MU FRTI awards Fire Service Instructor of the Year

  • Published: Monday, Nov. 7, 2016

LAKE OZARK, Mo. – University of Missouri Extension’s Fire and Rescue Training Institute (MU FRTI) presented the Fire Service Instructor of the Year award for 2015-2016 to Robert Shramek Jr., assistant chief and training officer with Lincoln County Fire Protection District 1 in Troy, Mo.

The award was presented Nov. 5 at MU FRTI’s annual instructors conference at Camden on the Lake Resort in Lake Ozark, Mo.

“Instructor Shramek exemplifies the very best in fire service instruction and we are proud of his dedicated service with the institute,” said David Hedrick, director of MU FRTI.

Shramek has been an adjunct instructor with MU FRTI since 2012.

He 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 Missouri fire instructor certification in 2001. In 2013, he completed MU FRTI’s Fire Officer Certificate Program. Two years later, he was appointed assistant chief and training officer with his department.

“I enjoy traveling all over the state providing training to fire departments,” Shramek remarked. “I also find that I learn additional skills from the fire departments I teach that I can take back to my department.”

MU FRTI also recognized the first and second runners-up for Instructor of the Year. First runner-up was Michael Arnhart, fire chief with the High Ridge Fire Protection District in High Ridge, Mo. 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.

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 each instructor can make through each class they deliver is incalculable. 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 provides comprehensive continuing professional education training to Missouri’s fire service and emergency response personnel. Last year, MU FRTI trained more than 13,000 fire and emergency service first responders. The institute has a cadre of more than 130 adjunct instructors. For more information, visit

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David Hedrick

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