I’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for the support and confidence you have shown since my initial appointment as State Fire Marshal on February 8, 2017. The list of compliments, texts, along with phone calls is as long as the ride to the thirteenth floor. I truly am humbled and appreciative for each and every one of them. I will do my best and try and be the best boots on the ground each and every day as your state fire marshal.
We at the Division want to say “thank you” to each and every one who attended Firefighter’s Day at the Capitol on April 5. Governor Eric Greitens attended and assured the Missouri fire service that he has our backs, along with state senators and representatives who also attended and showed their appreciation and support, it all made for a good day. We appreciate our training partners MU FRTI and Three Rivers College for displaying their training props. An additional thank you to the following fire service entities: Holt Summit FPD, Cole County FPD, Air Force Fire Department, U.S. Forestry Service, Missouri Conservation (Fire Division), Jefferson City Fire, and West Plains Fire for bringing your trucks and equipment for displays in front of the Capitol. Also thank you to Jefferson City Fire for the color guard, and flag posting, and Boone County Bag-Pipe and Drums for serenading us. Lastly I want to brag on the staff of the Division for all of the behind the scenes work that made this event a great success. I appreciate your dedication and devotion to the Missouri Fire Service day in and day out. You’re the best team ever.
The Department of Public Safety is presently accepting nominations for the Missouri Public Safety Medals Awards. The following categories are available, Medal of Valor, Public Safety Medal of Merit, Governor’s Medal, Director’s Leadership Medal, Hall of Fame Award Medal, and Public Safety Civilian Partnership Medal. Please get the word out in your communities, we would like any and everyone who has gone beyond the call of duty to be selected and awarded. Go to dps.mo.gov and nominate someone.
The legislative session for 2017 is in the homestretch. The budget is one of the main topics in the final days. The Division’s budget is looking fairly good at the moment. The training funds have been established at around the $900,000 mark. We are excited with that. Although the legislation passed last year, we are still working on funding for the Worker’s Compensation grants for Volunteer Fire Protection Associations. If funded, non-tax supported fire associations may apply for up to $2,000 in grants to be applied toward worker’s compensation insurance premium. This is a new program and we will have to try and get our arms around all of the working parts, but are really excited about bringing this benefit to Volunteer Fire Protection Associations.
As the state fire marshal I would like to share one of our missions looking forward this year. We are going to be coming to you for your support to establish minimum firefighter training standards. We will put a template out as to what this looks like sometime this summer for your input. We will push this out through an online survey. I would ask your sincere input with this topic. We as the Missouri fire service can do this. Thousands of Missouri firefighters already meet this standard, and it will be your job to help us to reach our fellow firefighters to get them trained to the standard. If the police, emergency medical technicians, and paramedics all have a state and national standard, why can’t we? A barber has to have over 1,000 hours certified training to be recognized and certified in our state! We as the Missouri Fire Service are better than this. Please join us and let’s make this happen!
In closing we have had several retirements here on the thirteenth floor. Deputy Chief Zieres, Regional Chiefs, Dennis Kleyh and Rodger Windle, and Office Executive Michelle Malone have ridden off into the sunset. Between the four of them there is over 100 years of experience with the Fire Marshal’s Office. We wish them all a great and healthy retirement. Thanks for your dedication to the Division and the firefighters of Missouri, God bless you and may he smile upon you!
Come visit us on the thirteenth floor, and remember we work for you! Join us on Facebook.
J. Tim Bean
State Fire Marshal
Missouri Division of Fire Safety
Department of Public Safety