The Fire Protection & Paramedicine Science Department Welcomes Two New Faculty Members

Ashland Building

The Fire Protection and Paramedicine Science Department at EKU proudly announces the addition of two new faculty members.  Jeffrey “JP” Conkwright joined the fire programs in fall of 2020.  Chief Robert Hendricks will join the fire programs in spring of 2021.  Below are brief biographies for each new faculty member and please join us in welcoming them!  

JP Conkwright

JP ConkwrightMr. Conkwright joins EKU’s fire programs as an Assistant Professor in the Fire Protection and Safety Engineering Technology Program at Eastern Kentucky University in Richmond, Kentucky.  He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Fire and Safety Engineering Technology from EKU and a Master of Engineering degree from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.  He is currently completing a PhD in Interdisciplinary Engineering at UAB where his research focuses on dust explosions in the wind turbine blade industry.  JP’s professional background spans roles including Consulting Engineer, Operations Manager, Marketing Manager, Director of Quality and Safety, and Director of Operations in prestigious multinational companies.  He has presented on fire and safety related topics on three continents and led teams spanning eight countries.  JP is a member of the National Association of Fire Investigators, National Fire Protection Association,  member of the NFPA 70e technical committee, past chair of the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) Electrical Safety Working Group and past member of the AWEA Environmental, Health, and Safety Standards Committee, AWEA Electrical Safety Working Group, AWEA Environmental Health and Safety Subcommittee, Operations and Maintenance Safety Working Group, AWEA Safety Committee Member, and AWEA O&M Committee Member.  

Chief Robert G Hendricks (Ret)

Chief Robert G. HendricksRobert Hendricks has recently retired from firefighting in the Lexington Fayette Urban County Government Division of Fire and Emergency Services (590 uniformed members, 24 stations) in Central Kentucky and was Chief of Department there for eight years.   Immediately prior to that, he served the City of Georgetown, KY as Chief of Department for 5 ½ years. From humble beginnings as a volunteer firefighter and Emergency Medical Technician, he has served communities large and small in all capacities from that of firefighter to chief of department over a 49 year period. Those departments include volunteer, combination, and full paid staffing examples. He is also currently a volunteer firefighter with the Stamping Ground, KY Fire Department recently appointed Assistant Fire Chief.  

He maintains his 40 year licensure as a Paramedic, and has served with fire-based, third service, private, and helicopter air ambulance services over the length of his career. He helped formulate and develop both Lexington's hazardous-materials and technical rescue services over much of his time there, including having several members on FEMA's Ohio Task Force One, for which he served on the advisory board.

He has recently been serving Eastern Kentucky University in both on-line and classroom instruction (2014-20).  A former Training Officer with Lexington Fire, he has been a part-time instructor and educator in a variety of settings, public and private, since 1981, including  health care settings such as the UK Medical Center, industrial settings such as Toyota Motor Manufacturing, and 10 years with KCTCS-Fire-Rescue Training. Trained as a SWAT medic, he served briefly in that capacity for law enforcement. As a trained Peace Officer, he oversaw the fire investigators of the Division of Fire in Lexington. 


Elected President of the Metropolitan Fire Chiefs Association in 2010, he has had the pleasure and responsibility to lead the chiefs of the top 125 most populous cities of the United States and some other countries with regard to many important issues, past and present. In addition, Bob has represented the American fire service in the U.S. Congress, the Kentucky Legislature, and on three other continents. He served on the Executive Board of the Kentucky Firefighters Association as a Vice President.   A past president of both the Central Kentucky Firefighters Association and the Kentucky Association of Fire Chiefs, he was appointed by previous governors to terms on both the Kentucky Fire Commission and the Paramedic Subcommittee of the State Board of Medical Licensure. 

A former Kiwanian, he has served on the National Safe Place Advisory Board and the Central Kentucky board of the American Heart Association. A 1984 graduate of Eastern Kentucky University, he holds a BS in Fire and Safety Engineering Technology and was named a “Distinguished Alumnus” in 2004. He earned his MS in Public Administration in 2014 from Anna Maria College, Paxton, MA.  He has recently been hired as a full time Lecturer for EKU.

Published on January 13, 2021