CCFR Firefighter Eric Braatz named St. Charles County Fire Academy Instructor of the Year.
Braatz is the lead SCBA (self contained breathing apparatus) instructor, and assists with live fire training at the Academy. He has volunteered as an instructor for the past 13 years.
“When I teach, I do my best to instill in the students that the core responsibility of a firefighter is to serve our community, and that this should come before anything else,” Braatz says. “This is the best job in the world, and I hope these student leave the academy ready to offer the highest level of service to their communities.”
“Firefighter Braatz has a passion for excellence and he continually goes above and beyond the call of duty. We are fortunate to have him training our future emergency responders,” says CCFR Chief Russ Mason.
Braatz is an 18-year veteran of CCFR, and typically works from Fire Station #3 on Willott Rd. Mel Henge from the O’Fallon Fire Protection District also received an Instructor of the Year award this year.
The St. Charles County Fire Academy is a joint effort of St. Charles area fire departments. Each year, 26 students train three evenings a week, and Saturdays from January through July to become certified firefighters. Students study a variety of topics taught by volunteer instructors from the different departments.