University of Missouri Extension trains first responders

The University of Missouri Extension trained more than 2,500 first responders and provided more than 45,000 instructional hours in the last three fiscal years, the school said on Sunday.

Through the university's Fire and Rescue Training Institute in Greene County, Missouri, the school trained 2,823 fire and emergency personnel, providing more than 46,424 training hours in 147 classes between 2011 and 2013. The figure includes students in Greene County as well as students coming in from other counties to attend classes, reports.

David Hedrick, the director of the FRTI said the training facility exists to plan and deliver training for emergency managers, fire and rescue personnel and other responders in Missouri.

"FRTI training prepares firefighters and other emergency first responders to handle emergency situations, situations that may require them to place their own lives at risk," Hedrick said, according to "It is imperative that these responders receive safe, realistic, and effective training. Enabled by this training, Greene County's emergency responders have made a significant impact on the protection of lives and property of the citizens."

Programming from the FRTI is conducted throughout the state in local communities and regional fire schools. There are 893 fire departments with over 23,600 firefighters in the state of Missouri.

"We use a regional field extension infrastructure so courses are conducted across the state at the local level to meet the training needs of the state's fire service, 80 percent of which are volunteers," Hedrick said, according to

The FRTI receives 21 percent of its budget from the University of Missouri Extension and self generates the rest of its budget, reports.