Fire Stories

Fire stories from the national parks highlight events, incidents, and the like, associated with fire and fuels management, as well as fire education, technology, partnerships, and more. Stories highlight work related to Department of the Interior initiatives as well as local and regional initiatives.

Susan Keys, Saguaro National Park Fire Program Management Assistant, Receives Jeanie Harris Award

Saguaro National Park, Arizona

Susan Keys and John Thornburg stand near the award.

Susan Keys, fire program management assistant at Saguaro National Park, is presented with the 2013 Jeanie Harris Award. Pictured with Susan is John Thornburg, fire management officer for Saguaro National Park and the Coronado National Forest Santa Catalina Ranger District. NPS photo.

Susan Keys, the fire program management assistant at Saguaro National Park, has been selected as the recipient of the 2013 Jeanie Harris Award.

Established in 2004, the Jeanie Harris Award commemorates the legacy of service of Jeanie Harris, an Intermountain Region fire budget analyst. It honors a National Park Service (NPS) fire program management assistant or a fire budget analyst, at either the regional or park level. Individuals nominated for the award have made exemplary contributions to the support and improvement of the NPS Fire and Aviation Management Program, fostered an environment of cooperation with interagency partners, and represented the fire program in a positive light.

Susan has been recognized as an asset to Saguaro National Park and to Fire and Aviation Management through her commitment to the job, her positive attitude, and her willingness to mentor and train other employees. Through it all, she perseveres over adversity with dignity, grace, and humor.

In the nomination, Susan was recognized as a leader in the fire administration support organization by providing incident business guidance to 10 parks and ensuring they understand the budgetary authorities and requirements of incident business. As a member of an interagency fire organization, Susan sets a standard of professional competency and works diligently with fire staff from Coronado National Forest and regularly assists in completing audits and processing fire qualification cards. In addition, she manages over 100 red-carded personnel and numerous casual employees for Saguaro National Park and other Southern Arizona NPS units.

She has periodically served as acting administrative officer for Saguaro National Park and has also served as the parkā??s charge card agency/organization program coordinator. Susan has high standards and a tremendous work ethic and serves as a positive role model for employees, not only in the fire division but for the whole park. She often works behind the scenes, keeping things running as smoothly as possible. During the October 2011 BioBlitz at Saguaro National Park, she served as ground support lead, overseeing the logistics to move 677 scientists, students, visitors, and employees to multiple locations over a four-day period.

Susan has also taken on a valuable role of serving as an Operational Leadership trainer, and has helped instruct numerous courses with students from many parks and other federal agencies. Her visible, sincere concern for peopleā??s safety and her promotion of a safe work culture is a credit to the NPS.

Contact: Christine Peters, Incident Business Specialist

Email: christine_peters@nps.gov

Phone: (208) 407-6558