Hazardous Materials Training Program
School of Labor and Employment Relations, University of Illinois
I have served as an instructor with this training program since 1998. Prior to that, I spent 10 years in the United States Marine Corps, and 7 years working in the dust collection industry and construction industry. While working in both of these industries, I saw substandard training or lack thereof, several workers hurt or killed, and a general lack of safety awareness. Once I became a firefighter, I wanted to go beyond just helping people when they were in need, but to also prevent them from becoming injured or another statistic.
Throughout my tenure as a hazardous materials instructor, I have learned a lot from my students and the clients we provide training. It is not a stretch to say that I learn something in every class I teach from my students. Teaching with this program has improved my ability as an instructor, and helped me in the emergency response profession.
As the Program Director, I now work with our younger instructors to mentor them into better teachers. I also personally meet with every one of our clients to ensure we are providing them with the training they desire and need. I also audit our classes, making sure we maintain the highest levels of competency and professionalism during delivery.