MU Fire and Rescue Training Institute to Receive Federal Grant

Posted on: 21 April 2014

The University of Missouri Fire and Rescue Training Institute (MU FRTI) is pleased to announce that it will be the recipient of a fiscal year 2013 Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) from the Department of Homeland Security/Federal Emergency Management Agency.

The purpose of the AFG program “is to enhance through direct financial assistance, the health and safety of the public and firefighting personnel and provide a continuum of support for emergency responders regarding fire, medical, and all hazard events.” (FY2013 AFG FOA p.4)

MU FRTI was eligible to apply for the State Fire Training Academy portion of the grant. This is the first year that state fire training systems in the United States were eligible for AFG as a result of a change in the federal statue as part of the Fire Grants Reauthorization Act of 2012. Under this grant, the Institute was eligible to apply for equipment and personal protective equipment only. The eligible grant categories included equipment to support the delivery of training and training props/evolutions.

MU FRTI conducts 75 percent of its training courses at the local level throughout the state and is known for “bringing training to the student.”  To enable this field delivery, MU FRTI uses mobile training props and equipment trailers to make the training as realistic and accessible as possible. This includes, where necessary, the transport of specialized fire training props and equipment to training locations throughout Missouri. The Institute has a fleet of 21 trailers that range from small cargo trailers to semi-tractor trailers. In planning for the grant, the Institute identified critical training props and equipment necessary to support new training initiatives and sustain current capabilities.

The Institute’s grant request included capital funding to procure equipment to support its technical rescue training programs. The grant budget includes funding for a grain engulfment rescue simulator system, replacement of three technical rescue equipment trailers, and swiftwater/boat rescue equipment.

The AFG approved project cost for MU FRTI’s grant award was $284,844. The AFG program requires a 15 percent match for recipients under the state fire academy program. To assist the Institute in meeting the grant match requirement, the University of Missouri Office of Research committed to fund half the local match for the grant through its Program for Research Infrastructure and Matching Expenses (PRIME).

Due to the large geographic area covered by the state and the 80 percent volunteer makeup of the state’s fire service, it is essential that the Institute’s training courses be offered throughout the state at the local level. MU FRTI operations budget is approximately 80 percent self-generated through fees, contracts and grants.

MU FRTI is a program of University of Missouri Extension and is charged with providing comprehensive continuing professional education training to Missouri's fire service and emergency response personnel. In 2012 the Fire and Rescue Training Institute celebrated its 80th anniversary as an outreach program with the university and its 30th anniversary as an accredited institute of the University of Missouri.

During fiscal year 2013, MU FRTI provided critical training and education to more than 13,000 firefighters representing every county of the state, equating to more than 185,000 student instructional hours.