The Congressional Fire Services Institute’s (CFSI) Board of Directors selected Mr. Kevin O’Connor of the International Association of Fire Fighters as the recipient of the 2010 CFSI/Motorola Mason Lankford Fire Service Leadership Award. The presentation will take place at the 22nd Annual National Fire and Emergency Services Dinner on April 29, 2010 at the Hilton Washington, in Washington, DC.
Established in 1998, the Mason Lankford Fire Service Leadership Award recognizes individuals who have been proactive at the local, state, or federal government level to improve fire/emergency services and life safety issues. 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.
A veteran of the fire service since 1983, Mr. O’Connor currently serves as Assistant to the General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters. In addition, he is the outgoing chairperson of the CFSI National Advisory Committee.
During his career with the Baltimore County Fire Department, O’Connor held a number of leadership positions at the local and state levels and received accommodations for bravery. As Assistant to the IAFF General President, O’Connor supervises the IAFF’s Governmental Affairs and Public Policy Division.
In letters of support from members of Congress, O’Connor was praised for his integrity, character and his commitment to addressing the needs of all firefighters. “Kevin has always been sensitive to the concerns I have in representing both career and volunteer firefighters and has long recognized that in order to advance the cause of first responders, you must always take into consideration the best interest of the entire fire service community,” said Congressman Steny Hoyer. Congressman Peter King offered similar praise: “While he [O’Connor] represents the International Association of Fire Fighters, he is a trusted and loyal advocate on behalf of all firefighters.”
For the past two years, O’Connor has served as Chairperson of the CFSI National Advisory Committee where he provided leadership and support on a broad range of CFSI initiatives. “Kevin’s contributions to the fire service as consensus builder and a leading voice in Washington for our nation’s fire and emergency services has earned him widespread recognition from members of Congress and fire service leaders, alike” said CFSI President Bill Jenaway. “The CFSI Board of Directors extends its thanks and appreciation to Kevin for his contributions and looks forward to honoring him at the National Fire and Emergency Services Dinner on April 29th.”
Past recipients of the award include:
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, National Volunteer Fire Council
For more information about the dinner and other events scheduled in conjunction with the dinner, visit the CFSI website at www.cfsi.org. The annual National Fire and Emergency Services Dinner benefits the mission of the Congressional Fire Services Institute, a nonprofit policy organization designed to educate members of Congress about fire and life safety issues.