Filling the Biggest Shoes - Red Adair Award
“The greatest aspect of this award is its tie to Red,” White said. “I presented the first Red Adair Award to Red himself in 1991.”
Adair, who died in August 2004 at age 89, was a highly respected leader in the specialized field of oil well fire fighting. His lengthy career was capped in 1991 when he took a lead role in extinguishing the many oil well fires in Kuwait set by the retreating Iraqi army after the Gulf War.
White, a former instructor at the Texas A&M Fire School, is the owner of Fire & Safety Specialists, a training and consulting firm that has done work in China, India, Libya, South Africa and other foreign countries. He also took an active role in handling logistics for the 1989 Pasadena, TX, chemical plant explosion and fire.
He is also the publisher of Industrial Fire World magazine, the only U.S. publications concerned strictly with response to industrial emergencies.
The award’s inscription states:
“In recognition of his efforts, passion, contributions and valued work over many years, this award is presented with distinction by the industrial fire protection fraternity to world renown firefighter and educator David White.”
White gained Adair’s permission to use his name for a new award honoring leaders in industrial fire fighting and emergency response. He then surprised Adair with the first award ever presented.
“Red was already famous for extinguishing the Devil’s Cigarette Lighter in the Sahara in 1961 and the Piper Alpha disaster in the North Sea,” White said. “Even having faced those kind of dangers, he was still shy about getting on stage.”
The latest Adair Award was given to White May 8 at a banquet in Beaumont, TX, marking the close of the 21st annual Tyco Williams Fire & Hazard Control XTREME Industrial Fire & Hazard Training, an event drawing firefighters worldwide.