In the early hours of December 22, 2021, Boone County Fire Protection District Assistant Chief Bryant Gladney responded to a motor vehicle accident on Interstate 70. He was the first fire department unit to arrive on scene in his staff vehicle and blocked a lane of traffic to protect the ambulance on scene. Shortly after, a semi truck struck Chief Gladney's vehicle from behind. Fellow first responders, including previous students, extricated Bryant and transported him to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
At the time of his death, Bryant was the Assistant Chief of Training, coordinating initial firefighter, EMT and Paramedic training as well as continual fire and EMS training.
Bryant left behind his wife, Jamie, and their son, Jack, as well as his oldest son, Shaun, and his wife, Elizabeth.
A PASSION FOR SERVING
Bryant was a hard working paramedic for more than 25 years, later transitioning from the field into the classroom. Bryant enrolled in paramedic class shortly after high school and worked for several EMS organizations throughout the state of Missouri. He served as an Ambulance Service Manager with Boone Hospital EMS, as well as the University of Missouri Hospital EMS. Bryant founded an EMT class for high school students as part of the Columbia Area Career Center.
In 2011, Bryant transitioned to the Boone County Fire Protection District, where he grew the EMS
Education program into one of the top programs in Missouri, attracting students from throughout the region. His knowledge and passion for paramedicine made him an exceptional teacher and leader in the fire district.
Chief Gladney's heart was in teaching, and he influenced the lives of countless EMT and Paramedic students through his work with the training program. His students now work for various EMS and fire agencies throughout the country, including some who became assistant instructors in his program.
"Thank god he was my paramedic instructor, he taught me the foundation of being a great paramedic, which goes so far beyond the medicine. He challenged me, saw potential, encouraged me, took time, and was even a cheerleader."
Matt Gibbs, Flight Paramedic
Outside of work, Bryant was a loving husband and father. He was well known as a baseball and basketball coach with both of his sons, Shaun and Jack. His oldest son, Shaun, followed in his footsteps and became a Firefighter/Paramedic, and was even a member of Bryant's paramedic class. Bryant was a diehard fan of the St. Louis Cardinals and loved vacations to the beach with his family.