Reps from Fireman's Fun present grant to FRTIErin Vosbrink of Fireman’s Fund Insurance (center) presents a check to University of Missouri Extension’s Fire and Rescue Training Institute (MU FRTI) to support Basic Firefighter training. Accepting on behalf of the Institute are Director David Hedrick (left) and Associate Vice Provost for Extension Beverly Coberly (right).

The University of Missouri’s Fire and Rescue Training Institute (MU FRTI) recently received a grant from Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company through their Heritage Program® to support a firefighter training initiative in Missouri. The partnership support between MU FRTI and Fireman’s Fund will provide the Institute’s Basic Firefightercourse at no cost to four selected fire departments in Missouri. This course provides the basic skills to address the initial training needs of new firefighters, as well as the continuing refresher training needs of existing firefighters. This training will improve firefighter proficiency resulting in a reduction in loss of lives and property.

Fireman’s Fund is a premier property and casualty insurance company. It was founded in 1863 with a social mission to give a portion of its profits to support the fire service. Throughout its history, Fireman’s Fund has carried on a heritage of community involvement through volunteer programs and corporate giving. Today, Fireman’s Fund continues its founding mission to support firefighters through its award-winning Heritage Program®.

Erin Vosbrink, of Fireman's Fund Insurance Company, attended a meeting at MU FRTI in Columbia, MO, on January 10, 2015, and presented an $8,000 check to the Institute to support the training initiative. The fire departments that were selected to host the training classes were carefully chosen by Fireman’s Fund and MU FRTI and are located throughout the state. The participating fire departments are: Lincoln County Fire Protection District # 1 in Troy, MO; Cherokee Pass Volunteer Fire Department in Fredericktown, MO; Chadwick Rural Fire Department in Chadwick, MO; and King City Fire Department in King City, MO.

Missouri’s 5.9 million citizens are served by an estimated 24,000 firefighters of which approximately 80% are volunteers. According to Missouri’s Fire Incident Report System, firefighters responded to over 375,000 incidents in 2013 which equates to one response every 1.4 minutes.

Director Hedrick acknowledged the importance of the funding support for training by saying, “This training initiative supported by the Fireman’s Fund Insurance Heritage Program provides essential training that will enable safer firefighters, safer citizens, and safer communities in Missouri.”

MU FRTI is charged with the responsibility of providing comprehensive continuing professional education training to Missouri’s fire service and emergency response personnel. The Institute provides training to approximately 14,000 fire and emergency service first responders each year.