Chief Russ Sanders to be Recognized at the 31st Annual National Fire and Emergency Services Dinner

The Congressional Fire Services Institute’s Board of Directors selected Chief Russ Sanders as the recipient of the 2019 CFSI/Motorola Solutions Mason Lankford Fire Service Leadership Award. The presentation will take place at the 31st Annual National Fire and Emergency Services Dinner on April 25, 2019, at the Washington Hilton, in Washington, DC.

Chief Sanders has been a member of the fire and emergency services since 1967. For over 27 years, he served as a member of the Louisville (KY) Fire Department, including nine years as chief of the department. Among his achievements as chief, Sanders worked with city officials and the public to pass legislation mandating that all unsprinklered high-rise buildings in the city be retrofitted with automatic sprinkler protection. The measure was approved proactively and not in response to a major fire, adding to the significance of this legislative accomplishment.

Throughout his distinguished career, Sanders has held leadership positions in numerous national and international organizations and committees, including Executive Secretary of the Metropolitan Fire Chiefs Association and the Director of Central Field Operations for the National Fire Protection Association. On the international level, he serves as the President of the United States Delegation to the Comite Technique Internationale de Prevention and d ’Extinction de Feu. He also is the NFPA representative to the European Fire Service, the National Fire Chiefs Council of the United Kingdom, the Institution of Fire Engineers, the Australasian Fire and Emergency Services Authorities Council and the Global Fire Service Leadership Alliance.

“Russ Sanders has distinguished himself on so many levels and in so many areas within the fire and emergency services,” said Dr. William F. Jenaway, CFSI President. “He has made significant contributions in the areas of public safety and prevention, research, codes and standards, and leadership. Like the late-Mason Lankford, he has dedicated his career to building a stronger and safer profession for all who serve. The CFSI Board of Directors congratulates him and looks forward to honoring him on April 25, 2019.”

For additional information about the 31st Annual National Fire and Emergency Services Symposium and Dinner, visit This event benefits the mission of the Congressional Fire Services Institute, a nonprofit, nonpartisan policy organization designed to educate members of Congress about fire and life safety issues.