Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Thomas Honored for Leadership

I believe in what I do and believe in the Fuels Program, I believe we can accomplish more putting fire on the ground and implementing or managing resource benefit fires. Fire is the best tool we have, and we should be using it more. We need to change our way thinking when comes to fires. ~ Ralph Thomas

Congratulations to Ralph Thomas for being one of four individuals selected for the 2011 Paul Gleason Lead by Example Award.

Ralph Thomas
Fort Apache Agency, BIA

Leadership Citation for Initiative and Innovation:
Ralph has been instrumental in the development and growth of the BIA’s National Fire Mentoring Program. The program connects upcoming fire leaders with mentors to conduct field-oriented prescribed fire and suppression training. Ralph served as a mentor, field coordinator and role model in the BIA and tribal programs. He organically exhibited many of the leadership principles and values espoused by the leadership program. His quiet confidence is a catalyst to the mentees, providing an atmosphere which encourages time-compressed decision making, rapid team building, tactical skills and leadership development with a diverse mixture of firefighters from around the country in a dynamic environment. Even with advances in modeling programs and decision support tools used to translate data, knowledge and experience to make decisions with fire on the landscape is a crucial part of wildland fire service. The scope of Ralph’s mentoring will be felt for years to come as he continues to train others to conduct themselves with respect, professionalism, and leadership as students of fire.

Quotes from the Nomination:
  • "Ralph loves the challenge that fire brings and that love of engagement with fire is contagious to those that work with or for him."
  • "The confidence that he displays is seen as respect for his trainees which translates into greater achievements for the team."
Other Projects and Accomplishments:
  • Fort Apache's first Hotshot Superintendent (1984)
  • Division Supervisor and Air Tactical Group Supervisor on Southwest Area Incident Management Teams
  • Mentor/Field Coordinator, BIA National Fire Mentoring Program

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