COLUMBIA, Mo. – The University of Missouri Extension Fire and Rescue Training Institute (MU FRTI) presented the 2010-11 Fire Service Instructor of the Year awards at the Institute’s annual Instructor Conference on Oct. 15

This year’s MU FRTI Instructor of the Year was Jon E. Trent, deputy chief with the Nixa Fire Protection District in Nixa, Mo.  “Instructor Trent has a passion for providing the very best in fire service instruction and a strong belief in the need for competency-based training that will develop the new generations of people entering the fire service,” said MU FRTI Director David Hedrick. Trent has been an adjunct instructor with the MU FRTI program since 1999.

Trent started his fire service career more than 20 years ago, serving as a volunteer firefighter before becoming a career firefighter with the Nixa Fire Protection District (NFPD) in the early 1990s.

Though he has been promoted through the ranks during his career, his main specialization has been as the training officer for NFPD. Early in his career, he completed the National Fire Academy Course Design and Training Program Management courses and obtained his Fire Service Instructor III certification.

Trent is married and has two children. In his spare time he is a volunteer with the Boy Scouts of America and American Heart Association and is an active instructor for the Missouri Department of Conservation Hunter Education program. Instructor Trent has taught a variety of programming for MU FRTI through its field extension program and the Institute’s annual Winter Fire School and Summer Fire School.

MU FRTI also recognized the first and second runners-up for Instructor of the Year.

Second runner-up was Instructor Rusty Bradley, retired lieutenant from the Columbia Fire Department in Columbia, Mo.

First runner-up was Chief Michael Arnhart of the High Ridge Fire Protection District in High Ridge, Mo.

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,” he said. “The potential impact that all the instructors can make through each class they deliver is incalculable. MU FRTI is proud of the excellence in fire service instruction provided by our faculty and their dedicated service with the Institute.”

The conference and awards ceremony were held at the Resort at Port Arrowhead in Lake Ozark, Mo.

MU FRTI is charged with the responsibility of providing comprehensive continuing professional education to Missouri’s fire service and emergency-response personnel. Last year, more than 243,000 student instructional hours were delivered in training emergency first responders. The Institute has a cadre of more than 200 adjunct instructors.

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