Welcome to what will soon be the dog days of summer. Fireworks season is coming to a close, but the fair and festival season is just beginning to hit its peak. You may not all be aware the Division is responsible for issuing permits for all amusement rides operated in the state. Amusement rides, both fixed rides and those traveling from fair to fair, are required to undergo an annual safety inspection before being allowed to operate. You should find a current operating permit in the form of a sticker affixed to any properly permitted ride. Division inspectors conduct spot safety inspections of the rides at locations around the state. These inspections are not only performed on the equipment, but also the operation of the ride to insure all safety protocols are followed by the ride operator. Anyone having concerns or questions about an amusement ride should contact the Division.
The Division, working through the Fire Education Commission, recently awarded contracts for over $456,000 to 14 training partners for no cost firefighter training. Approximately $66,000 of that amount came from the Chemical Emergency Preparedness Fund and is earmarked for hazardous materials training. A large portion of the training funding is the result of money collected through the Division’s permitting of Missouri’s 1,200 fireworks retailers.
In the past, I know some regions of the state have had difficulty hosting training, usually due to low classroom attendance. I would like to personally challenge every region to take advantage of the no cost training our partners offer. If a department recognizes a need not addressed in the training opportunities currently offered, I would like to hear your thoughts. The Commission has made every effort to provide topical updated training opportunities relevant to Missouri’s fire service needs.
And finally, while currently the grass is green and it seems we have rain somewhere in the state daily, we are still just a few windy days away from the return of dry, hot and humid conditions. Heat related injuries to responders peak during these months. I ask that we all take a moment to not only watch ourselves as we respond to emergencies, but also consider conducting periodic checks on the elderly in our communities.
Be safe and enjoy your summer.
Assistant State Fire Marshal