Instructor of the Year 2021

Eric C. Fayad took up teaching when he was 18 thinking it would help him overcome the butterflies he felt in social situations. He was shy. He stuttered. He decided to turn his fear into opportunity. He was a firefighter and a paramedic at Sunstar, St. Petersburg, Florida (USA), and volunteered to become an in-house CPR emergency services medical instructor.

While teaching was not the key to instant charisma, he excelled in the front of the classroom. He listened to students, and the students listened to him. He paid attention to them. He was sincere. He was teaching a subject of extreme value. “They were not learning about how to sell a piece of equipment,” Fayad said. “They were learning how to save lives.”

Fayad left dispatch in 2017 and the fire department in 2018 . He managed a lot during those years, and, in addition, he had started traveling in 2013 as a regional EMD/EFD instructor for the International Academies of Emergency Dispatch® (IAED™), teaching the things he believes in. Protocol. Saving lives. The vital link of emergency dispatch.

True to his nature, the Instructor of the Year 2021 award gave him pause. Going on stage is different than addressing a roomful of students—live and virtually. “I just like doing the job, teaching,” Fayad said. “Attention is not something I look for.”

Bonni Stockman, IAED Associate Director of Instructor Services, noted Fayad’s enthusiasm for teaching and curriculum development when presenting the award. Fayad said he had lots of people to thank in bringing him to the stage. “It’s been very rewarding,” he said. “I am dedicated to helping the students.”