Mason Lankford Fire Service Leadership Award

Previous Recipients

2014 Winner -
James M. Shannon, President, National Fire Protection Association

2013 Winner -
Chief Ron Sciarnicki, Executive Director, National Fallen Firefighters Foundation

2012 Winner -
Marcine D. Goodloe, Montgomery County (MD) Volunteer Fire-Rescue Association

2011 Winner - Ronny Coleman, National Fire Heritage Center

2010 - Kevin O'Connor, International Association of Fire Fighters

2009 - Steve Edwards, Maryland Fire and Rescue Institute

2008 - Hal Bruno, National Fallen Firefighters Foundation

2007 - Garry Briese (ret.), International Association of Fire Chiefs

2006 - Meri-K Appy, Home Safety Council

2005 - Chief Alan Caldwell, International Association of Fire Chiefs

2004 - Chief R. David Paulison, FEMA Director

2003 - Chief Dennis Compton, International Fire Service Training Association

2002 - Chief Raymond M. Downey, FDNY (Posthumously)

2001 - Chief John Eversole, Chicago Fire Department

2000 - Paul Boecker, Lisle Woodridge (IL) Fire District

1999 - E. James Monihan, NVFC

Fire Service Person of the Year
1998 - John Mason Lankford (Posthumously)

1997 - Anthony O'Neill, NFPA

1996 - Steve Austin, DVFA

1993 - Hal Bruno, National Fallen Firefighters Foundation

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Mission Statement

The CFSI/Motorola Solutions Mason Lankford Fire Service Leadership Award was established to recognize individuals who have been proactive at the local, state, or federal government level to improve fire/emergency services and life safety issues.

About the Award
Mason Lankford Award

Jointly sponsored by the Congressional Fire Services Institute (CFSI) and Motorola Solutions since 1998, the award exemplifies the work of the late Mason Lankford. Mason's legacy resonates in the message he would impart calling for a stronger fire service without leaving anyone behind. Mason waged his best battles not on the fire ground, but in congressional and state legislative offices. He did not look at issues with any predisposition that favored one group over another. Mason sought a fire service that stressed preparation and readiness of all responders.

Who Was Mason Lankford

Mason LankfordJ. Mason Lankford, Jr. devoted much of his life to the fire service. A native of Texas, Mason served in various capacities, including Tarrant County (TX) Fire Marshal. When Congressman Curt Weldon (PA) sought congressional support for a Fire Caucus, Mason recruited the Texas delegation, including then-House Speaker Jim Wright, who was a pivotal player in its successful launch.

Eligibility and Requirements

Award Goals | Award Eligibility | Selection Committee | Award | Award Submission

Award Goals

Each year individuals from the fire and emergency services community can be nominated to receive the CFSI/Motorola Solutions Mason Lankford Fire Service Leadership Award. Candidates should exemplify one or more of the following goals:

  • Leadership in promoting and supporting fire/emergency service and life safety issues

  • Advancing the readiness of the Fire/EMS services at any level of government (local, county, state, federal).

  • Strengthening fire safety through the development of fire prevention programs.

  • Act as a catalyst to improve the fire service.

Award Eligibility

  • A candidate can be employed by a government agency, private organization, be self-employed, or serve in a voluntary capacity

  • The actions or achievements for which the candidate is being considered must have a positive impact in advancing the readiness of the fire and EMS services at any level of government (local, county, state, or federal)

  • A candidate must be nominated by someone other than him/herself, and CFSI must receive letters of support from at least two elected public officials who are familiar with the candidate's leadership in the fire service. It is not imperative that the elected officials both serve at the same level (i.e.; federal, state, or local).

  • A candidate must have a fire service or EMS background or have served a significant role in the fire and life safety community

Selection Committee

The Selection Committee is comprised of the CFSI Board of Directors and Chairman of the CFSI National Advisory Committee. The award recipient will be the sole decision of the committee.


  • The recipient of the CFSI/Motorola Solutions Mason Lankford Fire Service Leadership Award will be honored at the 27th Annual National Fire and Emergency Services Dinner held on April 16, 2015 in Washington, D.C.

  • The winner will receive a trip to Washington, D.C. to attend the dinner. This includes airfare and hotel accommodations.

Award Submission

  • To be considered for this award, the candidate must be nominated by someone other than him/herself.

  • An abstract of between 200-500 words detailing how the candidate has worked to promote fire service issues must be included along with the nomination form.

  • The application must include the written recommendation of two (2) elected officials at either the state or federal level.


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