September is here. With the cool mornings and sunny afternoons, autumn is my favorite time of the year.
I wanted to take a moment to thank the staff of the State Fair Fire Department for the generosity and courtesy shown to Brenda and me as well as all the division staff who worked at the fair. The professionalism of the people working at the fire department never fails to impress me. I often speak of the community found in public safety. It can be seen in full practice by those taking time to stop by the fire department during the fair. Every time I stopped by the firehouse, I saw members of fire service, EMS, law enforcement and more than a few civilians eating, talking or just socializing. Visitors I brought with me to the fair were in awe of how well everyone got along and the level of service provided by our responders and volunteer staff.
In a time when it seems some want to do nothing but complain about public safety personnel, it does my heart good to see the positive interactions between all responder disciplines and the public. It is one of the highlights of my attendance at the state fair.
I also truly enjoy the time we get to spend with what Brenda refers to as our “fire family.”
I am pleased to announce the division has filled the position of State Fire Mutual Aid Coordinator. Matt Luetkemeyer began those duties on the 16th of August. Matt comes to us with a fire service and military background. He has hit the ground running and appears to be off to a good start. He will be travelling the state over the next few months introducing himself and attending local meetings. If anyone has a meeting coming up they would like him to attend, please let me know.
Along with autumn come fairs, festivals and amusement rides. The Amusement Ride Safety unit of the division works diligently to make sure all amusement rides in Missouri are inspected and maintained. If you or your agency ever has a question or concern about an amusement ride operating in your jurisdiction, please feel free to call the Amusement Ride Safety Unit. Deputy Chief Larry Watson may be reached at (573) 751-5299.
The training season is also in full swing. Everyone should start seeing local cost-free training sessions in their regions shortly. We are working on making the training calendar on the website a bit more user friendly as well as providing a list of training vendors and the courses they can provide. As with anything fire training related, if you have a course you would like to request or have any questions about training opportunities, please contact our training/certification unit.
By now you all should know I feel very strongly that a well-trained and educated fire service is a safe and efficient fire service. The cost-free training is provided as the result of the ongoing efforts of Missouri’s fire service to maintain and even increase the monies appropriated to the division by our state legislature. This funding is for your benefit. Please take advantage of it.
Until I see you again, stay safe!
Acting State Fire Marshal