You have heard me speak, endlessly it seems, on our need to grow, to evolve, to continue to move forward to ensure Missouri’s fire service is well trained and prepared for whatever is thrown at them.
As part of that evolution, an idea which started 10 years ago and became a vision in the last 4 years – that of the State Fire Marshal’s office becoming the State point of contact for the National Fire Academy (NFA), has finally come to fruition.
Based upon our statutory authority, the growth of the programs and the oversight of the State Fire Marshal’s office, the United States Fire Administration recently recognized our office as the state representative to the Academy.
This change was driven by not only my desire to have the State Fire Marshal’s office as the state point of contact, but also by our fire service partners and Missouri’s community colleges.
We are working closely with the University of Missouri Extension Fire and Rescue Training Institute to make a smooth transition to this position. The end-users of the programs should see little change initially as it was a joint agreement since courses and programs were already scheduled and the grant to operate those programs was already in place, there was no compelling reason to make immediate operational changes.
I know there are rumors floating around about what this means to our state, however, as I have spoken in numerous meetings about my desire to make the change, my goal has always been clear – this is something I believe belongs within the State Fire Marshal’s office based upon our role and responsibility as the state agency charged with the training and certification of Missouri’s fire service.
I also want to make it very clear we will not limit nor restrict any quality training offered in our state. In fact, it is my goal to expand the training offered throughout Missouri while better allowing all our training partners to benefit from the opportunities provided by our office being the NFA point of contact.
I am available to answer any questions or concerns you may have regarding this.
Finally, I am sure you are aware that in October, we lost two Kansas City Firefighters. I was privileged to attend the memorial service and the funerals for both of these men. I learned much about them and what drove them to become members of Missouri’s fire service. They exemplified the type of individuals we should all strive to be. They served their community, not only as firefighters, but also as solid family men, caring neighbors and good friends to all those who knew them. Their loss will be felt for a very long time and my thoughts continue to be with their comrades and families in this most difficult of times.
Acting State Fire Marshal