Over sixty-five fire trucks and ambulances ascended on the Herculaneum City Park on Saturday, September 24 to take part in the 23rd Annual Jeffco Fire Engine Rally sponsored by the Jefferson County Firefighters Association. The fall weather was absolutely gorgeous, but hot, and the event attracted firefighters, children and festival-goers from across the state. The 23rd rally followed in the footsteps of its predecessors by once again being a very successful event.
As in the past, this year’s rally kicked off with a parade of emergency apparatus traveling from Crystal City to the city park in Herculaneum. Following the parade, an opening ceremony was held that includes a memorial service honoring the men and women associated with the Jefferson County fire service who passed away during the previous year. The memorial includes the reading of the individual’s name, their years of service and department followed by a single ring of the memorial bell. Individuals remembered this year included: Donald L. Boyer, Festus Fire Department; Terry L Gore, DeSoto Rural Fire Protection District; Thomas H. M. Murry, Herculaneum Fire Department; Jonathan L. Noce, Joachim-Plattin Ambulance District; Robert Rose, Cedar Hill Fire Protection District, Russell L. Rose, District; Roger D. Shepard, Crystal City Fire Department, Terry L. Voyles, DeSoto Rural Fire Protection District and Carol A. Watson, Cedar Hill Fire Protection District. A moment of silence in remembrance of September 11, 2001, is also included in the memorial. Members of the Ozark Firefighters Association provided the Color Guard for the fire engine rally.
During the opening ceremony, the annual Jefferson County Awards are presented to those individuals and departments who are selected by an awards committee from the nominations that are submitted.
The annual Jefferson County Firefighter Awards were presented as follows: Firefighter of the Year Award to Mick Fischer, Cedar Hill Fire Protection District; Fire Chief of the Year Award to Chief Terry Soer, Cedar Hill Fire Protection District; and the Fire Department of the Year Award to Cedar Hill Fire Protection District.
The opening ceremony also includes the introduction and presentation of plaques to the rally grand marshal and junior grand marshal. Assistant Chief Mike Schrage of the Crystal City Fire Department was honored as grand marshal and Serenity Morris of St. Louis County, Missouri, represented the Midwest Burn Camp and Burns Recovered Support Group of St. Louis as the junior grand marshal. The O’Fallon Fire Protection District provided transportation for the grand marshal and Todd Mahn of DeSoto provided transportation for the junior grand marshal.
The annual rally features numerous demonstrations each year and the 23rd rally was no different. The Crystal City Fire Department presented a vehicle fire suppression demonstration; the Hematite Fire Protection District presented a vehicle extrication demonstration and the Antonia Fire Protection District presented a fire ventilation demonstration. ARCH Air Rescue, Survival Flight, and Air Evac all had rescue helicopters on display at the rally.
Other awards presented at the rally included the following apparatus winners:
- Best Overall Antique: Todd Mahn, DeSoto, Missouri
- Newest Apparatus in Service: Hillsboro Fire Protection District
- Oldest Apparatus in Service: Hematite Fire Protection District
- Best Overall Current Apparatus: Riverview Fire Protection District
- Best Aerial Apparatus: Dunklin Fire Protection District
- Best Pumper Apparatus: Mapaville Fire Protection District
- Best Overall Ground Cover Apparatus: Ste. Genevieve Fire Department
- Best Rescue Apparatus: Herculaneum Fire Department
- Best Tanker Apparatus: DeSoto Rural Fire Protection District
- Best Lettering and Detailing: Survival Flight
- Best Overall EMS Vehicle: Rock Township Ambulance District
- Heritage Apparatus Award: Cedar Hill Fire Protection District
- Farthest Traveled: Irondale Fire Protection District
- Judge’s Award: Antonia Fire Protection District
As in the past, this year’s rally included numerous activities for the children including a children firefighter challenge, bounce house and an inflatable slide, a photo-booth, face-painting, a fire safety house and a scavenger hunt.
The Jefferson County Firefighters Association thanks all of the vendors, equipment sales and food vendors for participating at this year’s rally. The 23rd rally had the largest number of vendors in the history of the rally. A big thank you goes out to the sponsors of the event and to those who attended.
Mark your calendars! The Twenty-Fourth JeffCo Fire Engine Rally will be held on Saturday, September 30, 2017 in Herculaneum.