Floyd was not a firefighter or fire officer; rather Floyd was a clinician, trained in the study of human behavior and adolescent development and it was because of this background Floyd was a fire service leader.
According to the National Fire Protection Association between 2007 and 2011, an average of 49,300 fires caused by playing with fire, were reported to U.S. municipal fire departments each year. These fires caused annual average of 80 civilian deaths, 860 civilian injuries, and $235 million in property damage.
Because of his training and his love for the fire service, Floyd recognized the value of a juvenile fire starter program; one designed to provide children experimenting with fire starting an opportunity to correct behaviors before problems escalated. Floyd worked to create one of the first Juvenile Fire Setting Programs (JFSP) in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Floyd was a leader and innovator.
The early days of the JFSP program were lean. There was no financial support, no revenue stream. There was no real credentialed training for firefighters interested and there were almost no mental health clinicians, unless loaned to the JFSP effort by their agency, able to participate. Meetings were held in basements of fire stations with consults and intakes often afterhours and on a wing and a prayer. The program despite its immeasurable value, struggled for support.
Floyd worked through those frustrations with tenacity and stubbornness; never giving up and often carrying the cost of the services out of his own pocket. Floyd would convince co-workers who were also clinicians to help with intakes and screenings, and Floyd inspired firefighters to get involved. Floyd spoke at many county fire chief meetings; always offering his phone number and asking, sometimes almost pleading, to please call, no matter the time of day, if a juvenile exhibiting fire setting behavior, needed help. Floyd was passionate because the program helped children.
Floyd’s passion and leadership nurtured and carried the JFSP effort in Western Massachusetts through its infancy and the early days. Floyd’s commitment influenced hundreds including firefighters, fire chiefs, clinicians, courts and fire setters themselves. Floyd’s vision of a supported program is now realized by the exceptional NoFires Program, offered and supported by the Northwest District Attorney’s Office and District Attorney David Sullivan.
Leadership has been described as the ability to translate vision into reality. Floyd, you did just that. Thank you and Godspeed.
Chief of Department
Chief of Department
Centerville Osterville Marstons Mills Fire Department
Chairman of the Board of Directors-NoFires (2011-13)