March 27, 2023

Learning Partnership Student Spotlight

Richard Brooks

Learning Partner: Cecil County Department of Emergency Services in Cecil County, Md.


  • Is working on his bachelor’s degree in fire science
  • Resides in Baltimore with wife, Kathy
  • Has 41 years of experience in the fire service
  • Serves as chief/director of the Cecil County Department of Emergency Services
  • Has worked in 15 European countries

What do you do in your free time?

“I am a pilot. I have a Cessna Cardinal I purchased back in 1999. I owned and operated an air charter business from 2001-2004. We flew a pressurized Navajo. 8 passengers. That was a great life.”

How does your degree program relate to your everyday job?

“Every day I am knee-deep in fire, emergency service, hazardous materials and communications issues.
I use the CSU course work daily.”

What brought you to CSU?

“The scheduling. If I’m out for four to five hours working late at night for work, I may take an hour
in the morning to do some classwork. The formatting of the courses works. You realize that this is the process and you work to get through it. One week, I might be traveling on an airplane, so I copy the assignments and work on them during the flight or at my leisure.”

What advice do you have for future students?

“CSU gives you a fresh start. I brought in credits from other schools that I put toward my plan at CSU. They help you devise a path that works for you, while offering personal contact and great program structure.”


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