2020 Annual Report

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Fiscal Year 2020 Annual Report University of Maryland

Maryland Fire and Rescue Institute

Dedication We dedicate this publication in memory of the late Emeritus Director John W. Hoglund. Mr. Hoglund will fondly be remembered for his transformational leadership at MFRI, his compassion towards everyone he met and his impeccable memory. Mr. Hoglund was a remarkable leader and friend who set the standard of excellence in the fire profession. October 4, 1930 - January 2, 2020


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Mission and Vision Statement Executive Director’s Greeting FY 20 Statistics and Certification 2020 Student and Instructor of the Year Strategic Plan Capital Projects & New Equipment Curriculum Updates Stress Management Research Federal Grant Awarded Regional Training Centers


Mission Statement The Maryland Fire and Rescue Institute is the state’s training and education system for all-hazard responses. The Institute plans, researches, develops, and delivers quality programs to prepare agencies and individuals to protect life, property, and the environment.

Vision Statement The Maryland Fire and Rescue Institute is and will continue to be a premier emergency services training and education organization by developing and delivering high-quality training. MFRI will constantly evolve to address developing trends and needs in emergency services training.


The past few months of this fiscal year have been a challenge for our country and the world. While the times were arduous navigating through a national pandemic, our students, instructors, faculty and staff proved to be resilient. We could not have been successful this fiscal year without the dedication of faculty, staff and instructors who continually strive to push beyond new boundaries in uplifting our mission.

Greetings from the

Executive Director

As we celebrate 90 years of providing training and education to our emergency services providers across our great state, I want to reflect back on the many initiatives we have accomplished throughout this challenging year. We were awarded federal funds that afforded MFRI the means to purchase props and training equipment; we implemented learning methods to ensure the continued delivery of emergency services training programs for our first responders in a safe and efficient manner; our organizational structure was redesigned to better reflect the functions of various units; and testing for many of our programs migrated to electronic tablets. Together as a group we have charted a new vision for the Institute that builds on the work of others from the past but takes us into the future where customer service priorities will always take precedence. I want to thank the dedicated and talented members of our community who invested their time to ensure we remain prepared and equipped to provide the best training possible to our emergency responder communities. It is the dedication of these individuals that helped MFRI earn its reputation as the premier emergency services training and education system nationwide. The road ahead is full of opportunity. Thank you again for joining us in these efforts.

Michael E. Cox, Jr., MS, CFO, EFO, NRP Executive Director


Fiscal Year 2020 Statistics

Emergency Services Programs Emergency Services Programs 1,293

Students by Discipline

State Programs Special Programs Company Drills Seminars

Fire EMS ALS Rescue Management PDI Hazardous Materials Specialty Company Drills Seminars Simulation Center

1,058 123 76 36

Students by Program Students by Program State Programs Special Programs Company Drills Seminars


Students by Discipline

25,883 18,402 5,533 984 964

25,883 6,544 4,139 1,410 2,058 2,573 1,162 1,506 4,359 984 964 184

Student Hours by Program Student Hours by Program 648,962 Field Operations Special Programs Company Drills Seminars

612,587 28,066 2,952 5,357

Certifications MFRI courses eligible for certification Pro Board certifications issued Concurrent IFSAC certifications issued MFSPQB only certifications issued

33 4,297 3,056 96


Student of the Year While transporting a patient to a local hospital Armond J. Collins received the news that he was named MFRI’s Student of the Year. The person on the other end of that phone call was Diane May, who coincidentally had great news to share as she was named the Francis L. Brannigan Instructor of the Year. Collins credits his younger brother David, who is a paramedic at LaVale Volunteer Rescue Squad and the Baltimore Pike Volunteer Fire Company, for encouraging him to join the fire department. “I enjoy helping people and my community,” said Collins. Collins was nominated for the award by instructor Diane May, who describes him as an ambitious student who actively participates in group discussions and works hard to improve his skills inside and outside of the classroom. “I have been teaching for MFRI since 1985 and I can honestly say I have never had a student work as hard as AJ worked during his EMT class,” said May. “I always schedule extra sessions for my students that are completely optional. Some of these sessions are extra reviews for cognitive material and others are practical sessions. AJ attended all of them.” He has been a member of the Baltimore Pike Volunteer Fire Company in Cumberland, Maryland since January 2018. This past February, Collins passed his NREMT cognitive and practical exams on his first attempt. “It was no surprise that AJ was named for this award; he excels in anything he does’” said Samuel Wilson, Baltimore Pike Volunteer Fire Chief.


Instructor of the Year Over the past 35 years May has been following her passion at MFRI teaching EMS, instructor training and management courses in the Western Maryland region. This past February, May was appointed to serve as interim section chief of the Planning Section, formerly known as the Institute Development Section. In this role, May manages curriculum and instructor professional development seminars. May was nominated for the honor by Cox for her ongoing work with the Institute’s emerging Emergency Medical Technician Pilot program. Not only does she maintain an active role teaching the class, but she applies her knowledge and skills developing activities and quizzes to reinforce learning in her classes.

Diane May was named this year’s Francis L. Brannigan Instructor of the Year at the Maryland State Firemen’s Association’s 128th Annual Convention & Conference that was held virtually June 20-27. May recalled being surprised when learning she was the recipient of the award from Interim Operations Section Chief Steve Cox. May noted “there are a lot of great instructors who work for MFRI; it was an honor just to be nominated. “ May shared that she was encouraged by her father, Bob Shimer, who was a fire instructor at MFRI, to follow her passion in becoming an EMT instructor.

“Diane’s dedication and commitment to the development and delivery of emergency services programs makes her a most deserving candidate for the Francis L. Brannigan Instructor of the Year Award,” said Cox. “It is an honor and privilege for us to nominate Diane May for this most prestigious award.” The Francis L. Brannigan Instructor of the Year Award was first established in 1977 by the Chesapeake Society of Fire and Rescue Instructors. The award is now jointly presented by MFRI and the Maryland Fire Service Personnel Qualifications Board (MFSPQB) in recognition of an individual or group’s contribution to EMS, fire, and rescue training and education in the state of Maryland.


MFRI Completes 5-Year Strategic Plan MFRI completed its comprehensive five-year strategic plan to identify and implement new initiatives to move the Institute in the forefront of emergency services training. The process focuses on customer service priorities and the establishment of realistic goals and objectives to ensure the effective and efficient delivery of our services to the state’s emergency services providers. As a result, the Institute has identified six goals to be pursued during the 2020-2025 fiscal years: 1. Ensure the delivery of an effective and efficient emergency service training system. 2. Ensure the safety of all Institute members, including faculty, staff, students and instructors, through effective work rules, policies and procedures. 3. Ensure organizational success by developing and maintaining all facilities, tools, equipment and props; institute new technologies and improve internal processes. 4. Ensure effective workforce and leadership development through the appropriate training, education and compensation to meet the needs of the Institute. 5. Ensure and promote diverse workforce of faculty, staff and instructors to communicate effectively and act in a professional manner with the highest levels of integrity. 6. Ensure the Institute maintains effective and proactive relationships with customers, stakeholders, partners and others.


After determining the critical issues facing the Institute, a steering committee was established consisting of 34 members from MFRI’s faculty, staff, instructors and external partner groups. The committee revised the Institute’s mission, vision, and value statements. Six strategic goals were recommended accompanied with prioritized objectives. As a result of the strategic plan, MFRI is the the process of implementing the following:

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Electronic-based testing Electronic evaluations Reporting requirements A new learning management system An Institute risk management plan Automated staffing programs A new website Equity/human dignity statement Redesigned organizational structure Salary and compensation review for faculty and staff Established a Quality Assurance and Improvement section


Western Maryland Regional Training Center Renovation Starting in 2021, MFRI will begin renovation of the Western Maryland Regional Training Center (WMRTC) located in Cresaptown, Maryland. Since WMRTC opened in 1992, the student population has grown by 62 percent while serving Garrett, Allegany, and Washington counties for instruction and training. The renovation will bring WMRTC in parity with MFRI’s North East Regional Training Center in Edgewood, Maryland, which was constructed in 2011. The North East facility trains approximately the same number of trainees and houses 5 faculty and staff, which is similar to what is projected at the Western Maryland facility. Currently, there are only two rooms used for instruction, which are inadequate to meet current demand. The remaining three rooms are used for classroom support, which includes storage of equipment and materials. The proposed budget for the 4,577 square foot building is estimated at $8.6 million. The 3,200 square foot addition will provide two classrooms to serve the growing student population. One of these classrooms will serve for computer simulations. The practical training area will be upgraded to replace the outmoded oil-based fire simulator with an environmentally compliant propane based simulator. The 2,329 square foot dilapidated firefighting prop will be remodeled and a new storage building will be constructed. Staff will temporarily relocate during construction. A location has yet to be determined. The project is scheduled for completion by spring 2022.


COVID-19 Alters Training On March 16, classes normally scheduled at the Institute’s regional training centers and headquarters came to a halt due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, MFRI ‘s Planning Section quickly began working to resume classes in its new online format. By adapting Canvas, a learning management platform and Zoom, a video and web conferencing service we were able to pilot two courses. In preparation for classes to return back into rotation, instructors participated in training sessions on how to use these new tools. These sessions included methodologies to encourage student engagement in this new environment. EMS and EMT courses were exempt from Maryland Governor Larry Hogan’s stay-at-home order. While classroom training was conducted in an online format, practice training was conducted in a face-to-face manner. Shortly after EMS and EMT courses were up and running, a task force was formed to determine how to safely begin practical evolutions under the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines. Equipment has since been implemented to screen individuals upon arrival at all regions and headquarters prior to starting practicals.

Curriculum Updates COURSES IN PILOT • EMS 101 Emergency Medical Technician (Pilot) Continues to run as pilot

• EMS 106 Emergency Medical Technician (Modified Pilot) This is the basic EMT course, using the AAOS textbook, JBLearning, and EMS testing. It is 24 hours less than the EMS 101 course.

• EMS 203 Emergency Medical Technician Refresher (Revised) This new course offers 12 hours of lecture followed by 12 hours of skills. • FIRE 101 Firefighter I The first round of pilots were held in the spring. A new version being piloted uses resources from IFSTA, with a clear separation between Firefighter I and II material.

• FIRE 125 Building Construction for the Fire Service This new course has been piloted and will be available spring 2021.


Emergency Vehicle Operator Fire Fighter II Marine Fire Fighting for Land-Based Firefighters Fire Inspector I Fire Inspector II


Exploring Mental Stress of Firefighters Researchers from MFRI’s Incident Command Simulation Center and the University of Maryland’s School of Public Health conducted a six month study examining the mental stress firefighters endure during a computerized simulation. Ten lieutenants and three battalion chiefs from the metropolitan area volunteered to participate in the study. Participants’ heart rates and EEG brain activity were measured during two firefighting simulations, ranging from easy to hard. The easy simulation was a kitchen fire in a single home dwelling with no civilians or firefighters at risk. The hard simulation was a gardenstyle apartment, with multiple civilian casualties and firefighter mayday. After analyzing the results, the team found similarities in both groups’ heart rates elevating progressing from easy to hard. The lieutenants indicated an increase in attentional focus from the easy to hard condition. MFRI plans to use this data to seek new techniques to train inexperienced officers through the simulations to reduce the stress of officers during intense incidents.


MFRI Awarded Federal Grant Funds will Enhance Training Props and Equipment

MFRI was the recipient of a $538,741 cost-share grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Assistance to Firefighters Grant program. The funds awarded were used to purchase turnout gear, SCBA, pump simulators, portable radios, tablet computers, an Air-Pak tester equipped with a computer and printer, and a HazSim Pro Training System to be dispersed amongst the Institute’s six regional training centers and headquarters location. “This grant allows us to update and enhance the training that we provide for our 34,000 emergency service providers,” said Michael Cox, MFRI’s executive director. “We are grateful to Senators Ben Cardin, Chris Van Hollen and our other Congressional officials who work tirelessly advocating for this program.” The grant is awarded annually to fire departments, state fire training agencies and emergency medical service organizations throughout the United States.


Regional Training Centers In addition to our headquarters in College Park, Maryland, MFRI provides state-of-the-art fire, rescue, and emergency medical training programs throughout the state of Maryland. MFRI’s faculty and staff is supported by over 700 state-certified instructors who deliver programs through site-specific mobile training, or at any of the regional training centers.

NERTC edgewood

The North Eastern Regional Training Center serves Harford, Cecil and Baltimore Counties and Baltimore City.


UESRTC centreville

The Upper Eastern Shore Regional Training Center serves Kent, Queen Anne’s, Caroline, Talbot and Anne Arundel Counties.

LESRTC princess anne

WMRTC cresaptown

The Lower Eastern Shore Regional Training Center serves Wicomico, Worcester, Dorchester and Somerset Counties.

NCRO mount airy

The North Central Regional Office serves Carroll, Frederick, Howard and Montgomery Counties.

The Western Maryland Regional Training Center serves Allegany, Garrett and Washington Counties.

SMRTC la plata

The Southern Maryland Regional Training Center serves Calvert, Charles, St. Mary’s and Prince George’s Counties.


Fiscal Year 2020 Annual Report Editors ShaVon Brown | Editor Ashley Collier | Communications and Public Relations Specialist Karen Haje | Special Projects Coordinator Design & Layout Ana Maizel | Graphics and Marketing Project Manager

University of Maryland

Maryland Fire and Rescue Institute 4500 Campus Drive, College Park, MD 20742 t: (301) 226-9900 | www.mfri.org |