Garriss honored for exceptional service
While many women and men commit themselves daily to reducing community risk in our nation’s fire departments and allied agencies, there are some individuals whose commitment, skill and perseverance rise above the norm and deserve special recognition. These are the men and women for whom the Excellence in Fire & Life Safety Award was intended.
Sponsored by the International Code Council and the Fire & Life Safety Section (FLSS) of the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC), the 2018 Excellence in Fire & Life Safety Award was presented to Georgia State Fire Marshal and ICC Immediate Past President M. Dwayne Garriss on August 10, 2018, during the annual business meeting of the Fire & Life Safety Section of the IAFC in Dallas, Texas.
Deputy Fire Chief Andy King with the Franklin Tennessee Fire Department presented the award to Garriss citing his many contributions and accomplishments, his great sense of humor and camaraderie with his peers, and commending his activity and strong leadership in the code development process related to fire and life safety.
Representing the Code Council Board of Directors, Board member Angie Wiese spoke about Garriss’ accomplishments, his role in mentoring the next generation, and his help in mentoring and introducing her to the activities of the ICC board.
As the chief of the Safety Fire Commissioner’s Office, Garriss coordinates activities of the various industries regulated by the Safety Fire Commissioner throughout the state of Georgia. He believes that by working together and utilizing the “3E” principal of engineering, education and enforcement, code officials have the best chance of regulating building construction that may constitute a special hazard to property or to the life and safety of the building occupants, and providing a safer built environment for the citizens of Georgia and its visitors. He has strived to build working relationships between the fire and building officials of Georgia.
With an educational background in architecture from the University of Tennessee, Garriss started his career as a mechanical engineer project manager and then relocated to the Georgia Office of Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner in 1988 as a fire safety engineer. Since 1993, until he was appointed as the state fire marshal in 2011, he served as the assistant state fire marshal overseeing the Engineering and Inspection Division and the licensing of fire suppression contractors, inspectors and special hazard system technicians. Garriss has served as the Safety Fire Commissioner’s designee on the State Codes Advisory Committee for the Department of Community Affairs since the mid-1990s.
Currently the immediate past president of the Code Council Board of Directors, Garriss has been an active member of ICC’s Fire Code Council, including serving as chair. He has also served on two exam development committees and on the ICC Governance Review Committee, as well as the Joint Fire Service Review Committee as an ICC appointee, the Codes Correlating Committee and the Steering Committee.
During his term as board president, Garriss focused on uniting the numerous code disciplines and various stakeholder groups through his presidential theme “Many Voices for One Purpose,” which showcased his talent for bringing together code officials and design professionals from all walks of the industry.
“At the International Code Council, we are truly ‘Many Voices for One Purpose,’ and that purpose is to advance our mission of providing a safe built environment while serving our member jurisdictions,” Garriss explained. “The ‘many voices’ are all the members of the ICC, and the ‘one purpose’ is providing the highest-quality codes and standards for protecting the health, safety, and welfare of people in the built environment.”
Click here to see past recipients of the Excellence in Fire & Life Safety Award.