State Fire Marshal Commission Awards Sanders for Positive Legislation

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Contact: State Rep. Mike Sanders

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OKLAHOMA CITY – State Rep. and House Majority Leader Mike Sanders today received an award from the State Fire Marshal Commission for his work on House Bill 1833.


The bill saves state taxpayers $1.4 million and moves the Council on Firefighter Training (COFT) to the Office of the State Fire Marshal, a non-appropriated state agency.


“In a tight fiscal year, we had to look at saving taxpayer money and downsizing government,” said Sanders, R-Kingfisher. “We were able to do this by finding a revenue stream for COFT and moving it from a pass-through agency into one that has greater oversight and accountability."


The State Fire Marshal’s Office works with businesses, churches and others throughout the state to prevent loss of life and property, to promote safety and awareness and to conduct fire investigations.


COFT works with all state volunteer fire departments to make sure Oklahoma firefighters are ready for any emergency.


HB1833 ensures the council continues but instead of receiving a state appropriation will be funded through fire insurance premiums.


“I knew we had to preserve the critical work performed by COFT,” Sanders said, “And because of a similar focus in missions, I could see the council working very well under the umbrella of the State Fire Marshal.”


Sanders said he was inspired to preserve COFT in memory of former COFT Executive Director and former Oklahoma City Assistant Fire Chief Jon Hansen. Hansen served the Oklahoma City Fire Department during the Oklahoma City bombing and was a tireless proponent of fire safety education. He died in April 2016.


“Chief Hansen worked hard to build COFT into the service it is today,” said Sanders, “I accept this award in his honor and will continue to work to fulfill his mission and preserve his legacy.”


The award says Sanders is recognized for his “endless support of the needs of the Oklahoma Fire Service and the citizens of the state of Oklahoma with the passage of HB1833.”


The award ceremony was held at the Oklahoma State University-Oklahoma City Public Safety Training Center. State Fire Marshal Robert Doke presented the award.