The University of Missouri’s Fire & Rescue Training Institute (MU FRTI) presented the Fire Service Instructor of the Year for 2011 – 2012 awards at the annual Instructor’s Conference on October 20, 2012. The conference and awards ceremony were held at the Resort at Port Arrowhead in Lake Ozark, MO.
This year’s recipient of the MU FRTI Instructor of the Year award was Randall J. Ragan Assistant Chief with the Lincoln County Fire Protection District # 1 in Troy, MO. MU FRTI Director David Hedrick said, “Instructor Ragan exemplifies excellence in fire service instruction and we are proud of his dedicated service with the Institute.” Ragan has been an adjunct instructor with the MU FRTI program since 2009.
Ragan began his fire service career as a volunteer in 1997 with Lincoln County Fire Protection District # 1. In April of 2000, he became a full time employee with the department. He was promoted to Assistant Chief in 2007. Ragan holds State of Missouri Division of Fire Safety certifications as a Fire Service Instructor II and Fire Officer II. In 2009, he graduated from the MU FRTI Fire Service Leadership Enhancement Program, and in 2011 he completed the MU FRTI Company Officer Certificate Program.
Ragan has a passion for providing the very best in fire service instruction. He is thorough and well-prepared in his instructional approach and takes training very seriously. He has adopted a fire service adage that drives his teaching approach, “Let no man's ghost return to say his training let him down.”
In addition to the award given to Assistant Chief Ragan, MU FRTI recognized the first and second runners-up for the Instructor of the Year. Michael Arnhart, Chief of the High Ridge Fire Protection District in High Ridge, MO, was First Runner-Up and Instructor Leslie F. Crews, Task Force Leader with the Missouri Task Force One/ Urban Search and Rescue Team was Second Runner-Up. Director Hedrick acknowledged the important job that all fire service instructors perform by saying, “Fire Instructors have the responsibility of preparing the firefighter to competently perform skills and techniques necessary in saving lives and property of the citizens they serve. The potential impact that each instructor can make through each class they deliver is incalculable. MU FRTI is proud of the excellence in fire service instruction provided by our faculty and their dedicated service with the Institute.”
The MU FRTI is charged with the responsibility of providing comprehensive continuing professional education training to Missouri’s fire service and emergency response personnel. Last year over 17,000 fire and emergency service first responders received training from the Institute. The Institute has a cadre of over 200 adjunct instructors.