Schools are back in session and we are all winding down all of our summer activities. It has been a very busy summer for many of us. It has been many days now without rain and the temperatures in the upper 90’s. We need some relief soon.
I had the privilege of being at the State Fair Fire Department during the State Fair and seeing many old friends and the opportunity to make many new ones. It is always encouraging to see so many firefighters and EMS personnel from all over the state come together to serve the fair attendees. We had several new faces this year and each one of them told me they enjoyed serving at the fair and looked forward to hopefully getting to return next year. My personal thanks go out to each of you for your professionalism, commitment and faithfulness to the FFAM.
I would like to thank Chief R.B. Brown for his outstanding performance and the effective leadership he demonstrated and provided to his staff. We have asked Chief Brown to return next year. As a Commissioner, this was one of the best years I have spent at the fair. I also want to thank Chairman Monty Thompson for his guidance to the committee. Commissioners Steve Gentry and Charlie Neubert did an outstanding job, along with Keith Smith, who willingly volunteered to preach on Sunday morning in my absence. I was told he did an outstanding job. Thanks men. Others will be writing an article concerning the fair activities so I will not elaborate now.
I need to also thank several fire service vendors. Each morning of the fair, Officer 4, Steve Gentry would conduct a trivia question and all of those with the correct answer would be put in a hat to draw for a prize. Some of the prizes were donated by these fire service vendors; Towers Fire Apparatus, Feld Fire Equipment, VFIS Insurance, FFAM, Little Dixie Fire Protection District, and Madison-West Monroe Fire Protection District. If I have forgotten any please forgive me.
I am pleased to announce that we also had several FFAM officers and directors come to the fair to see how FFAM provides emergency services to the State Fair. They even spent the night in the bunk rooms and survived to tell about it.
While at the fair, on Legislators Day, I had the opportunity to speak to Governor Jay Nixon, Speaker of the House, Tim Jones, US Senator Roy Blunt and Representative Parsons from Pettis County. I asked for their continued support of the fire service here in Missouri. Each one of them thanked us for the job we do each and every day and also every year at the Missouri State Fair.
There were many food donations this year, and we always appreciate that. Joyce Thompson and her kitchen crew did an outstanding job as always, as did Terry Wynne and the Sayer family. The Galt crew fried fish for us on the 1st Tuesday of the fair, as they have done for many years. It was all excellent and well received again this time. Thanks!
Many fall activities are approaching concerning the fire service and I would like to remind everyone of the assistance that FFAM can provide. Mr. R.B. Brown of the Eureka and Union Fire Protection Districts heads up the Fire Prevention Committee and is available to assist you with ideas or any other issues you may encounter.
Representing FFAM, I have had the difficult task of attending some of the line of duty death funeral services we have experienced so far in 2013. I pray for the families and departments as they adjust to the days and months ahead.
As we head into the fall season, I ask each of you to use caution and practice safe response habits. We do not want to see or hear of any other tragedies from our brother and sister firefighters. It seems like every day we hear of someone being injured. Stay safe my friends.
Last but not least, as we approach September, let us never forget that horrible day of September 11, 2001. Today, I say a special prayer for each fire fighter, police officer and EMS personnel. I ask each of you to please do the same.
I am trying to send to Gail and Jaime some photo’s we took at the state fair for all to see but I am not too savvy with this new technology. In fact Kristina Dozier had to set up my new smart phone at the fair. I think it took her every bit of 2 minutes. Kristina, how do I send this folder of pictures? Ha ha, I am glad I can laugh at myself.
I will keep my article short this issue as I have asked several others to write, informing you of their activities and success these past few months.
As always, please contact me with any thoughts or issues you may have.
Kenneth Hoover, President
Fire Fighters Association of Missouri