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The professor’s room

An occasional series that gets within the inner sanctums of academia – because clever people have interesting rooms.

By Mark Cox

February 7, 2017

Brian Bagwell's Office.

As both a firefighter and mental health professional, Brian Bagwell was ideally placed to support traumatized emergency workers at ground zero after 9/11. These days, Brian leads a quieter life – but his campus office still holds memories of his eventful past.

1. Firefighter helmet
We’re very involved with several fire chiefs throughout the metro area, and a few different departments have now donated fire helmets to us. It’s a nice gesture that shows how much they support our work

2. Emergency services memorabilia
I always wore my POPPA (Police Officers Providing Peer Assistance) ID badge while supporting other emergency professionals at ground zero. And the silver badges mark 20 years’ work with Aurora Fire Department. Those were happy days.

3. Puck
The New York Police Department’s annual hockey game is generally a big event. But in 2001, the department also marked the somber occasion with this special “Never Forget” commemorative puck.

4. Firefighters book
This great book, a huge compendium of all things firefighter and an expansive history of the fire service, is published by the National Fallen Firefighters’ Foundation. Now that I lead a fire and emergency response administration major, it’s nice to look at it sometimes for inspiration.

5. Birdhouse
One of my former students makes birdhouses as a hobby. When she graduated, she presented me with this cute little model. It has a fire pole and says “MSU FD” on the front. I found it very touching that she’d go to so much trouble.

6. Broncos banner
Not many people recall this, but the Broncos had their inaugural game at their new stadium – against the New York Giants – on the night before 9/11. I was living in New Jersey at the time, but my son and I flew out for the game. Back in New York, the game finished really late, past midnight, and quite a few firefighters called in sick because of that. So the ripple effect of this game probably saved some lives. It was mentioned time and again in debriefings, with many saying, “I would have been right in the middle of it….”

Calling all faculty members.

Do you have an interesting office – and would you like to feature it in our new series? Just email Mark Cox.

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