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Ted Poszywak headshot

Ted Poszywak

Instructor, Fire Science

Educational Background

  • Coastal Carolina University, Conway, SC B.A. Psychology, 1999
  • National Fire Academy, Emmitsburg, MD Executive Fire Officer, 2008
  • Grand Canyon University, Phoenix, AZ M.S. Leadership, Emphasis on Disaster Planning and Executive Fire Service Leadership, 2018

Professional Background

I began my emergency services career as a volunteer with the Horry County Fire/Rescue Department near Myrtle Beach, SC in 1989. I had no idea all those years ago how that decision would forever change and shape my life. While with HCFR, I served in the positions of firefighter, captain, battalion chief, and deputy chief and was part of many diverse and challenging incident response and management. Through those events, I witnessed the tremendous power of the human spirit to overcome adversity as our emergency workers worked tirelessly to serve our communities in unity. As a result of those efforts, it was decided to merge the county fire department with the county’s emergency medical services, forming the largest emergency service organization in the state of South Carolina. As the appointed transition officer of the merger, I was privileged to be a part of bridging those two great services together. 

I left Horry County in December 2005 as the deputy chief of operations to take the position of fire chief with the Frederick-Firestone Fire Protection District in Colorado. My 12 years with FFFPD were among the most rewarding of my life, and I was inspired to work alongside so many wonderfully dedicated, compassionate, and service-minded men and women that were gathered in one place with a mindset focused on a value-based service. 

After retiring from FFFPD in 2017, and taking a year sabbatical to finish my Master’s Degree, I accepted my current position as full-time instructor in the Fire Science Associate Degree program and in 2022, the Public Safety Administration Bachelor’s Degree program at Aims. Throughout my career, I am so grateful to have served with some exceptional leaders. I learned so much from those men and women and it was at those times that I was most content to stay right where I was. But that isn’t where we are meant to stay. I instead was inspired to not just take in the comfort and security of good leadership from others, but to step out and strive to provide it. There is a Proverb that has always guided me: “As iron sharpens iron, so does one person sharpen another.” In this spirit, I hope you not only will learn much from your academic endeavors but that you will pass on what you have learned to others. That will be your legacy, just as the legacy of those who came before you is in what you have and will learn.

Personal Interests

My wife Erin and I were married in 1999 and currently live in western North Carolina where we moved to be closer to family during the COVID pandemic. We enjoy exploring some of the many hiking trails along the Blue Ridge and Smoky Mountains with our dogs and taking trips to the beach whenever time permits. Our next adventure is to hopefully tour the lighthouses of the coast of North Carolina soon, but until then we enjoy spending as much time as we can together sharing and marveling at what God has provided us for as long as we are blessed to have it.