Sanders, who possesses more than 31 years of fire and EMS experience, previously served as the assistant fire chief for the Sarasota County Fire Department in Sarasota, Florida. In that role, he oversaw all EMS operations among other responsibilities for the department of 527 operating out of 25 stations.
“Chief Sanders brings an extensive background in fire and EMS to this important position, and his proven track record of implementing progressive, efficient and economically responsible programs will benefit the department and our community tremendously,” City Manager Ann Wall said. “I have great confidence in his ability to lead and build upon the current successes of Greenville Fire/Rescue.”
Sanders will begin his new role on February 1.
“I am honored and humbled to be named the next Chief for Greenville Fire/Rescue,” Sanders said. “I look forward to working with the professional men and women of GFR and serving this vibrant and diverse community. The goal is for Greenville Fire/Rescue to become the benchmark fire and rescue organization in the region and deliver elite services.”
Sanders holds numerous fire and EMS certifications. He also boasts multiple accomplishments from his time as Assistant Fire Chief in Sarasota including, but not limited to, the design and implementation of a Rapid Response Program, a partnership with the Public Safety Communications Center to implement full EMS priority dispatch, the creation of a new quality assurance program for EMS, the implementation of 20 Advanced Life Support fire engines, and the implementation of an internal communications platform to ensure regular communication within the department.
While in Sarasota, he also led the planning and implementation of all policy, procedures, and operations regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. Prior to the role of Assistant Fire Chief, he served as EMS training captain, lieutenant, firefighter, paramedic, and field training officer in Sarasota.
Since obtaining his original firefighter certification in 1990 through the Sarasota Fire Academy, Sanders has been named the Fayette County Paramedic of the Year in 2000, the Sarasota County Firefighter/Paramedic of the Year in 2008, and the Sarasota County Officer of the Year in 2014.
In 2017, Sanders earned a Bachelor of Science in Public/EMS Administration from Columbia Southern University. Originally from Salt Lake City, Utah, he has three sons – John, 28, Trey, 18, and Jake, 15.
Sanders will fill the role that was vacated in September when former Chief Eric Griffin retired. Deputy Chief Brock Davenport has served as interim fire chief during the search for a new chief.
“I would like to thank Deputy Chief Davenport for all of his hard work as interim fire chief, and the commitment he showed in ensuring that the level of service for Greenville Fire/Rescue was maintained during this transition,” Wall said.
Greenville Fire/Rescue is an internationally accredited department through the Center for Public Safety Excellence and the Commission on Fire Accreditation International. The department consists of approximately 161 men and women who serve in six stations strategically placed throughout the city.