IAFF’s Patrick Morrison receives prestigious Mason Lankford Fire Service Leadership Award

May 13, 2024

IAFF Chief honored at national dinner

As reported by the International Association of Fire Fighters, Patrick Morrison, the Chief of Field Services at IAFF, has been awarded the 2024 Congressional Fire Services Institute (CFSI) and Motorola Solutions Mason Lankford Fire Service Leadership Award.

The accolade was presented at the 34th Annual National Fire and Emergency Services Dinner in recognition of Morrison’s long-standing dedication and impactful contributions to the fire service community.

Career dedication and leadership

Morrison’s commitment to firefighter well-being and behavioral health has been a cornerstone of his career since 1982.

His leadership in spearheading initiatives aimed at addressing these critical issues was specifically honored at the event.

Mike Leonard, Vice President of Motorola Solutions Sales and Services, highlighted Morrison’s efforts: “Through our involvement on the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation Board of Directors, I have developed a greater appreciation for Pat’s commitment and dedication to our nation’s fire fighters.”

Impact on behavioral health in firefighting

The significance of Morrison’s work was echoed by multiple leaders in the fire service community.

CFSI Executive Director Bill Webb and Jim Estepp, President and CEO of the Greater Prince George’s Business Roundtable, both referred to Morrison as a “difference-maker” in the field.

Estepp added: “I can’t think of anyone who emulates Mason Lankford more than Pat Morrison.”

During his tenure, Morrison has witnessed and influenced major shifts in the fire service, particularly in the area of behavioral health.

General President Edward Kelly lauded Morrison’s unique ability to recognize and nurture the potential in individuals, which has had a profound impact on the profession.

“The changes he made in the fire service around behavioral health – whether it’s our IAFF Center of Excellence for Behavioral Health Treatment and Recovery, the 12,000 members trained as peer supporters, or the clinicians’ programs where we teach professionals about our specific needs – have, and will continue to, save thousands of fire fighters lives,” said Kelly.

Morrison’s reflections on service and legacy

In his acceptance speech, Morrison emphasized the importance of active involvement and resilience in developing effective programs.

“There’s a lot of young people out there. This fire service needs you. We want you to be part of this. Remember … it’s not easy. You have to champion something.

“Every program that I’ve seen, if it doesn’t have pain and sweat behind it, it wasn’t a program that was worth building,” Morrison stated.

IAFC President and Chief John Butler of Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department also spoke highly of Morrison, noting the significant influence of his work on many leaders, including himself.

“The Fairfax County Occupational Center is named after him, and we don’t take naming things lightly in Fairfax County,” Butler said.

“The ability for us to identify conditions, treat them, and get people back to their families is the biggest legacy anyone can want, and Pat is living that. He is that.”

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