Past Directors

David E Hedrick

David E. Hedrick

Director

MU Fire and Rescue Training Institute
2007 — 2017

David E. Hedrick served as a Director from 2007 to 2017. He received his Bachelor’s degree from the University of Tennessee, and a Certified Public Manager degree from Louisiana State University’s Governmental Services Institute. He received professional designations from the Commission on Professional Credentialing as both a Chief Fire Officer in 2003 and Chief Training Officer in 2012. He has been involved in fire and emergency services since 1977, beginning his career as a Firefighter/EMT, and has served as a volunteer fire chief. He is the former Director of Fire Service Training with the Tennessee Fire & Codes Academy, and a former Assistant Director at the LSU Fireman Training Program. Hedrick served as the Vice President of the North American Fire Training Directors (NAFTD) from 2009 to 2013.

Gary Wilson

Gary Wilson

Director

MU Fire and Rescue Training Institute
2002 — 2006

Wilson’s fire service experience began in 1977 and at this time has included work as both a career professional and volunteer firefighter. He has an associate degree with emphasis in fire prevention, a bachelor’s degree in management and human relations and is a Missouri fire service instructor level IV. He also brings eight years of experience from the Fire Service Training program at the University of Kansas. First, Wilson will go on to lead MU FRTI on an interim basis for two years after previously serving as associate director for five years, overseeing the institute’s day-to-day operations as well as curriculum development. He will then be appointed as director.

Bruce R. Piringer

Bruce R. Piringer

Director

MU Fire and Rescue Training Institute
1986 — 2002

Bruce R. Piringer provides his expertise and experience to his new position at the MU Fire and Rescue Training Institute. Having previously spent five years as a Fire Service Management Specialist with the National Fire Academy at the Federal Emergency Management Agency, he is well suited for the task of director. He will continue with the program until 2002 when he retires, but remains active with the program as an adjunct instructor lending his advice and knowledge.

Paul Adams

Paul Adams

Director

Missouri Fire and Rescue Training Institute
1984 — 1986

Unfortunately some of our history has been lost over the years. We are currently working on updating this section.

A. William (Bill) Westhoff, Jr.

A. William (Bill) Westhoff, Jr.

Coordinator of Fire Training/Director

Firemanship Training Program/Missouri Fire and Rescue Training Institute
1973 — 1982

Having graduated from Oklahoma State University with a degree in Fire Protection along with a Bachelors and Masters Degree in Industrial Education, A. William (Bill) Westhoff, Jr. brings a vast amount of knowledge with him to the fire training program. Along with his degree he brought the experience from being the first Fire Chief for the Boone County Fire Protection District. Previously he had also acquired nearly ten years of experience within the University of Missouri program as an instructor before being appointed as the coordinator and finally with a title change is named as the director.

W. Bush Walden

W. Bush Walden

Coordinator of Fire Training

Firemanship Training Program
1957 — 1973

After many years with the Firemanship Training program at the University of Missouri. W. Bush Walden is appointed as the Coordinator of Fire Training. Individual classes as well as regional schools and the continuation of the annual state fire school in Columbia headed the list of the many objectives for Walden and the program.

Joe Fetters

Joe Fetters

Administrator

Firemanship Training Program
1949 — 1957

Having previously worked for the Nebraska State Department of Vocational Education as well as the Illinois Fire College, Joe Fetters joined the Missouri fire training program. He previously worked for a number of years as a Firemanship Instructor Assistant within the program at the University of Missouri. He also continued to work in conjunction with the program in Illinois, sharing techniques and training ideas. He would eventually go back to Illinois and is currently listed as being the Director Emeritus of the University of Illinois Fire College.

W. Bush Walden

W. Bush Walden

Field Training Instructor

Firemanship Training Program
1941 — 1949

After spending many years with the City of Columbia Fire Department, Captain W. Bush Walden is appointed by the State Department of Vocational Education to lead and conduct training throughout the state. His teaching credentials and capabilities became well known and he laid the groundwork for training the fire service in Missouri.

Newspaper

Missouri Fire College

1933 — 1946

The annual Missouri Fire College was operated as a part-time program in partnership between the fire service of mid-Missouri and under the Division of Adult Education and Guided Intensive Studies at the University of Missouri.