The University of Missouri’s Fire & Rescue Training Institute (MU FRTI) presented the Fire Service Instructor of the Year award for2015-2016 at the annual Instructor’s Conference on November 5, 2016. The conference and awards ceremony were held at the Camden on the Lake Resort in Lake Ozarks, MO.
This year’s recipient of the MU FRTI Instructor of the Year award is Robert Shramek, Jr., Assistant Chief and Training Officer with Lincoln County Fire Protection District 1 in Troy, MO. MU FRTI Director David Hedrick said, “Instructor Shramek exemplifies the very best in fire service instruction and we are proud of his dedicated service with the Institute.” Shramek has been an adjunct instructor with the MU FRTI program since 2012.
Shramek started his career as a junior firefighter at the age of 13 with the Silex Millwood Fire Department which is now the Northwest Fire Protection District. As a volunteer he served in a variety of positions including Assistant Chief. In 1999, he became a career firefighter with Lincoln County FPD, and was promoted to Captain in 2000. He obtained his State of Missouri Instructor Certification in 2001. In 2013, he completed the Institute’s Fire Officer Certificate Program. Two years later, he was appointed Assistant Chief & Training Officer with his department. Instructor Shramek remarked that, “I enjoy traveling all over the state providing training to fire departments. I also find that I learn additional skills from the fire departments I teach that I can take back to my department.”
In addition to the award given to Assistant Chief Shramek, MU FRTI recognized the first and second runners-up for the Instructor of the Year. First runner-up was Michael Arnhart, Fire Chief with the High Ridge Fire Protection District in High Ridge, MO, and MU FRTI adjunct instructor. Chief Arnhart was the 2014 recipient of the Instructor of the Year. Deputy Chief Les Crews with the Monarch Fire Protection District in Chesterfield, MO, was Second Runner-Up.
Director Hedrick acknowledged the important job that all fire service instructors perform, “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 to perform their work safely and effectively 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 13,000 fire and emergency service first responders received training from the Institute. The Institute has a cadre of over 130 adjunct instructors.