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Firefighter Cancer Update

If there is much good news at all regarding firefighters and cancer, it may be that firefighters may have a lower incidence of lung cancer in some studies when compared to the general population. If this holds in the current studies that are underway, it may be due to restrictions on the use of tobacco products and to the increased use of SCBA compared to past practices.

Following the lungs however, the skin is the body’s second largest organ (in area) and it is highly absorptive. Some areas of skin are more permeable than others, specifically the face, the angle of the jaw, the neck and throat and the groin. Skin’s permeability increases with temperature and for every 5° increase in skin temperature, absorption increases 400%.

The most permeable piece of personal protective equipment is the hood. Hoods are designed to protect our head and neck from heat, but are not designed to stop skin absorption through the forehead, angle of the jaw, the neck and the throat. Continue Reading →

Southern Stone Promotions

From Left to Right: North Battalion Chief Gary Preiss; Captain Anthony Griggs, B Shift Station 1; Lieutenant Dylan Honea, Station 9

The Board of Directors for the Southern Stone County Fire Protection District accepted these recommendations for promotions on November 16, 2017.

Michael Schrage Honored by Crystal City

Michael Schrage was honored in November 2017, by the City of Crystal City as well as other governmental entities for his 50 years of service as a volunteer firefighter. He currently serves as the Assistant Chief for the City of Crystal City, Missouri. Michael is the owner of Schrage Electric Service, and the son of the late Robert and Wanda Schrage, brother to Marilyn Nengel, Robert Schrage Jr., Jo Marie Miller and James Schrage. He is the husband to Janet Schrage and father to Brandi (husband Daniel) and two grandchildren Audri & Allyson Sauer.

Santa Visits Knob Noster Fire Department

On December 16, the Knob Noster Fire Department (KNFD) made their annual trip through the Knob Noster Community escorting Santa Claus and delivering gifts to local children.

This year there were 42 scheduled stops at local address and numerous unscheduled stops to greet all of the kids that came out of their homes to greet Santa.

This annual event started in 1991 with 10 to 12 stops and has blossomed into one of the most exciting evenings the residents of Knob Noster enjoy during the Christmas season.

KNFD collects gifts, which have been dropped off by parents, at Knob Noster City Hall on the Friday before the event. The gifts are then sorted by street address so that a route can be planned for the following evening. Continue Reading →

City of Cameron FD New Pumper

The City of Cameron Fire Department accepted delivery of a new fire rescue pumper truck in August of 2017. The pumper, a Ferrara MVP Pumper Rescue Apparatus was purchased from Firemaster Fire Apparatus in Springfield, Missouri. The pumper has a full rescue body, equipped with a Waterous One Step CAFS System and a 1000 gallon water tank. The purchase of the apparatus was made possible by a 1/4 cent fire department sales tax passed by Cameron voters in April 2016. The Cameron Fire Department is a paid-per-call fire department responding to approximately 350 fire and emergency related calls per year. The department provides protection for the City of Cameron and 144 square miles of Cameron Rural Fire Protection District with a total population of approximately 18,000 residents.

A Message from the 1st Vice President – 01-2018

How can it already be 2018? I hope you enjoyed the end of last year and had the opportunity to visit with family and friends during the various holidays. Early last year in one of my messages I said we would visit the training topic at a later date. I guess “a later date” has arrived. So let’s visit about training a bit.

Why do we in the fire service train in the first place? Is it so we know what we are doing, which affords us a better chance of being successful and safe in our tasks? Could it be because as individuals we want to do things to improve ourselves? Perhaps it could be driven entirely by the pursuit of compliance with NFPA or ISO standards. Of course there are many reasons we pursue training and we will not discuss them all. When training time comes, my wife always reminds me of an episode of the Flintstones, an old cartoon for you who have not heard of them, that highlighted the training for the Bedrock Fire Department, which basically served as a way to get out of the house and socialize because like the town’s name suggests everything was made of rock and there really were not many fires. I always assured her that although some of the meetings were somewhat social we were actually preparing ourselves to serve the public to the best of our abilities. Continue Reading →

History’s Corner – January 2018


The St. Joseph, Missouri fire service began in the 1850’s. Various political groups buy and establish fire companies with little standardization of equipment. These various firefighting groups both competed and cooperated at scenes. St. Joseph councilman General William R. Penick began a campaign to establish a professional fire department in St. Joseph in 1860. In 1865 this plan was completed with the election of General Penick as mayor of the City of St. Joseph.

In 1860 the citizens of St. Joseph approved a $25,000 bond for the establishment of a professional fire department. The uncertainties of the Civil War delayed the implementation of the plan. In 1864 the city council now guided by Mayor Penick approved $5,000 for the purchase of a steam powered fire pump. In May of 1865, the mayor presented the steam fire pumper named ”Black Snake” to the community.

The steam pumper was an awesome piece of equipment that could develop pumping pressures up to 165 pounds per square inch. Unlike the “Water Witch”, the unit already in service in the city, which required human powered and lots of it to develop pump pressure. Needless to say, there was a significant competition that developed between the two fire companies. At fire scenes, occasionally fire streams would be redirected from the fire toward member of the opposing fire companies. Continue Reading →