On behalf of the University of Missouri Fire and Rescue Training Institute (MU FRTI), the University of Missouri Extension was awarded a 2018 State Farm Good Neighbor Citizenship Grant. The gift from State Farm to MU FRTI will support specialized training for Missouri emergency responders involved in traffic incidents. A growing number of emergency responses are related to vehicle and highway incidents. Recent statistics indicate that fire departments in Missouri are called to the scene of approximately 120 highway-related incidents per day. Each time they respond they have the opportunity to reduce the severity of these incidents and possibly prevent a highway fatality. In each of these emergency incidents, the safety of the individuals involved and that of the first responders are at stake.
This project includes the delivery of two training courses in each of Missouri’s nine Highway Patrol Troop Regions. The Vehicle Rescue Technician course provides training to emergency first responders on how to extricate vehicle accident victims safely and effectively, enabling first responders to deliver the victims to treatment centers quicker and improve patients' chances of survival. The Vehicle Firefighting course provides safe and efficient strategies and tactics to extinguish vehicle fires based upon the latest vehicle designs. Vehicle fires in Missouri are a growing concern as 2016 data indicates that Missouri firefighters responded to over 2,700 vehicle fires, which equates to an average of 7.5 vehicle fires per day.
Interim Director Zumwalt acknowledged the importance of the funding support for training by saying, "This training project, supported by State Farm, will provide critical training to local emergency responders to protect their safety as well as the citizens they serve." The funding provided to MU FRTI is part of a larger overall gift to the University of Missouri and intended to support a variety of University educational initiatives.
The Good Neighbor Citizenship Grants provided by State Farm Companies Foundation® and State Farm® help build safer, stronger and better educated communities across the United States. The grants focus on three areas: safety, education, and community development.
MU FRTI is a unit of MU Extension and is charged with the responsibility of providing comprehensive continuing professional education training to Missouri’s fire service and emergency response personnel. The Institute provides training to an average of 13,000 fire and emergency service first responders each year.