Fire Fighters Association of Missouri
Archive | March, 2018

Ladies Auxiliary

Can you believe it, our 2018 convention is fast approaching? At the  convention everyone enjoys stopping by the Auxiliary’s Silent Auction table to see what great items are available. Did you know the Auxiliary Silent Auction is one of our main fund-raisers for the year? With the monies raised the Auxiliary has been able to make sizeable donations to the Memorial fund, Missouri Fire Service Funeral Assistance Team, and to the National Fallen Fire Fighters Survivors Conference. The Auxiliaries objective is to continue supporting great organizations like these and others. We have done this with your gracious bids on our silent auction items. We thank you very much for the support you have given us each year.

Please help us continue by donating to the silent auction this year. We are looking for silent auction items from any and all departments, auxiliaries, or individuals. Donations in the past have been homemade quilts, antique fire service items, fire related decorations and décor, gift baskets and so much more. We accept non fire related items also. One department worked with an amusement park to donate passes and more for their donation. Your donated silent auction items are how we can continue financial support for organizations that need our help. We need departments, auxiliaries, and individuals to bring silent auction items to convention this year for our continued success. Volunteers are needed to work the auxiliary booth for 1-2 hours. Please contact me if you can volunteer. Continue Reading →

MO Division Spotlight – March 2018

Matthew Luetkemeyer, the Statewide Fire Mutual Aid Coordinator for the Division of Fire Safety has served in the fire service for the last twenty-eight years, but not always in Missouri. From humble beginnings, following in his father’s and grandfather’s footsteps, Matt started out as a volunteer firefighter in Warrenton in 1990 as a junior firefighter. At the same time, he was a cadet member of the Wentzville Composite Squadron of the Civil Air Patrol. Upon graduation from high school in 1992, Matt combined his passion for the fire service with his interest in aviation and military studies, and enlisted in the United States Air Force as a firefighter.

After completing basic military training and graduating from the Department of Defense Fire Academy, Matt was assigned to Whiteman AFB, in Missouri. He worked his way up through the ranks from the tail board to crew chief, with temporary duty assignments in the Middle East and Central America. In 1996, Matt left active duty to serve in the Air Force Reserves and then on to the Missouri Air National Guard. While serving part time as a firefighter, and still as a volunteer in Warrenton, Matt worked as a dispatcher for Warren County Joint Communications. This led to a position with the Missouri State Highway Patrol as a tele-communicator at Troop C in St. Louis. During this time, Matt met his wife, Betsy, and now son, Wesley. In 2000, Matt and Betsy made the decision to return to active duty in the Air Force and were given a direct duty assignment to the Fire Department at Charleston AFB, SC. After Charleston, they then continued their military journey, being assigned to fire departments at Eielson AFB, Alaska, where they welcomed the birth of their son, Jacob. Then on to Daegu AB, Republic of South Korea, and Minot AFB, North Dakota, where they welcomed the birth of their daughter, Magdalene. They then went to RAF Mildenhall, England, and then back to Minot, North Dakota, where Matt retired in 2016 with twenty-four years of service. Over the years, Matt has held duty positions throughout the spectrum of the fire service to include Firefighter, Driver/Operator, Crew Chief, Logistics Officer, Station Chief/Captain, Fire Inspector, Assistant Chief of Health and Safety, Assistant Chief of Operations, and Assistant Chief of Training. Other duties have included Contracting Officer Representative and Inspector over War Reserve Material maintenance contracts, U.S. Customs Inspector, Unit Safety Representative, and Unit Deployment Manager. Deployments and temporary assignments have included duties in the United Arab Emirates, Honduras, Qatar, Okinawa, Germany, and Iraq. After retiring from military service, Matt, Betsy, and their children returned to Missouri to settle down and establish a permanent home.

Upon their return to Missouri, Matt and his family settled in to Columbia where they started the search for their new careers. Matt found his way to the Division of Fire Safety and secured the position as the Statewide Fire Mutual Aid Coordinator, where he quickly established a rapport with fire departments all over the state. Through the coordination of resources over several emergencies, along with the assistance of the nine Regional Fire Mutual Aid Coordinators and the command staff from departments far and wide, he has quickly gained a foothold within the fire service here in Missouri. Above and beyond his Mutual Aid duties, he oversees the NFIRS reporting as the State NFIRS Program Manager for the U.S. Fire Administration. As well as maintaining the Fire Department Registration process, Radio Frequency Sharing Agreements with the Division of Fire Safety, the Division’s Donated Equipment Program, the Missouri Volunteer Fire Service Program, and he has been an integral part of the new Missouri Firefighter Veterans’ Initiative. He also fields questions from not only the fire service, but also citizens from around the state in regards to burn bans, fire department activities and requirements, fire reports, and other related topics. Matt has also established communications, and worked on projects with the Statewide Mutual Aid Coordinators for Law Enforcement and Emergency Medical Services, the Missouri State Highway Patrol, the U.S. Forest Service, the Missouri Department of Conservation, and Department of Defense partners, from both active duty and the National Guard from around the state. Matt has been a valuable and dedicated member of the team in the Division and plans to be for a very long time.

Betsy has established her new career as an employee of the State of Missouri as well. Initially working for the Department of Health and Senior Services, she now works for the Department of Social Services as an Administrative Office Assistant. Wesley, 23, works for a non-profit organization in Columbia, and Jake, 14, and Maggie, 8, are both attending school. Together, they have enjoyed being back home close to family and enjoy the outdoors of Missouri by camping, hiking, and ATV riding whenever they get the chance. They are all glad to be a part of the community and look forward to continuing their service to the State of Missouri for many years.

Proposed By-Law Changes for 2018 Approval

ARTICLE IV – MEMBERSHIP

Membership shall consist of the following sections:

  1. Active Members
  2. Honorary Members
  3. Associate Members
  4. Retired Members
  5. Fire Departments
  6. Sustaining Members
  7. Corporate Members
  8. Educational Institutions
  9. Educational Members
  10. Directors/Councilman
  11. Junior Fire Fighters/ Cadet Fire Fighters
  12. EMS Service and 9-1-1 Dispatch PSAP
  13. EMS/9-1-1 Individual Members

Continue Reading →

Cole County FPD Changes

During a recent board meeting of the Cole County Fire Protection District the following personal changes were made. Chief Donnie Braun submitted his resignation as Chief. Chief Braun was one of the original members of the Cole County Volunteer Fire Department which was established in 1969. Braun had spent the past forty-two years as chief. Board member and Assistant Chief Mike Rackers also submitted his resignation from the district.

The Board appointed Donnie Braun to the Board to fill out the term of Mike Rackers. The Board also appointed Wayne Hammann as Fire Chief. Chief Hammann is a retired Assistant Chief with Jefferson City Fire Department. Wayne also has forty-five years of service with the fire district.

The Board took steps to increase the Board from three members to five members. The District will ask the voters on the April 2018 ballot to approve a five member board. If the voters approve the change, there will be an election in April 2019 to select the additional board members. Continue Reading →

Fire Marshal’s Update – March 2018

Greetings from the thirteenth floor! As I start this article the sun shines brightly across the blue skies silhouetting against the state capitol. We have had our share of gray skies, and cold weather! Bring on green grass, flowers, and seventy degree weather!

Something new, a manned 24-7  fire and arson investigator contact number! 573-526-0134 is manned by MIAC. If you need one of our investigators for response to a fire scene, use this number please. Please note this is not for insurance companies, citizens, or general inquiries.

Heavy rains have finally come along the southern part of the state at the end of February, filling lakes and ponds, and saturating the vegetation. Brush and grass fires were keeping the locals plenty busy over the last several weeks. Hopefully this rain will relieve that, and allow the vegetation to grow and give fire departments some much needed relief. Continue Reading →

President’s Remarks – March 2018

I believe the groundhog just might have been right this time. Spring is just around the corner and I am sure all of us are ready for its arrival. It has been a busy winter with many activities we all attended. I know I am ready for the season to change and for the life to return to the trees and grass and for things to come alive again.

Winter Fire School was a huge success thanks to MU FRTI’s hard work. Thank you for the commitment to educate our emergency service personnel. I did not make it to the expo this year but heard there was a very large crowd and it was a huge success.

I had the honor of attending the annual MO Fire Chief’s Conference at Big Cedar Resort along with about 100 fire chiefs from across Missouri. It was an excellent conference and some outstanding presenters were able to teach us old dogs some new tactics. Thanks. Continue Reading →