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 an extremely difficult year for me as I have had to say goodbye to many dear fire service friends. I had the honor of officiating at the funeral of my dear friend, Arthur “Shorty” Smith. Shorty was a true example of what a fire service leader is. Art sacrificed many times providing for numerous departments in this state and for numerous firefighters, by giving financially and of his time. I was proud to call Art a friend, my assistant chief, and a leader to all who knew him. There were many others that have passed this year as well and my thoughts and prayers are with their families and friends.
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. My personal thanks go out to each of you for your professionalism, commitment and faithfulness to FFAM. I believe this was the best fair for many years, the weather, the professional abilities and attitudes, and the willingness to put others before themselves. Great job everyone.
As president of FFAM, I want to thank each director and assistant director that came to the fair to work and give their time and talents, or to just visit and encourage everyone.
I also want to thank the Galt Fire Protection District crew led by Chief Terry Wynne, that comes faithfully every year to fry fish and all the fixin’s for the hungry emergency service workers. I know they appreciate your efforts and it was excellent again this year.
We had the pleasure of having 17 new firefighters and EMS personnel this year. We also had several new juniors serving in the dispatch division. It is so encouraging to see the excitement that comes with new people. They come with the sincere attitude to serve others.
I need to personally thank Chairperson Monty Thompson for his leadership to the FFAM State Fair Fire Department Committee. Monty always does an excellent job demonstrating his patience, wisdom and knowledge to all of the personnel and his fellow commissioners. His many years of service to the State Fair are invaluable.
Chief R.B. Brown also did an excellent job again this year with his command staff and personnel, and his cooking abilities are not too bad either. Chief Brown has been asked to return as the 2015 Fire Chief of the Missouri State Fair Fire Department and he has accepted.
Joyce Thompson rose to the request of providing three full meals every day to over 100 people at each meal. She did a fabulous job leading her very capable crew and I commend them for their willingness to step up to the request. All of their food was exceptional.
The list just goes on and on so I am just going to thank each one of you that served in any way. We could not provide this vital service without each of you. Thanks for volunteering your time and talents.
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.
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 firefighter, police officer and EMS personnel. I ask each of you to please do the same.
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. You may contact me at 573-581-6235 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Kenneth Hoover, President
Fire Fighters Association of Missouri