The Ahrens Playground Safety Advocate of the Year is given to an individual who has made many contributions to playground safety. George Sushinsky is the individual who was chosen this year. George was a mechanical engineer with a B.S. from Notre Dame and an M.S. from University of Maryland. He worked for CPSC from 1984 to 2005, helped to oversee the CPSC playground surface testing which was revealed in the CPSC Public Use Handbook and the Home Playground Handbook. He started working on surfacing in 1997, while surface testing actually started in the late 70’s at the National Bureau of Standards (now NIST) and continued in the 80’s at CPSC. He serves on the ASTM surfacing task group that did a major revision of F1292 in 2004 that resulted in greatly improve test (+/- 10% vs +/- 5-10% precision). He is a longtime member of ASTM and serves on 17 F15 subcommittees. He has been chair of F08.63, surfacing subcommittee, since May of 2008. In addition, George serves on the Rockville, MD Recreation and Parks advisory board and provides guidance on playground issues and youth sports, and advises the City of Rockville staff regarding surfacing issues. The city is changing from loose-fill materials to poured-in-place materials. They will start a comprehensive evaluation of the surfacing properties during this spring of 2014.
As an advocate for safe play areas, George has made a difference I numerous children’s lives throughout the country. Congratulations to George for being named the 2014 Ahrens Playground Safety Advocate of the Year.