harbor Department of Public Safety for their smoke/CO alarm installation and Sound Off program
  • 2020 Hopkins Area Fire Department for its Community Fire Prevention programs
  • 2020 Hartland Deerfield Fire Authority for its Fire Safety Squad program
  • 2018 Saginaw Fire Department - Carbon Monoxide Alarm Installation Program
  • 2017 Dearborn Heights Fire Department -  Residential Outreach Program
  • 2016 Rochester Hills Fire Department - Kindergarten Fire Safety & Prevention Program
  • 2015 City of Three Rivers Fire Department - Fire Prevention in the Schools Program
  • 2014 Orion Township Fire Department - Safety through Social Media program
  • 2013 Grand Rapids Fire Department - Outstanding work in prevention
  • 2012 Brighton Area Fire Authority - Smoke Alarm Installation Campaign
  • 2011 Grand Traverse Metro Fire Department – Special Needs Outreach
  • 2010 Farmington Hills Fire Department - Project "Hot Stove," teaching do's & don'ts in the kitchen
  • 2009 Michigan Fire Inspectors Society - Fire Prevention Calendar
  • 2008 Oakland Community College Fire Training - Flashover Survival Training Program for firefighters
  • 2008 Bloomfield Township Fire Department - Fire safety and injury prevention in schools
  • 2006 Grand Traverse Metro Fire Department - Juvenile Firesetter Program
  • 2006 Marquette Fire Department - Juvenile Firesetter Program
  • 2005 Roseville Fire Department
  • 2004 City of Taylor Fire Department
  • 2003 Melvindale Fire Department
  • 2003 Dearborn Heights Fire Department
  • 2003 Rochester Hills Fire Department
  • 2003 Tittabawassee Fire Department
  • 2002 Monroe Fire Department
  • 2001 Brighton Fire Department
  • 2001 Ferndale Fire Department
  • 2000 Grand Junction Fire Department
  • 2000 Livonia Fire Department
  • 1999 Harper Woods Fire Department