MU Fire & Rescue Training Institute (MU FRTI) celebrated 30 years as an accredited institute within the University of Missouri on July 1, 2012. This year also denotes the Institute’s 80th year as a training program. The roots of MU FRTI can be traced back to 1933, when mid-Missouri fire departments joined with the University of Missouri to address the need for more advanced training. Through these efforts, the first Missouri Central Fire School was conducted that same year. The purpose of the first “school” was to provide “training that was needed for firefighters to perform their duties safely and efficiently.” Before the end of the 1940s, state fire training found a permanent full time home with the University of Missouri and by 1982, acquired the formal name, MU Fire & Rescue Training Institute.
The Institute is renowned for its excellence in fire and emergency preparedness programming (essential occupational training) as well as its engagement with the community and emergency responders. MU FRTI is hailed as one of the leading statewide fire training systems in the country. On June 20, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon recognized this monumental anniversary with a proclamation declaring the outstanding value of MU FRTI.
MU FRTI Director David Hedrick said: “The dedicated work of our predecessors, University and Extension administrators, Program Directors, and Missouri Fire Service officials, enabled the program to gain this recognition and designation as an Institute. Their vision and planning have helped to ensure the long term availability of training resources for Missouri firefighters.” The training and education provided by the Institute is designed to develop and enable more competent and safer firefighters as well as safer communities for the citizens of Missouri and beyond.
MU FRTI is an Institute of the University of Missouri Extension and is charged with the responsibility of providing comprehensive continuing professional education training to Missouri's fire service and emergency response personnel. During fiscal year 2012, MU FRTI provided critical training and education to over 17,000 firefighters from every corner of the state.