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 a difficult month for me as I have had to say good-bye too several fire service friends and a Missouri State Trooper who died in a traffic crash on duty in my fire district. My prayers go out to Chief Kenny Roberts and the Grundy County Fire Department on the tragic LODD of Eric Lorenz, one of their firefighters while serving the Trenton, Missouri Fire Department. There were many others that have passed also this year and my thoughts and prayers are with their families and friends.
I again had the privilege serving 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 goers. My personal thanks go out to each of you for your professionalism, commitment and faithfulness to FFAM. This was another great fair, the weather, the professional abilities and attitudes and the willingness to put others before themselves. Great job everyone.
Congratulations to all of the personnel receiving awards. These will be identified in another article by our PIO and Battalion Chief Joe Jennings.
As president of the FFAM, I want to thank each director and assistant director that came to the fair to work and give of 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 extras 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 15 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 want 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. Thanks also to Charlie Neubert and Steve Gentry for all of their hours preparing and serving as commissioners. Also, Saturday morning, I announced the appointment of Rick Dozier to the State Fair Fire Department Committee as a commissioner. Rick will serve with a servant’s heart and attitude. Thanks Rick.
I have also appointed Shelby Phifer to the Awards Committee. Shelby is the FFAM District 5 Assistant Director and serves on the Southern Stone County Fire Protection District.
Chief R.B. Brown also did an excellent job again this year with his command staff and personnel, and his cooking abilities along with Larry Eggen and several others that helped are not too bad either. Chief Brown has been asked to head up the kitchen duties of the Missouri State Fair Fire Department for 2016 and has accepted.
Donnie Rogers has been asked to serve as the fire chief for the 2016 fair with Terry Plumb serving as his assistant chief. Both men have accepted the positions.
Joyce Thompson again rose to the request of providing three full meals and snacks 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. Joyce will now become the dessert chef and advisor for R.B. Brown during the 2016 fair. Thank You Joyce for all of your years leading the kitchen staff. It is an enormous task and you handled it well.
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 fire prevention week is quickly approaching.
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.
And last but not least, as we again 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.
Kenneth Hoover, PresidentFire Fighters Association of Missouri