Fire Fighters Association of Missouri
Archive | January, 2018

History’s Corner – January 2018


The St. Joseph, Missouri fire service began in the 1850’s. Various political groups buy and establish fire companies with little standardization of equipment. These various firefighting groups both competed and cooperated at scenes. St. Joseph councilman General William R. Penick began a campaign to establish a professional fire department in St. Joseph in 1860. In 1865 this plan was completed with the election of General Penick as mayor of the City of St. Joseph.

In 1860 the citizens of St. Joseph approved a $25,000 bond for the establishment of a professional fire department. The uncertainties of the Civil War delayed the implementation of the plan. In 1864 the city council now guided by Mayor Penick approved $5,000 for the purchase of a steam powered fire pump. In May of 1865, the mayor presented the steam fire pumper named ”Black Snake” to the community.

The steam pumper was an awesome piece of equipment that could develop pumping pressures up to 165 pounds per square inch. Unlike the “Water Witch”, the unit already in service in the city, which required human powered and lots of it to develop pump pressure. Needless to say, there was a significant competition that developed between the two fire companies. At fire scenes, occasionally fire streams would be redirected from the fire toward member of the opposing fire companies. Continue Reading →

24th Annual Jeffco Fire Engine Rally

Award Winners – Front Row: Kaleigh Dunnahee, Jr. Grand Marshal; Kyle Schable, Antonia FPD; Karry “Dink”Freidmeyer, Crystal City FD; Sharon Umbdenstock, wife of Frank Umbdenstock; Back Row: Grand Marshal Art Kramer, Antonia FPD; Chief Kevin Cremer, Festus FD; Chief Tony Bova, Crystal City FD; Pat Freidmeyer, Crystal City FD and Rob Schrage.

The 24th Annual Jeffco Fire Engine Rally was held on Saturday, September 30, at the Herculaneum City Park. The annual event is 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.

As in the past, this year’s rally kicked off with a parade of 50-plus emergency apparatus traveling from Crystal City to the city park in Herculaneum where the apparatus remained on static display throughout the day.

Following the parade, an opening ceremony and memorial was held that included the dedication of the 24th Annual Jeffco Fire Engine Rally in remembrance of Paramedic/Firefighter Frank C. Umbdenstock of the Valle Ambulance District and the Jefferson R-7 Fire Protection District. Frank was a member of the Jeffco Fire Engine Rally planning committee for 23 years and was looking forward to the 24th rally when he passed away in July 19, 2017. During the dedication, Frank’s wife Sharon was presented with a Maltese cross plaque in recognition of his years of service to the rally and the fire/EMS service in Jefferson County. Mrs. Umbdenstock was also presented with a framed certificate in recognition of Frank’s name being added to the memorial wall at the Fire Fighters Association of Missouri Memorial in Kingdom City. Following the presentations, Sharon addressed the audience and thanked everyone for their support and love for Frank. Continue Reading →

Greetings From District 9 – 01-2018

Happy New Year! Greetings from the refrigerator known as District 9! I know everyone else is cold also but I’ve already had enough! We are happy to announce the promotion of Captain Kurt Wilbanks to the position of Assistant Fire Chief. Kurt has been with us full-time at West Plains Fire Department since June 1999, and he is well deserving of this promotion. Lots of other great things have been happening in West Plains including, moving into our new Station 2 as well as our new administration and training facility here at headquarters. Our old Fire Station 1 has been torn down and is going to be additional parking space for the Civic Center. Headquarters is now located at 1901 Kissinger St. Also we recently replaced our Rescue Truck with a Midi Rescue/Pumper purchased from Bonne Terre Fire Department. Our firefighters are excited about some other promotions coming up with our department. It’s going to be a great 2018!

Everyone stay safe and stay warm and have a great and prosperous New Year.

News From District 7

Hello from District 7, the east side of the state. I hope everyone had a great and safe Christmas. As we say goodbye to 2017, let’s remember all the brave men and women who gave all. They are watching over us so please be with their families. We are in a new year so let’s make 2018 the best year yet and get the most out of training and encourage districts and departments that are not FFAM members to join the best firefighter’s association in the state!

As I’m typing I can hear the wind blowing at the house. The outside temperature is a balmy 14° with a wind chill of -10° so when you’re out, be sure to bundle up in layers, make sure your automobile is ready for the cold, pack extra water and blankets and carry kitty litter or ice melt for extra traction. If you don’t need to be out, stay inside and enjoy a hot coffee, tea or hot chocolate.

With the new year approaching, it also means that Winter Fire School is coming up. I hope everyone takes advantage and signs up for classes and gets the opportunity to attend the exposition. There are always lots of great deals. Continue Reading →

Riverside FD Receives Grant

Riverside Fire Department’s latest grant will supply its firefighter’s with new state of the art PPE ensembles. Not only will this fire gear allow firefighters to combat fires with less physical exertion but it will also help to prevent cancer, a leading killer of today’s firefighters.

The gear will be purchased through a $22,700 grant from Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation. The grant will purchase eight new Fire Dex PPE Ensembles and the department will be purchasing four additional sets. The ensembles will consist of one full set of structural fire “bunker” gear, one set of rescue gear, and a particulate hood for each firefighter. Continue Reading →

A Message from the 2nd Vice President – 01-2018

Greetings, I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. On November 3, I traveled to the Lake of the Ozarks to attend the MU Fire and Rescue Training Institute’s, Missouri Emergency Services Instructor Conference. This conference is for instructors that do emergency services training for our fellow firefighters and EMS workers in the state. Kevin and his staff put on a great conference and great training for the instructors. The training included several train the trainers including basic firefighter skills, live burn training, and water supply for rural and urban departments to name a few. Great speakers and also naming the Instructor of the Year for the institute. Kevin and Gail did a great job with this as always. Keep up the great work, and thank you for what you do!

November 21, was a special day for our former FFAM Secretary and Treasurer Dale Arnold. Dale retired from the fire service after a 40 year career. Dale started his career with the Carrollton Fire Department and served for nine years before moving on to Central Jackson Fire Protection District where he served thirty-one years moving thru the ranks and retiring as a captain. Dale served nine years as a assistant director to one of our founders of the FFAM Joe Jackson, and eventually served as Secretary/Treasurer for our organization from 1989-2011. Dale also served on the memorial committee for several years. I attended Dale’s retirement ceremony in Blue Springs, lots of good things were said including words from our State Fire Marshal Tim Bean, who also presented Dale with an award, thanking him for his service. Dale enjoy retirement and spoil those grand-daughters of yours, I think you have earned it. Continue Reading →

Auxiliary Minutes – January 2018

FFAM Auxiliary Meeting Sedalia Missouri, December 3, 2017

Meeting called to order by President Diane Hanes at 9:00 a.m.

Introduction of Officers

Diane Hanes, Galt FPD; Theresa Cox, Wentzville FPD; Jessica Miller, Norborne FPD; Sheri Berendzen, Cole County FPD; Ann Jones, Madison West Monroe FD; Chris Slaughter, Warrenton FPD; Joyce Thompson, Kearney Fire Rescue; Brenda Wright, Shelbina FPD; Missy Erdel, Little Dixie FPD; Carla Pettijohn, guest; and Judy Bean, Missouri Fire Marshall office. Continue Reading →

Truck Checks: A New Perspective

Truck checks are a basic function of every fire department. They’re an appropriate task for all members, especially new volunteers. Safety, reliability and equipment familiarity are all improved when trucks are checked on a regular basis.

It’s a great feeling when engines start and run, and folks know where tools and equipment are located. This is especially important during times of stress, like during a working structure fire or auto entrapment.

Difficult situations are made worse when your members can’t find tools, or are unfamiliar with how to start engines on ventilation fans or extrication pumps. Unfortunately, members of your community will see this confusion, which isn’t a good look.

This article is written to address the need for truck checks in all types and sizes of fire department, and how they can be a simple and effective training opportunity for both new and experienced members. Continue Reading →