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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.

The award is presented annually to the Leland Gayheart Prevention Award recipient. This prestigious award includes a $500 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 the following:

  • 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 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. Programs are judged on the program design, outcomes, leadership role, target audience and impact on local, state or national level.


Apply now for the annual Gayheart Prevention Award! All nominations for the 2017 Leland Gayheart Award must be postmarked by August 31, 2017. Completed nomination forms and supporting materials may be mailed or faxed. Please note that supporting materials will not be returned. Download Nomination Form (PDF)

    Please email, fax, or mail completed forms to:
    Attention: Leland Gayheart Award Committee
    University of Michigan Trauma Burn Center
    Injury Prevention Team
    1500 E. Medical Center Drive, 1C435-UH
    Ann Arbor, MI 48109-5033
    Fax: 734-232-3833


The winner of the 2017 Leland Gayheart Prevention Award is Dearborn Heights Fire Department for their 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