The University of Missouri’s Fire & Rescue Training Institute (MU FRTI) presented the Fire Service Instructor of the Year award for 2012-2013 at the annual Instructor’s Conference on October 12, 2013. The conference and awards ceremony were held at the Country Club Hotel and Spa in Lake of the Ozarks, MO.
This year’s recipient of the MU FRTI Instructor of the Year award is Jim Weaver, Battalion Chief with the Columbia Fire Department in Columbia, MO. MU FRTI Director David Hedrick said, “Instructor Weaver exemplifies excellence in fire service instruction and we are proud of his dedicated service with the Institute.” Weaver has been an adjunct instructor with the MU FRTI program since 1994. Weaver was unable to attend the ceremony during the conference; he was presented his award at a special ceremony at the Columbia Fire Department Training Academy in Columbia, MO on Oct. 24.
Weaver began his fire service career in California in the early 1990s. In October of 1993, he became a fulltime firefighter for the Columbia Fire Department. Through the years, he was promoted through the ranks, serving as an Assistant Fire Marshal from 1997 to 2001 and Fire Captain from 2001 to 2007. During part of this period, he was the department’s Training Officer. In 2007, he was promoted to Battalion Chief. Weaver holds State of Missouri Division of Fire Safety certifications as a Fire Service Instructor III, Fire Investigator, and Fire Inspector. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts and has worked as a commercial photographer and graphic designer.
Weaver has been the recipient of the MU FRTI Highest Course Instructor Performance Rating multiple times as an adjunct instructor and was a First Runner-Up for Fire Instructor of the Year in 2004.
In addition to the award given to Battalion Chief Weaver, MU FRTI recognized the first and second runners-up for the Instructor of the Year. Bruce Piringer, Adjunct Instructor and former Director with the Institute in Columbia, MO, was First Runner-Up and Fire Chief Jon Trent, with Nixa Fire Protection District in Nixa, MO, 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. Through the classes they teach, MU FRTI Instructors enable Missouri firefighters do their work better and more safely by providing the best and most relevant training and education.
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 13,800 fire and emergency service first responders received training from the Institute. The Institute has a cadre of over 160 adjunct instructors.
Fire and Rescue Training Institute
University of Missouri Extension