Kevin D. Zumwalt has been appointed director of the University of Missouri Fire and Rescue Training Institute (MU FRTI), effective September 1.
“Kevin has provided exemplary leadership as the interim director of the Institute for the past eleven months and is a natural choice as the permanent director,” said Blake Naughton, MU associate vice chancellor for extension and engagement.
Zumwalt succeeds David Hedrick, who retired in 2017 after ten years as MU FRTI’s director.
Part of MU Extension, MU FRTI provides comprehensive continuing professional education training to Missouri’s fire service and emergency response personnel.
“It is with great honor and privilege that I accept the position to become the eighth director in the Institute’s 86-year history,” Zumwalt said. “I look forward to carrying on the mission of the Institute to develop and deliver quality continuing professional education.”
Zumwalt joined the institute in 1983 as an adjunct instructor and has served in many roles since then, including fire school coordinator, special programs manager, and assistant and associate director. During his time with the Institute, he developed a learning management system to efficiently handle course management, student registration and student transcripts. He also coordinated the development of a growing technical rescue program that has gained a reputation as one of the most successful in the country.
He has been recognized nationally as an early adopter in the use of the Incident Command System for conference management. Over the years Zumwalt has played a key role in incorporating new methods of instruction into the FRTI curriculum, from early satellite delivery to webcasting and online learning.
Zumwalt says he “grew up” in the fire service: His father was a chief with a volunteer fire department in St. Clair, Missouri. He has served on several national fire service committees and is a past National Fire Academy TRADE state co-chair and is a past member of Missouri Task Force 1, a FEMA urban search and rescue team based with the Boone County Fire Protection District.