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Oklahoma State University

Erick Reynolds Named Shey P. Francis Award Winner

STILLWATER, Okla. – The Oklahoma State Firefighters Association presented the Shey P. Francis Award to Erick Reynolds, director of OSU’s Fire Service Training, on June 15 in Tulsa.

This award is presented to persons who are deemed worthy of Shey P. Francis’ example, who have made a sincere dedicated effort, the sincere desire to improve working conditions, funding, training opportunities, and salaries and/or pensions for the firefighters of the State of Oklahoma. It has only been presented to four individuals since it was established in 1988.

Reynolds has been a volunteer fire fighter and fire chief for over 30 years. He holds three degrees from Oklahoma State University which include a bachelor’s in trade and industrial education, and a master’s and Ed.D. in Occupational and Adult Education.

Reynolds has been the director of Fire Service Training since 2014. Before working at OSU he was the associate superintendent at Eastern Oklahoma County Technology Center in Choctaw. While there he created a fire fighter training program specifically for young men and women who wanted to pursue a career as a professional fire fighter. He worked with departments in the metro area to develop the program.

“Something most people don't realize, [Reynolds] spent hundreds of hours of his personal time building the training grounds at EOC – pouring concrete, building props, etc.,” said Ed Kirtley, assistant dean of engineering extension. “[Reynolds] was known for his high standards for the training. The graduates were high performers. It really was a premier program in the state.”

After getting the job as the director at OSU FST, Erick continued that same passion for the state's fire service.

“His focus on customer service is strong and I've had many fire chiefs during the last five years comment to me on how committed [Reynolds] is to meeting their needs,” Kirtley said. “In my opinion, [Reynolds] is the finest director in the history of FST.”

Shey P. Francis was a Tulsa firefighter who had worked tirelessly to improve the salaries, working conditions, training opportunities and pensions for firefighters around the State. Upon his retirement from the Tulsa Fire Department, he began an effort to re-establish the Oklahoma Retired Firefighters Association (ORFA) which had ceased to exist in 1969. Shey was successful in his efforts to revive the ORFA and became the first President of the organization upon its reconstitution in 1981 and remained President until 1985. He worked with and through the Oklahoma State Firefighters Association to continue to improve firefighters’ pensions and strengthen the firefighters pension system up until he passed away.

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Oklahoma State University is a modern land-grant university that prepares students for success. OSU has more than 35,000 students across its five-campus system and more than 24,000 on its combined Stillwater and Tulsa campuses, with students from all 50 states and around 120 nations. Established in 1890, Oklahoma State has graduated more than 240,000 students who have been serving the state of Oklahoma, the nation and the world.