COLUMBIA, Mo. – David E. Hedrick, director of the University of Missouri Fire and Rescue Training Institute (MU FRTI), has announced that he will be retiring in October 2017. Hedrick joined MU FRTI as director in 2007.

Based on the MU campus, MU FRTI is a continuing education unit of MU Extension that provides training statewide to approximately 13,000 fire and emergency service first responders each year, enabling them to better protect lives and property within their communities.

“The training of fire service personnel has been a career-long commitment for me, and it has been an honor to have served as the director of the institute,” said Hedrick. “In collaboration with our fire service partners, the training provided by the faculty and staff of the institute has enabled safer firefighters, safer citizens and safer communities in Missouri.”

Hedrick has been involved in fire and emergency services since 1977, beginning his career as a firefighter/EMT and later serving as a volunteer fire chief. He is the former director of fire service training with the Tennessee Fire Service & Codes Enforcement Academy and a former assistant director of the firefighter training program at Louisiana State University, where he also received a Certified Public Manager designation. He served as vice president of the North American Fire Training Directors from 2009 to 2013.

Hedrick received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Tennessee and has professional designations from the Commission on Professional Credentialing as both a Chief Fire Officer and a Chief Training Officer.

“MU Extension wishes to recognize Director Hedrick for his vision and leadership, which has resulted in statewide educational outreach addressing the training needs of Missouri’s emergency first responders,” said Associate Vice Chancellor for Extension and Engagement Blake Naughton.

MU FRTI Associate Director Kevin Zumwalt has been appointed to serve as interim director of the institute. “Extension is proud of the technical training and assistance the institute provides throughout the state for our emergency service first responders,” Naughton said. “We have every confidence in interim Director Zumwalt in continuing the mission of the institute.”

For more information about the institute, visit