Sanders honored with Gary Kistler Life Safety Educator Award

By Daniel Brunty

The Winston County Journal


The City of Louisville and Winston County are both fortunate areas in the state to have such a dedicated and hard working fire department that they can depend on. Residents know that if an emergency occurs that they can depend on a quick response and results.

Not many of them know, however, that one of the most important and vital aspects of the job are informing the public of fire prevention and safety.

With that being said, a sincere “thank you” goes out to LFD Lead Engineer/Fire & Life Safety Educator Detrick Sanders, winner of the 2013 Gary Kistler Life Safety Educator Award.

The award was established in memory of firefighter Chief Gary Kistler, who promoted the cause of fire and life safety in his community and throughout the state. He dedicated much of his life to public service and made major strides to bring fire and life safety to the Southern Division of Mississippi. Gary’s last call to duty was a rescue mission after Hurricane Katrina, which he is remembered by many for his passion for fire service and prevention.

The selection of the winner is determined through a statewide nomination process by fire department chiefs and/or department representatives, meaning Sanders was chosen for the award by his peers.

Sanders was presented the award during the 2013 Annual Mississippi Association of Public Fire Safety Conference in Tunica from April 17-18. This award is given as recognition of exceptional efforts in presenting fire prevention and other life safety education to the residents of Mississippi, specifically Winston County.

Sanders, who has been a career member of the LFD since 2007, became the department’s Fire & Life Safety educator in 2011, and has not looked back since. Besides providing the Fire & Life Safety Program to Winston County, Sanders has developed programs that have enhanced the knowledge of the community.

One of the most successful programs that Sanders has developed is the Fire Academy for Kids. This program, through the Mississippi Department of Health and Human Services, has provided basic educational skills to the pre-teen community to enhance their safety and provide an insight to the life experiences of firefighters.

Other programs that Sanders has helped developed or participated in are Car Safety Seat Checks for the community, presentations at schools, churches, and the community on the latest Fire and Life Safety concerns. He also provided the invaluable service to the community with the installation of smoke alarms from the Mississippi State Fire Marshal’s Fire Prevention Grant. To date, the program has installed over 650 smoke alarms in four counties. This alone was a tremendous achievement for one person. Sanders, on the other hand, used those opportunities to provide information on home safety and prevention, making sure the FULL Life Safety message is passed on in the community.

For his accomplishment, Sanders was rewarded by the City of Louisville Board of Alderman with record of his achievement by an outstanding employee of the city and a dedicated Fire Service Professional of the City of Louisville Fire Department during their May 7 meeting.

Sanders continues to provide the essence of community service to any individual, group, or organization that request assistance, education and information towards being safe and prevention of fire or injuries. His tireless work ethic and above-and-beyond professionalism in his presentations and duty to the community helped his peers chose Sanders for this prestigious award.