MSSU’s firefighter training program celebrates first graduating class

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JOPLIN , Mo. — A new program focused on training firefighters is celebrating its first class of graduates.

It’s the firefighter certificate course at Missouri Southern. Launched at the start of the year, it’s now turning 12 former students into public servants.

“They just all remember him, they remember him like the kind of guy Mr. Lunow said he was,” said Susan Reddy, Steve Fierro’s sister.

Steve Fierro, a Carthage firefighter lost on the job, today honored through an endowed scholarship through the MSSU Fire Academy.

“I can think of no better way to honor Steve Fierro’s legacy than to instruct the next generation of firefighters in what it means to have a servants heart … and how to reach out beyond yourself,” said Dustin Lunow, JFD Training Chief.

Colton Gurera was chosen – a new graduate of the Fire Academy and starting out with the Webb City Fire Department. A dozen new firefighters are the first class trained through the new academy.

“Giving these students the ability to stay local or travel. because these certificates are nationally recognized so they can go pretty much anywhere – but we want this to be a homegrown, grassroots effort,” said Edward Lee, MSSU Fire Academy.

The program grew out of a partnership – MSSU and the City of Joplin.

While the courses and certificates come from Missouri Southern, Joplin helped develop the concept and hosts courses at its Public Safety Training Center.

“We don’t have millions and millions of dollars to throw into try to even create this, but this trot. Fire Training Center here is on par across the nation with some of the best that the nation has. So, us being able to partner with that enables us to have an amazing resource,” said Lee.

The Fire Academy includes certificates in fire one, fire two and paramedic training. The next round will kick off in January.

Students can start enrolling for that on Monday.

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