Institute Sponsors Equipment Exposition

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COLUMBIA - The University of Missouri Fire and Rescue Training Institute, or MU FRTI, will hold an exposition Friday. The institute is sponsoring the 33rd annual Winter Fire School and Equipment Exposition taking place Friday through Sunday. The purpose is to reflect on the services firefighters and other emergency personnel provide on a daily basis. It also lets emergency providers take a look at some of the newest and best equipment.

Special Programs Coordinator Tracy Gray said the event is important for emergency personnel.

"This exposition allows people in emergency service to come and physically see products that are available for them," Gray said. "Everyone benefits from it."

The first event is an equipment exposition and takes place at the Holiday Inn Friday. It will last from noon until 9 p.m.

Classes on Saturday and Sunday will be held on MU's campus. MU FRTI Director Dave Hedrick said the institute offers more than 100 classes similar to the ones this weekend throughout the year. Some of the topics will include reading smoke, escaping violent encounters and hazardous materials. Gray said this is the largest emergency service equipment exposition in Missouri.

Last year, more than 17,000 fire and emergency service first responders received training from MU FRTI. The institute's instructors includes more than 160 regular part-time teachers for programs such as this one.

MU FRTI will be recognizing regular guest instructor John Sachen, who passed away in June 2013. Sachen was one of the earliest instructors, first teaching with the program in 1978. He played an integral role in the creation of the first Winter Fire School conducted by MU FRTI in 1982.

"He was really important to the school," Gray said. "He was our go-to guy when it came to this stuff."

The 2014 Winter Fire School will be dedicated in memorial to him.