What a busy time since our last newsletter. Many things have taken place since then, and I will try to enlighten you on several of them.
Because of the severe weather, we canceled our scheduled February 2 FFAM Board meeting that was to be held in Festus, Missouri at the host hotel of our annual convention. So I re-scheduled the board meeting for March 2 in Sedalia, but again, the weatherman was predicting 6 to 8 inches of snow on top of some ice. I felt the safety of all that would be attending would be at risk and therefore canceled that meeting also. We might look for a better date but could end up just waiting for the board meeting at convention in May.
It seems like I was busy the last two months traveling around the state for difficult issues. I attended the funeral for longtime Vichy Fire Department Firefighter LeRoy Tipton held in St. James, Missouri. I had the honor but difficult task of delivering a death benefit check to John Kelly, the beneficiary of Braymer Fire Department member Gayle Bay, and then I attended the funeral of Columbia Fire Department Lieutenant Bruce Britt. Our sympathy goes out to the chiefs and members of each of these departments. May God bless each and every one of you.
Winter Fire School was a success again this year. I would like to congratulate David Hedrick and his staff for all of their hard work. Several of my firefighters attended and said it was an excellent training opportunity.
I would also like to express our appreciation and thanks to State Fire Marshal Randy Cole who recently announced his retirement. Randy has been a strong supporter of the fire service here in Missouri. The FFAM is grateful for the relationship we have shared for many years and wish you happiness in your future endeavors.
Many things are in the planning stages for a busy spring. FFAM’s annual convention to be held in Festus, the Jefferson County Fire Fighters Association is working very hard and putting together an impressive agenda for us. I would encourage everyone to register early and make plans on attending and competing in the firefighter competitions.
Immediately following the FFAM Convention, the National Fallen Fire Fighters Conference begins in Clayton, Missouri. This will also be a great opportunity to support our fallen brothers and sisters. Please register and volunteer to help. They have many activities that you could assist with.
We then have Mothers Day to celebrate and count our blessings and show our appreciation to the one that even made it possible for us to be in a career which we enjoy today.
We then quickly move into our own annual Fallen Fighters Memorial Services on Saturday, May 17 for the Candlelight Service at 9:00 p.m. and Sunday morning, May 18 at 10:30 a.m. for the Memorial Service. I am sure that Memorial Chairman Keith Smith will write more on this.
The summer also looks very busy for many of us with the Missouri State Fair coming up and all of the planning that will require. This is another opportunity for you to serve in your organization. Many lifelong friendships have developed while serving at the state fair.
As always, all of the FFAM committees are hard at work, meeting and preparing for the convention. Awards are being decided on, scholarships evaluated, contest rules reviewed, nominations collected and many more items to be considered by the organization. Good work committees, and thank you for your many hours of service.
FFAM continues to grow its membership. I know of several departments and firefighters that have or will be joining our organization this year and I appreciate their willingness to become a part of the largest group of firefighters in our state. May we always keep in mind that it is the people of this state that we serve and protect and that the board of directors will continue to strive to improve our organization and its mission.
Again, I encourage everyone, if at any time that I can assist you or your department, please contact me by phone or e-mail at 573-581-6235 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Serving with you,
Kenneth Hoover, President
Fire Fighters Association of Missouri