Steve Hubner (Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge) poses with the Paul Gleason Award he received for going above and beyond the call of duty to consistently provide high-quality training, mentorship, and teamwork opportunities to youth and women, strengthening the diversity and cohesiveness of the wildland fire workforce. (USFWS photo)
BY KARI COBB
Steve Hubner, Regional Fuels Coordinator stationed at Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge in North Carolina and Virginia, is the recipient of two prestigious awards: the 2019 Paul Gleason Lead by Example Award, and the Region Director’s Award from AmeriCorps NCCC Southern Region.
Hubner is recognized for the Paul Gleason Award for going above and beyond the call of duty to consistently provide high-quality training, mentorship, and teamwork opportunities to youth and women, strengthening the diversity and cohesiveness of the wildland fire workforce. His dedicated work with Americorps, as well as federal and state agencies in the Northeast, has positively influenced hundreds of young men and women. The youth under his leadership have gained valuable life skills and professional ethics on which to build successful careers and become leaders themselves.
Hubner also received the Region Director’s Award from AmeriCorps NCCC Southern Region. This award is given in recognition of providing outstanding service and employment opportunities for NCCC Members. Hubner has worked tirelessly with NCCC teams for 16 years, helping every member under his direction to receive their red card (Incident Qualification Card that tracks an individual’s training and incident response qualifications), which has helped dozens of individuals gain employment after completing the NCCC program. He has taught dozens of individuals in basic wildland firefighting, helped dozens of members launch their careers, and shared his passion for the unique role fire plays in keeping the natural environment healthy.
The Paul Gleason Lead by Example award was created by the National Wildfire Coordinating Group Leadership Committee to remember Paul Gleason’s contributions to the wildland fire service and developer of a foundational philosophy of fireline safety. Gleason’s Lookout, Communication, Escape route and Safety zone checklist is now standard across the United States and other parts of the world. During a career spanning five decades, he was a dedicated student and teacher of fire, and a leader of firefighters. The award recognizes individuals or groups who exhibit this same spirit and who exemplify the wildland fire leadership values and principles.
The Region Director’s Award from AmeriCorps NCCC Southern Region is a brand-new award for 2020. The lifetime award was created to recognize individuals who provided valuable service and contributed to member development in outstanding ways. Award recipients who have served as mentors, taught valuable skills, and helped AmeriCorps NCCC members pursue both short- and long-term career goals were eligible for a nomination. Through his work with AmeriCorps NCCC, Hubner models the qualities of the award through his efforts in teaching basic wildland firefighting and helping launch the careers of dozens of individuals in public service. He is the ideal first-time recipient of this Region Director Award and the Southern Region was pleased to recognize him for his work.
Kari Cobb is the acting public affairs officer for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at the National Interagency Fire Center.