The award recognizes Brower’s 43 years of service to the citizens of North Carolina, from Reidsville to Raleigh. He began volunteering in fire safety services while still in high school and went on to a professional career as a dedicated firefighter, paramedic, fire chief and fire services educator. Brower joined Wake Tech as Director of Fire Services in 1992 and grew the program into the largest of its kind in the state.
“Wayne’s life work has served thousands of firefighters across the state with solid training and education,” says Wake Tech President Dr. Stephen Scott. “Those firefighters in turn have served hundreds of thousands of North Carolina citizens. Our state is a better and safer place to live, work, and play due to the ‘ripple effect’ of Wayne’s life and work.”
Brower’s work focused on creating advancements in fire protection and life safety. He was involved in establishing the first fire protection services in many rural parts of the state. In the 1970s, Brower helped start the first multi-agency first responder program and created procedures that are now the standard statewide. Brower was a graduate of the state’s first paramedic training program and is credited with starting North Carolina’s first intravenous (IV) therapy for patient care at an incident. He served as Fire Chief in Reidsville and Pinehurst, and as Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the North Carolina Association of Fire Chiefs. He also served on a legislative committee that studied firefighter training standards.
Brower’s education continued throughout his career: He earned two associate degrees in Fire Protection, a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, and a master’s in Public Affairs. Brower became an adjunct instructor in 1982, serving at several North Carolina community colleges, and he joined Wake Tech as Director of Fire Services in 1992. He retires from Wake Tech at the end of the year.
He and his wife Martha live in Reidsville.