Dr. John L. Bryan: Pioneer and Professor in Fire Protection Engineering
Source: NFHC News By: Christopher Baker, GIFireE
Cover Photo: Names Left to right: John Crisman, Charles Wright, Dr. John L. Bryan, and William L. Miles, Department of Fire Protection Engineering – University of Maryland.
Dr. John L. Bryan is considered a pioneer and his countless contributions to the fire service and fire protection engineering are well known throughout the United States and around the world.
John was born November 15, 1926, in Washington D.C. to parents George and Buena Bryan. He spent his early days on his family farm and in the Boy Scouts. John would later earn the prestigious rank of Eagle Scout, an award that would follow him through the rest of his life and career. At an early age of 11, he showed an interest in the fire service and started the Rinky Dink Fire Department in his neighborhood to extinguish brush fires started by hot coals falling from the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad coal-burning steam engines.
As he got older, John pursued his interest in the fire service by joining Bethesda-Chevy Chase Rescue Squad. He would go on to hold both paid and volunteer positions. John would volunteer to sit watch over the night at the watch desk and would be seen reading magazines and journals from the NFPA. During his time at the watch desk, he discovered the two-year Firemanship Training Program at the Oklahoma Agricultural and Mechanical College. Eventually, this program evolved into the current Fire Protection and Safety Engineering Technology Department, a part of the College of Engineering, Architecture and Technology at Oklahoma State University. John was interested in studying the more technical aspects of the fire service. Following his graduation at Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School, he enrolled in the program at Oklahoma Agricultural and Mechanical College.