Associate director, Illinois Fire Service Institute
Brian Brauer Heading link
Before Brian Brauer, BSN ’97, joined the first class of BSN students on the Urbana campus, he was a volunteer firefighter and paramedic. He blends his roots as a first-responder and his passion for nursing as associate director at the Illinois Fire Service Institute, the state fire academy.
Q: How did you end up working at the Illinois Fire Service Institute?
A: My wife was working full-time nights for the local sheriff’s department and I was working full-time nights as an RN in the emergency department. When our younger son was born, that shift schedule was an increased burden on us, and I applied for a full-time instructional position at the state fire academy.
Q: How did your nursing education at UIC prepare you for that role?
A: The leadership, management and clinical delegation skills that were part of my BSN coursework played a large role in qualifying me for a leadership position to design and implement firefighter training programs. It also gave me an advantage when we sought to improve safety in training and reduce the number of ambulance transports from live-fire training schools.
Q: How do you use nursing in your current role?
A: I play a role in health and safety at the fire academy, helping to ensure that trainees are medically fit for service. I also review all injury reports and identify trends and recommend corrective or preventative actions. More recently, I’ve been designated as the campus EMS coordinator at the University of Illinois and provide support to the groups who provide emergency medical services on our campus.