I believe the groundhog just might have been correct this time. Spring is just around the corner and I am sure all of us are ready for its arrival. It has been a busy winter with many activities we have all attended. I know I am ready for the season to change and for life to return to the trees and grass and for things to come alive again.
Winter Fire School was a huge success thanks to MU FRTI’s hard work. I believe there were over 2,000 registered to attend. Thank you for the commitment to educate our emergency service personnel.
I just returned from the Missouri Fire Chief’s Winter Conference and I was amazed at the main topic this year, Suicide in the Fire Service. We need to always be watching out for each other and recognize the warning signs. This was an eye opener for me. The amount of stress that each of us experience in our daily operations is enormous. May we truly take care of each other in our time of need and service to our communities?
Our annual Fallen Fire Fighters Memorial service is quickly approaching on May 14, at 9:00 p.m. for the Candlelight Service and May 15, at 10:30 a.m. for the Sunday morning services. Our speaker for Sunday morning will be a survivor. Her husband was a line of duty death several years ago. I know she will speak from her heart and you will be inspired.
Please consider this your personal invitation to participate in the honor guard, bag pipes, antique fire equipment, or any other task you desire. Just let me know please. The commander for the honor guard this year is Captain Pat Furlong of the South Metro Fire Protection District. All honor guards and color guards are invited to participate. Please contact Captain Furlong at 816-916-7992 or firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested and plan on attending.
The Kansas City Fire Department and the South Metro Fire Protection District will be providing the aerial apparatus to fly the flag this year. Both departments experienced a line of duty death during 2015. Our sympathy is extended to both organizations and my appreciation to them for flying our flag at the Annual Fallen Fire Fighters Memorial Service on May 15, 2016. I appreciate both chiefs for providing their equipment and personnel for this service.
Lake Ozark Area Fire Departments are busy putting the final touches on our upcoming annual convention. If you have not done so please send your registrations in as soon as possible so they can plan accordingly.
Also if possible please send your contest registrations in to Captain Rob Erdel at email@example.com so everything can be ready for Saturday morning. I recently appointed Captain Erdel to the Chairman of the FFAM Contest Committee. He replaces Rich Gordon who recently retired from the Cole County Fire Protection District. Rich served as the chairman for several years and did an outstanding job. Thanks Rich for all that you have done for FFAM. This will save the contest committee a lot of time preparing for the contest on Saturday morning. I hope there are many teams this year competing for the bragging rights as the best in the state. We all have so much fun competing and just being together as a big family.
Again, anyone wishing to participate or help with the Annual Fallen Fire Fighters Memorial service, please contact me at 573-581-6235 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Everyone have a great and safe spring. As always, your officers and board of directors of FFAM are always available if you have a need. Please contact one for assistance.
Kenneth Hoover, President
Fire Fighters Association of Missouri