December 1, 2023

Partner of the Month: Birmingham Fire Rescue Services

CSU recently hosted a special appreciation breakfast for the Birmingham Fire and Rescue Service Department, the June Partner of the Month.

Those attending enjoyed breakfast casseroles, sweet rolls and juices as CSU and Birmingham Fire Rescue Services in Learning Partnership in June of 2008. Since that time,  27 members have graduated with either an associate, bachelor’s, or master’s degree from CSU and currently, 45 members are active students.

Birmingham Fire Rescue Services, founded as Birmingham Fire Department in 1872, is Alabama’s largest fire department. The department currently operates with 700 personnel, 648 of those firefighters staffing 31 stations in four battalions. In a typical year, the Birmingham Fire and Rescue responds to more than 48,000 calls for emergency services.

“CSU has made it easier for members to get their degree and promote within the department. This means a lot to them and their families,” stated late Fire Chief Ivor Brooks before his passing May 28 (see below). When thanked for being one of the first metro departments to join CSU in partnership, he replied “We like to be on the cutting edge of training and education.”

Lt. Cory D. Moon said, “Choosing to study with CSU has greatly benefited me in my career by giving me the tools that I need to reach my goals. I received a bachelor’s of science degree in fire science from CSU several years ago which helped me get promoted to fire lieutenant. I am currently working on a master’s of science degree in emergency services management.”

Lt. Joe Andrews “CSU has made obtaining my degree convenient. The ability to work online when time permits has been a blessing. I am able to stay ahead of the class schedule which removes the pressure of deadlines.”

CSU greatly appreciates the fire department’s commitment to furthering the education of its members and we look forward to a continued working relationship.

To learn more about CSU learning partnerships, call 888-785-3006 or visit

Pictured above: Birmingham Fire Chief Ivor Brooks with CSU Outreach representative Kim Plash.

In Memoriam

By CSU Outreach representative Kim Plash

On May 28, 2014, Ivor Brooks, the fire chief of the Birmingham Fire and Rescue Service, passed away unexpectedly. The following pays tribute to him and his efforts with CSU. Our condolences to his family, friends and the Birmingham Fire and Rescue Service.

In June 2008, I had the pleasure of meeting Birmingham Fire Chief Ivor Brooks for the first time.

After sending postcards to all the Alabama fire chiefs, he responded to me personally and invited me to his office at Birmingham Fire Rescue headquarters. We spoke about CSU online degree programs and partnership program. He signed the agreement and also gave me his documentation for review. I didn’t know it at the time, but he was researching CSU to see if we would be a good fit for BFRS members to further their education.

We communicated many times over the years, mostly when I was attempting to set up a station visit for my recruiting efforts. He always returned my emails personally and promptly and never made me feel as if I was imposing. He would see that I was put in touch with the correct individual in training to carry out our visit with organization and support.

A memory of Chief Brooks that stands out in my mind: While attending the Alabama Fire Chiefs Conference in Orange Beach, he commented when he saw me working on my laptop, “You’re always helping firefighters from all over aren’t you, Kim?”

A testament to a good leader is making all around you feel that their job is important and a vital part of the whole. He did this for me and I expect he did that not only for all at Birmingham Fire Rescue, but for everyone.

I feel honored to have known him and will greatly miss his presence, leadership, encouragement and friendship.