Minnesota Team Visits with NFPA Regional Director Russ Sanders

The National Fire Protection Association’s (NFPA) Central Regional Director, Russ Sanders, is a very busy guy! In addition to representing NFPA programs and projects in their Central Region (IL, IN, IA, KY, MN, MO, and WI), he is the Executive Secretary of NFPA’s Metropolitan Fire Chiefs Section and NFPA’s representative on the International Technical Committee for the Prevention and Extinction of Fire. He is the former Fire Chief of the Louisville, Kentucky Fire Department. Russ travels to more than 50 countries to help local officials adopt and apply NFPA standards and fire safety building codes.

NFSA State Coordinator Joel Hewitt and North Central Regional Manager Tim Butler caught up with Russ on his recent flight layover in Bloomington, Minnesota. Both Tim and Joel have known Russ for a number of years, and the meeting gave all of us a chance to “catch up” and to discuss Russ’s activities in NFPA and NFSA’s work in the North Central Region. Most importantly for NFSA members, we had the opportunity to pick Russ’s brain on strategies and recommendations for forming statewide fire sprinkler coalitions. Coalitions can be powerful tools to help educate the public; elected officials; AHJ fire, code, and building officials; and home builders, about fire sprinklers.

Russ provided resource documents from NFPA’s Fire Sprinkler Initiative (which is primarily focused on the adoption of fire-sprinkler legislation and code development), and we discussed the work of the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition (primarily focused on home fire sprinkler education and adoption).

Our meeting with Russ was most beneficial and enjoyable, and we look forward to seeing Russ again in the future and further exploring coalition development in the North Central Region.

(L-R): Tim, Russ, and Joel

For more information on the National Fire Protection Association, visit their website at: https://www.nfpa.org/