As I write this, we are headed into a long 4th of July weekend. Dry conditions exist throughout the state. I wanted to take a moment to remind all responders this is a dangerous time of the year.
Hot dry conditions usually equate to many (and multiple) grass and brush fire responses. I ask that you take a few moments to think about your own personal safety. Be sure to take all the precautions to avoid heat-related illnesses and be ready to recognize those same symptoms in those who serve alongside you.
Think about your driving habits as you respond to these calls. Is a wildland fire really worth being involved in a motor vehicle accident? Have you taken the time to make sure you and all your crew are buckled in?
We all have families who expect our return at the end of the day. A few moments of thought goes a long way in ensuring that occurs.
The Division has just finalized this year’s training contracts with our various training providers across the state. Through the Fire Education/Advisory Commission, we were able to award contracts to provide no-cost training to Missouri fire service. This training includes several of the new certification levels.
This training should be underway shortly, so look for the classes in your area and plan on attending. If your department wants to host a class, please get with the Division and we will put you in touch with a training provider.
It is only through the support of the fire service that this funding is made possible, so please use it to your advantage.
In the last week, I was honored to be invited to attend a graduation of the St. Louis Fire Department’s fire academy recruit class. I watched the recruits walk proudly across the stage after receiving their helmets and badges. I then listened to Chief Jenkerson’s remarks to those recruits about being part of the department, being well trained and ready to respond while still holding onto the sense of community, the brotherhood within the department. The event served to remind me our fire service family continues to grow into the future while still maintaining the traditions so important to us all.
I look forward to attending a fire academy class graduation on July 23rd in Hannibal. These graduates are from the Moberly Area Community College. A smaller event to be sure, but no less important to me. Firefighters serve their communities, no matter the size. They all strive to honorably represent one and all who belong to the fire service family.
And I find it easy to be proud, not only of them as individuals, but as a whole that each of them has chosen to serve and be part of the tradition.
Acting State Fire Marshal