COVID-19 Plan of Action

Coronavirus Update

April 14, 2020

TO: MFRI Students

All MFRI students were notified today by their instructors about the Institute's EMS startup courses. If you have not received notice from your instructor please contact them. The tentative EMS startup course can be found at

April 6, 2020

Update on the status of the MICRB:

March 30, 2020

TO: MFRI Faculty, Staff, and Instructors

FROM: Executive Director Michael E. Cox, Jr.

I am writing to provide an update for all MFRI faculty and staff on the COVID-19 pandemic event.

As you know, earlier today Governor Hogan issued a stay at home order that took effect at 2000 hours today. The order requires that “no Maryland residents should leave their homes unless it is for an essential job function and other crucial activities such as procuring food, medicine or seeking medical attention.”

As such, all MFRI faculty and staff that have previously been designated to work at home should continue to work in this manner until notified otherwise.

Employees not designated by job function to work from home, shall comply with the Governor’s order and not report to work at the College Park or six regional training offices until further notice; unless otherwise authorized by your section Chief, Deputy Director or myself.

Additional information will be provided as it becomes available or there is an operational necessity to change or adjust work assignments.

I want to thank each and every one of you for your patience and perseverance as we continue to work through these challenging times. If you have any questions or concerns, please direct them to your respective Section Chiefs, Managers or Coordinators.

March 26, 2020

TO: MFRI Faculty, Staff, and Instructors

FROM: Executive Director Michael E. Cox, Jr.

I am writing to provide an update regarding operations at the Maryland Fire and Rescue Institute Headquarters and all six regional training centers and offices.


As you know, we had previously suspended all training programs at all MFRI facilities until March 30, 2020. However, in light of new information regarding this issue the postponement of MFRI classes will now be extended to April 26, 2020.

With the exception of some career recruit classes, all training programs hosted at county/municipal training academies and career/volunteer fire stations will continue to be postponed by the respective local agencies or authority having jurisdiction until further notice.

Professional Development for Instructors Symposium scheduled for April 4, 2020 has been cancelled. Information was posted on the website under MICRB. All instructors scheduled to recertify in April will automatically be given an extension until the July MICRB Meeting. A link to the MICRB page is as follows: ttps://

MFRI “Skills Enhancement” scheduled for April 18th and 19th and the MFRI “Skills Weekend” scheduled for May 2nd and 3rd has been cancelled. We hope to reschedule these programs for some time in late May and early June. The new dates will be announced as soon as they are available.

MFRI Online Training

MFRI staff has been working hard over the past two weeks in preparation to transition our classes to an online format. Piloting of this medium is currently underway and it is anticipated within a week, classes will begin to be moved to this format. When this occurs, instructors and students will be notified on a class by class basis. We anticipate moving all ongoing classes that were postponed in the following order: EMR/EMT, FF-I and FF-2, HM Awareness/OPS and then any other ongoing classes.

Pearson VUE Testing

We have received notification from Pearson VUE to continue EMR, EMT, and Paramedic Testing. Testing will be conducted in accordance with all social distancing recommendations, including no more than 10 people (including test proctors) will be permitted in the test session.


Telework remains in effect until further notice for all eligible MFRI faculty and staff in conjunction with the guidance provided by President Loh earlier this month.

For those that prefer to utilize their Mac computers to telework, our IT section is investigating a software program that is Mac friendly for VPN access. More information will be forthcoming.

EMR/EMT/EMTP Recertification

For our faculty, staff, and instructors that have medical credentials, both National Registry and MIEMSS have extended national and state medical certifications for EMR, EMT and EMTP. Please see the links below:

ALS Extension of State of Maryland License

BLS Extension for Maryland License

COVID-19 National EMS Certification Information

UMD Campus Information

UMD, College Park has cancelled the scheduled student move out until further notice.

UMD, College Park has resumed mail pick-up and delivery. MFRI scheduled drop off and pick up is every Friday, 0900-1100 hours.


All faculty and staff should continue to exercise due diligence during this time and take the necessary precautions to maintain their health and safety of others. Please observe the following guidelines:

  • Continue enhanced cleaning, especially around high traffic areas bathrooms, meeting rooms, elevators, and dining locations. All employees can assist by wiping chairs, tables and other high touch surfaces after using them (e.g. door knobs, faucets, coffee machines, refrigerators).
  • Clean your hands often. Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use hand sanitizer if you are unable to wash your hands.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, then put the tissue in a waste basket. If you do not have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve or bent elbow, not your hands.
  • Put distance between yourself and other people—a practice called social distancing. Maintain space from others (approximately 6 feet), especially anyone who is coughing or sneezing. Do not shake hands—a smile, wave, nod or bow are very good ways to greet someone.


I am extending gratitude to all of our faculty, staff, and instructors for their patience and perseverance during this trying time. It is difficult for all of us when without warning, one has their world upended and been told not to return to work or that their class has been postponed until further notice.

I am extremely thankful for everyone’s display of resolve and dedication to the Institute. Everyone has continued to work hard and pull their weight to ensure that our mission is met in a safe, efficient, and effective manner.

Thanks again for all that you do!!!

I hope you find this information helpful. Questions regarding this communication can be directed to your respective Coordinator, Manager or Section Chief.

March 20, 2020

TO: MFRI Faculty, Staff, and Instructors

FROM: Executive Director Michael E. Cox, Jr.

I wanted to drop a quick note to check on everyone as we work through these challenging times.

As we have observed, there is still a fair amount of uncertainty with this rapidly evolving health emergency. The safety of you and your families is paramount. We must continue to heed the advice provided by the CDC and medical professionals to prevent the spread of this virus.

These unpredictable times have caused us to think outside the box, employ innovation, and be creative to maintain a safe working environment for our faculty and staff. Just this morning we have received word that a UMD student who was studying abroad in Spain has tested positive for the virus and two other suspected cases are suggestive of a positive diagnosis.

With that said, over the past weeks we have taken steps to implement new work processes in accordance with the university and governor’s recommendations. To date these changes consist of:

Cancelling all events/large gatherings at MFRI Headquarters and Regional Training Centers

  • Postponed all MFRI classes until at least March 30
  • Transitioned as many employees as possible to a telework platform
  • Provided additional sanitation measures at our facilities
  • Preparing/testing an online format for program delivery
  • Suspending all travel
  • Instituting a holiday/weekend type schedule full time at all of our facilities
  • Instituted social distancing (6’ spacing and maximum of 10 person work space rule)

I will continue to communicate any changes to our operations electronically as needed. Please keep in mind, this is a very fluid situation and we will make changes to our operations as necessitated by new directives handed down by the university and from our elected officials.

Lastly, I want to thank our faculty and staff for all that they do day in and day out to make the Institute successful. Your patience and due diligence throughout this time is greatly appreciated.

If anyone has any issues please be sure to address them with your respective coordinator, manager or section chief.

Most of all, please do everything possible to stay calm, safe, and healthy.

Michael E. Cox, Jr., MS, CFO, EFO, NRP
Executive Director
Maryland Fire and Rescue Institute
University of Maryland
4500 Campus Drive
College Park, MD 20742

March 19, 2020

TO: MFRI Faculty, Staff, and Instructors

FROM: Executive Director Michael E. Cox, Jr.

As of Thursday, March 19, all MFRI regional training centers and headquarters locations will operate remotely to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in support of the health and safety of our students and employees. All regions can be contacted Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. or via email at

HQ (301) 226-9900
Western MD (301) 729-0431
North Central (301) 829-2020
North East (410) 676-5409
Upper Eastern Shore (410) 758-2112
Lower Eastern Shore (410) 749-0313
Southern MD (301) 934-2600

Again, all MFRI-sponsored events and classes held at its six regional training centers and headquarters will be cancelled until March 30, 2020 at which a situational analysis will be completed to determine which classes can be delivered in an online format.

March 13, 2020

TO: MFRI Faculty, Staff, and Instructors

FROM: Executive Director Michael E. Cox, Jr.

All scheduled classes at MFRI headquarters and six regional training centers will be postponed until Monday, March 30, 2020. The status of MFRI training programs hosted at county/municipal training academies or career/volunteer fire stations will be determined by their local agency or jurisdiction. Students should remain in contact with their local MFRI regional coordinator and/or the local hosting entity for information regarding the status of their program.

Students should remain in contact with your local MFRI Regional Coordinator and/or the local hosting entity for information regarding the status of the program. In addition, the following is a list of events that was being hosted by MFRI that have now been postponed:

  • March 21: Public Fire and Life Safety Educators Seminar
  • March 30: PGFD/UL Fire Research course
  • March 30-31: NFPA CFPS Primer course
  • March 31-April 2: NFPA 101 Life Safety course
  • April 4: MFRI Spring PDI Symposium