FAIRMONT, Minn. (KEYC) — Of the more than 4,000 firearm safety instructors in the state of Minnesota, one Fairmont man has stood out for going above and beyond.
Brad Wells has been named the 2018 DNR Volunteer Safety Instructor of the Year.
For over 20 years he’s helped teach fire safety to children and adults.
Jen Mueller, Southwest Regional Training Officer for the Department of Natural Resources Enforcement Division, recognized his work and dedication.
“He really does have a passion for it. He’s been a volunteer firearm safety instructor for 20 years but the lead instructor here for 18 years," she said. "And he has really taken it from a small class to a wide expanded class.”
Wells explained what people get to experience when they come to learn.
“They get an opportunity to shoot black powder rifles. They have an opportunity to shoot trap with shot guns. We set up a duck boat to do a simulated duck hunt," he said. "We have an archery range where most people get a first experience with archery. "
But it’s not only the wide range of learning that causes Wells to stand out. He also has been instrumental in encouraging women to attend and serve as instructors.
“Traditionally when I started it was 100% male. We like to have as many female instructors as possible so that females in the course can feel comfortable at all l times," Wells said.
And the former elementary teacher of over 30 years has no plans to stop now.
“This lets me still have access to working with children. It’s a great pleasure to be outdoors to share my passion for the outdoors with young hunters who are just getting started," he said,