Well, in my last article, I wrote about the snow, sleet and cold weather. Now we are facing excessive rain, severe storms and above normal temperatures. I stand amazed at Missouri weather.
I am equally amazed at the fire fighters of Missouri. The commitment level and faithfulness to the brotherhood is second to none. Whenever disaster strikes, you are always there and ready to serve your communities. And that brings me to the annual Fallen Fire Fighters Memorial Services held on May 18th, and 19th, 2013 in Kingdom City.
Many hours of preparation took place not only with the grounds but with the programs. A work day was conducted on May 11th. Scott Nichols from Little Dixie Fire Protection District headed up the work day and many items were worked on. Helpers also came from, Jefferson City Fire Department, Boone County Fire Protection District, Galt Fire Protection District, Madison-West Monroe Fire District, and Callaway County Commission. I thank each of you.
As they have done for many years, I thank Chief Greg Lubbert and the Central Callaway Fire Protection District that spent many hours using special chemicals to clean all of the granite walls and other tasks the Thursday night prior to the services.
Many hours were also given for the Candlelight Service and the Sunday morning services. Keith Smith, Warrenton Fire Protection District; Bill Albus, Little Dixie Fire Protection District/Missouri State Fire Marshal office; and Linda Coleberd from Hannibal worked many hours gathering information and developing the programs for both services. I thank each of you.
The Candlelight Honor Guard was provided by the Little Dixie Fire Protection District and the Warrenton Fire Protection District. Blue Ice Productions from Warrenton, Missouri provided all of the recording and video services for the entire memorial, as they have done for many years at no charge to the Memorial Foundation. Many, many thanks to Greg and Rose Rosebrock.
Our Honor Guard Commander this year was Captain Joe Haefer of the Metro-West Fire Protection District. Captain Haefer did an outstanding job coordinating Honor/Color Guard and Pipe and Drum members from many fire departments throughout Missouri.
Ladder trucks were provided by the O’Fallon Fire Protection District and the Metro-West Fire Protection District to fly the US Flag at the entrance to the memorial walkway. Washington Volunteer Fire Company provided their antique trucks again. Thanks to all.
We appreciate the Staff for Life Medical Helicopter and flight crew for its fly over and “Salute” to our fallen comrades.
I also need to thank everyone else that helped in any way that made our annual memorial special to everyone, especially to the families being honored.
Thank you to the FFAM Auxiliary for providing and distributing the ribbons and to Doc Kritzer and his wife for having statues and souvenirs available to all attendees.
There were many, many more that help in some way, and I thank each one of you. I apologize if I have forgotten anyone, as I surely have, because it takes so many to get ready for such an event. To those that I did not mention by name, I appreciate your faithfulness every year.
I understand another excellent Summer Fire School was presented in Jefferson City by the University of Missouri Fire and Rescue Training Institute. Congratulations David Hedrick and staff.
The FFAM State Fair Fire Department Committee has been working many hours preparing for the 2013 State Fair. A work weekend was conducted on May 31st and June 2nd with many fire fighters in attendance helping. Thank you for your service and commitment to the success of FFAM. Another work weekend will be held on July 12th, 13th, and 14th at the fire station.
Everything is shaping up for another great time at the Missouri State Fair. A full staff of FFAM members from throughout the state has been selected to work and I am looking forward to a great time seeing old friends and making new ones. Chief RB Brown has worked diligently and invested many hours selecting and preparing his staff to lead and provide the professional fire and rescue/medical services the patrons of the Missouri State Fair have become accustom to.
As I close, the fire service and I as well, have lost another great friend and fire professional just this week. Services were held on June 26th and 27th in St. Louis, Missouri for John Sachen, long time Fire Chief and Instructor. John and Barb and I have been good friends for many years, meeting on the instructors circuit. Let’s keep the Sachen family in our thoughts and prayers in the days and months to come. Barb, I leave you with the scripture from God’s word, Romans 8:28. The fire service will always be deeply indebted to you both. God speed John Sachen.
As always, I am available in the event you have any questions or comments. You may contact me at 573-581-6235 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Kenneth Hoover, President
Fire Fighters Association of Missouri