MSSU, City, and Joplin Fire Department Create Regional Fire Academy

Image Credit: Curtis Almeter, Missouri Southern State University

(Joplin, MO) The College of Health Sciences at Missouri Southern State University (MSSU) has partnered with the Joplin Fire Department and the City of Joplin to create a regional fire academy.

The program will kick off this summer with the Fire I course, which will be offered on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday evenings with some Saturday training as well. The basic course focuses on fireground operations, personal protective equipment, basic fire characteristics, safely entering and exiting a burning building, and how to respond to different fire events.

The Fire II course, offered in the fall, will meet on the same schedule, said Ed Lee.

“Where Fire I is foundational work, Fire II starts to focus on the actual hands-on teamwork, how to suppress fires and safely manage the fireground environment,” he said.

The classes will be led by Joplin Fire Department’s Training Chiefs. Class sizes will be kept small between 15 to 18 students allowing for a focus on student safety. They will be taught at the City’s public safety training tower and facility. Built in 2015, the training tower allows instructors to create realistic scenarios for firefighters while offering a modern classroom for seated and virtual learning.

Lee said the fire academy partnership between the City and Missouri Southern would be a win-win situation.

“We have the opportunity to impact the city of Joplin by providing educated firefighters so they don’t have to rely on as much in-house training,” he said. “The closest fire training centers to Joplin are three or four hours away, so we also have the opportunity to provide quality fire education to parts of Kansas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas.”

“We are excited about this collaboration with MSSU,” said Joplin Fire Chief Jim Furgerson. “By partnering together, we will reestablish interactive fire service training in our region. This program will develop qualified and strong firefighters not only for the City of Joplin but for agencies throughout our region”

For more information about the program, contact Ed Lee at 417-625-3020 or visit Missouri Southern’s Emergency Medical Services program page here.


Edward Lee, Associate Professor of EMT – Paramedics
Missouri Southern State University

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