IAFF’s Pat Morrison honored for career of service 

As Chief of Field Services at the IAFF, Morrison spearheads initiatives to support fire fighter well-being. With a career spanning back to 1982, he’s a dedicated advocate for addressing behavioral health challenges within the firefighting community.

May 10 • 2024

IAFF Chief of Field Services Patrick Morrison was honored with the 2024 Congressional Fire Services Institute (CFSI) and Motorola Solutions Mason Lankford Fire Service Leadership Award at the 34th Annual National Fire and Emergency Services Dinner for his outstanding contributions to the fire service community. 

The award was first established in 1998 in honor of Lankford – the late Texas fire service leader whose mission was to make the profession safer for all members. 

“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,” said Mike Leonard, Vice President of Motorola Solutions Sales and Services. “His concern for their health and safety is reflected in the groundbreaking work he has performed throughout his career.” 

I can’t think of anyone who emulates Mason Lankford more than Pat Morrison.

Jim estepp, cfsi board of directors

CFSI Executive Director Bill Webb commended Morrison’s impact on the fires service and behavioral health, calling him a “difference-maker” who has done extraordinary things for the fire service.  

“I can’t think of anyone who emulates Mason Lankford more than Pat Morrison,” said Jim Estepp, President and CEO of the Greater Prince George’s Business Roundtable who serves on the CFSI Board of Directors. 

During his tenure in the fire service, Morrison observed significant shifts, particularly noting an increased awareness of behavioral health issues and a more collaborative approach to addressing them. 

General President Edward Kelly highlighted Morrison’s ability to see the human flaws in people and pull the good out of them, calling it his hidden talent driven by love. 

“The changes he made in the fire service around behavioral health – whether it’s our IAFF Center of Excellence for Behavioral Health Treatment and Recover, which over 3,000 members have gone through, 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.” 

In his acceptance speech, Morrison spoke of the importance of getting involved. 

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.

Patrick morrison, iaff chief of field services

“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.” 

IAFC President and Chief John Butler of Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department says the weight of Morrison’s work throughout the years has benefitted 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.” 

Morrison’s journey from unexpected beginnings to influential leadership exemplifies the power of dedication and compassion in the fire service, marking the continuation of a legacy poised to save lives for years to come.