member of the Payson Fire Department since 1995, and a
paramedic since 1993, Dawn Zurcher is committed to
making her Arizona community a safe and caring place
Zurcher leads by example in demonstrating the power of
volunteerism. Especially devoted to the education of
children in safety and service, Dawn helped to develop
and implement Paysonís first formal school program
to teach youngsters positive behaviors in fire safety
and injury prevention.
a colorful and dynamic persona as "Edith the
Clown," Dawn suits up in a clown costume and
makeup to attend school functions, health fairs, and
community events where citizens, young and old alike,
can be entertained while learning about safety.
was instrumental in founding a neighborhood cleanup
program which has grown steadily over the last four
years. She also takes an active part as a team member
in an annual wheelchair basketball tournament to raise
funds for programs for the disabled. Keenly aware that
early warning can save lives, Dawn developed a program
to fund and install smoke detectors in area homes
is a critical factor in the effectiveness of
firefighting and emergency services. In consideration
of her colleagues, Dawn also established the Critical
Incident Stress Debriefing Program (CISD), a tool for
counseling emergency personnel after an especially
traumatic or emotional event.
compassion, and dedication are the characteristics
that define emergency personnel working in Arizona.
They are the traits that continue "Firefighting
as an Enduring Tradition." Dawn Zurcher
demonstrates these traits every day in her commitment
to her communityís well being. Honored as Paysonís
1999 Firefighter of the Year, we are very proud to
present her with the Symbol of Excellence
Award as the 1999 United Fire Firefighter of the Year.