Fire Fighters Association of Missouri

A Message from the 2nd Vice President

Greetings, I hope this article finds you, your family, and your department doing well. The season of fall is upon us, temperatures are cooler and if your in an agriculture community, many of the farmers are finishing up with harvest.

The FFAM is busy this time of year as the committees have been preparing their budgets for the budget committee to be approved by the board at the December meeting. If you have any questions about the budget please contact your director for your area.

In September we saw another LODD Death. Dr. Christopher Bosche with the Missouri Task Force 1 died after a long battle with 9/11 related illness contracted during his response to the World Trade Center. Please continue to keep the Bosche family and members of Missouri Task Force 1 in your thoughts and prayers.

Missouri was represented very well at the National Firefighters Memorial Service in Emmitsburg, MD, in October. Captain Brian Schowengerdt of the South Metro Fire Protection District, Chief Gordon Fowlston of the Riverside Fire Department, and Firefighter Zach Jones of the Salsbury Fire Protection District served as escorts for the weekend for some of the families that lost loved ones in the line of duty. Brian Zinanni who is the state coordinator for the Missouri Firefighter Funeral Assistance Team played bag pipes throughout the whole weekend. Thank you gentleman for your service and thank you for representing Missouri at the national service.

In the last couple of weeks there was a firefighter reunion of the Missouri State Fair Fire Department personnel in Paris Missouri. Personnel enjoyed a great weekend of great food, each other’s company, and even going to visit the Amish country in the area. I heard there was also a sighting of a mouse during the weekend. Rumor has it that they are planning another reunion next year. Thank you to the Fields family for hosting this event.

The last part of October the Missouri EMS Funeral Team had their annual training and convention in Fulton. At the training the EMS personnel trained on planning for a funeral for a line of duty death for an agency, flag folding, and standing guard at the casket. This conference is also the awards ceremony for the organization. Congratulations to Brain Zinanni on receiving the Board of Directors Special Award for his work with PSOB benefits and with Supporting Heroes and to Brenda Wright, wife of Director Greg Wright for receiving the Member of the Year Award. Congratulations to you both on your awards. Well deserved.

Before we know it the holidays will be upon us. We will be spending time with family, friends, and coworkers, especially around the Christmas season. Make sure to follow these tips as we approach Christmas.

Don’t let Christmas ever heat up too much, with fire that is. Did you know that Christmas trees alone result in 13 million dollars, annually, in property damage? More importantly, these fires present real risk towards family and friends. When showcasing a live tree in your home, the combination of tree dryness, electrical malfunction with lights and poorly located heating sources can make for a deadly combination.

But if your holiday is just not complete without a live tree, follow these safety precautions to keep threats at bay:

  • Fresh trees are less likely to catch fire, so look for a tree with vibrant green needles that are hard to pluck and don’t break easily from its branches. The tree shouldn’t be shedding its needles readily.
  • Always place your tree away from heat sources like fireplaces, radiators, candles, heat vents or lights, and keep the tree base filled with water to avoid a dry out.
  • Make sure all your indoor and outdoor Christmas lights have been tested in a lab by the UL or ETL/ITSNA for safety, and throw out any damaged lights.
  • Any lights you use outdoors must be labeled suitable for exterior placement, and be sure to plug them into a ground-fault circuit interrupter protected receptacle.
  • Keep all your holiday candles away from your Christmas tree, surrounding furniture and décor.
  • Bedtime means lights off! Don’t forget to turn your Christmas tree lights off each night.
  • When your tree begins to drop its needles, it’s time to say goodbye to your evergreen foliage until next year. So this year, follow these guidelines to avoid being another statistic in the National Fire Protection Association or United States Fire Administration report during the upcoming holiday season..

I will leave this article by saying its not too early to start thinking about Convention. The 2018 Convention will be held on May 4-6, in St. Joseph. The host hotel is the Stoney Creek Inn . They can be reached at 816-901-9600. Hope to see at the convention .

If you would like for me to attend one of your fundraisers, dinners or events, I will be glad to attend. I can be reached at grant_oetting@yahoo.com. Feel free to email if you would like to Invite me or if you have any questions about the FFAM

Hope you and your family have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.