Former Fort McMurray Fire Chief Darby Allen Presented with the 2017 Canadian Public Relations Society (CPRS) President's Award

KELOWNA, BC, May 29, 2017 /CNW/ - For his leadership during the heroic fight against the 2016 Alberta wild fires, former Fire Chief Darby Allen is the recipient of the 2017 CPRS President's Award for Outstanding Public Relations and Communications Management. The prestigious public relations honour is awarded to an individual who demonstrates outstanding leadership through communications. Mr. Allen was presented with the award in Kelowna B.C. on May 29, by CPRS National President, Kim Blanchette, APR, FCPRS. 

"I'm honoured to present Darby Allen with the President's Award on behalf of the CPRS Board of Directors. Even while battling 'The Beast' chief Allen communicated with clarity and compassion, reassuring his community and the entire country," said Blanchette. "Mr. Allen's heroism and leadership during this time was instrumental in the evacuation of nearly 90,000 residents without a single loss of life as a result of the blaze and I'm privileged to be able to thank him on behalf of the Canadian Public Relations Society for his courageous efforts."

Allen, who has since retired from duty, became the face of the disaster by offering regular updates to Canadians throughout last May's fires, becoming a National hero who made saving lives his top priority.

"I am both honoured and delighted to receive this year's CPRS President's Award," said Allen. "I'd like to dedicate this to the men and women I had the pleasure of serving with and whose combined efforts were crucial in saving Fort McMurray and the surrounding areas from greater devastation last May."

The President's Award for Outstanding Public Relations and Communications Management is awarded by the CPRS Board of Directors to an individual with exceptional involvement in the promotion and practice of public relations. The award recognizes the outstanding effort of a Canadian who, through their communications, leads to the advancement and betterment of the public relations practice at large.

This is the eighth time that the CPRS President's Award for Outstanding Public Relations and Communications Management has been awarded to an individual. Past recipients of the award include: Canadian Astronaut Chris Hadfield, retired General Rick Hillier, the Man in Motion, Rick Hansen and Olympian turned motivational speaker Clara Hughes.

About CPRS

Founded in 1948, the Canadian Public Relations Society (CPRS) is a not-for-profit organization whose members are engaged in the practice, management or teaching of public relations. Members work to maintain the highest standards and to share a uniquely Canadian experience in public relations. CPRS is a federation of more than 2,500 members across 14 Member Societies based in major cities or organized province-wide.

SOURCE Canadian Public Relations Society

For further information: MEDIA CONTACT: Dan LaBelle, Specialist, Communications and Events, Canadian Public Relations Society, 416-917-1794,

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