IFD Chief Sanford talks retirement, ALS, proudest moment

Chief Sanford talks with 24-Hour News 8 (WISH Photo)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Brian Sanford is stepping down as the Indianapolis Fire Department’s Fire Chief.

On Thursday, he spoke with 24-Hour News 8 for the first time about his struggle with ALS.

Sanford was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s Disease back in June of 2011. The 57-year-old says he’s doing well, but is starting to experience symptoms like limited movement in his left hand and left leg. His brother is also battling ALS.

Story | IFD chief to retire, take new post

Thursday afternoon, 24-Hour News 8 spoke with Sanford at his office to talk about how he’s doing.

“It’s tough, you know, it is what it is,” Sanford said. “Stays in the back of your mind. I certainly–through seeing his progression and understanding the disease–I know where it’s headed and it takes different courses. Some people it affects and moves very rapidly. Life expectancy is not real long in most ALS cases, because many times it gets to the respiratory system first, so I am on a, what’s for ALS is considered a slow course. So I know I’ve noticed some declines certainly and it is starting to have a cumulative effects on me, but overall I am fortunate that it’s moving slow.”

Sanford has been chief since 2008. He will stay on until a replacement is found.

Despite his illness, Sanford plans to become Chief of Staff to Public Safety Director Troy Riggs.

He said his proudest accomplishment was helping to pull everyone together when five of the city’s township fire departments merged with IFD.

WISHTV.com provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s