Fire Fighters Association of Missouri

President’s Remarks – July 2018

What a great annual Fallen Fire Fighters Memorial Services held on May 19-20, 2018, at the Auxvasse Elementary School. I believe this is the most important activity I am involved in every year.

As they have done for many years, Chief Greg Lubbert and crew, Central Callaway Fire Protection District spent many hours cleaning all of the granite walls and other tasks the Thursday night prior to the services. Chief Lubbert and others have faithfully overseen this task year after year. Thanks!

Many hours were also given for the Candlelight Service and the Sunday Morning Services. Keith Smith, Warrenton Fire Protection District and Bill Albus, Little Dixie Fire Protection District/Missouri State Fire Marshal office, worked many hours gathering information and developing the programs for both services. I thank both of you!

The Candlelight Honor Guard was provided by the Little Dixie Fire Protection District, and led by Lieutenant Bobby Tanner. Retired Director David Hedrick of the University of Missouri Fire and Rescue Training Institute, did an excellent job with the message to over 200 attendees at the Candlelight Service. My continued appreciation goes to Blue Ice Productions and Chairman Keith Smith from Warrenton, Missouri. Who provided all of the recording and video services for the entire memorial, as they have done for many years at no charge to the Memorial Foundation. Many thanks to Greg and Rose Rosebrock. True friends of the fire service.

Our history this year was documented by Gail Hagans and Don Vaucher. Gail and Don are usually at every event and photograph all the activities and provide FFAM with prints and CD’s and never ask for recognition or payment for their services. Thank you Gail and Don. Great photos!

This year we were honored to have Mr. J. Tim Bean, Fire Marshal for the State of Missouri attend and presented proclamations to the 2017 Line of Duty Death family members.

Fire Marshal Bean was our keynote speaker at the Sunday morning memorial service. Great job sir. Thank you! We were also honored to have Governor Eric Grietens attend and speak a few words of support.

Dr. Ron Baker, Memorial Foundation Board Member gave our opening invocation and as always did an excellent job. Dr. Baker willingly performs many tasks for the foundation, especially the display of the flags at the memorial site. Awesome display.

Our Honor Guard Commander again this year was Chief James Ludden from the Bolivar City Fire Department. Commander Ludden did an outstanding job coordinating Honor/Color Guard and Pipe and Drum members from many fire departments throughout Missouri. Thank you to Chief Ludden and members of the many Honor Guards and Pipe and Drum members for your service. Chief Ludden quickly accepted my request to oversee this important part of our services.

I appreciate all the memorial board members that helped in so many ways throughout both services by, reading of names, bell ringing, and placing of wreaths and turnout gear. Also, to all the extra help moving everything to the school at the last minute.

A special thank you goes to Gary and Sheri Berendzen for hauling the chairs from and to Jefferson City, and to the other individuals that helped set up the chairs for use at both services. Again, a special thanks to Glenn Dittmer and Janet Cain that come every year to help with anything asked of them. Also, to Don Hahne and Steve Paulsell who faithfully for many years have performed Taps flawlessly to close our services.

Ladder trucks were provided by Chief Russell Hamilton of the Union Fire Protection District and Chief Gregg Lubbert of the Central Callaway Fire Protection District to fly the US Flag at the entrance to the memorial services at the school. Thanks to all!

I also need to thank everyone else that helped in any way that made our Annual Memorial Services special to everyone, especially to the families being honored.

Thank you to the FFAM Auxiliary for providing and distributing the ribbons. To Dr. Baker and his wife for the Field of Flags. The Baker’s represent us all over the state, and I appreciate their support.

There were many, many more that helped in some way, and I thank each one of you. I apologize if I have forgotten anyone, as I surely have, because it takes so many to get ready for such an event. To those that I did not mention by name, I appreciate your faithfulness every year.

I understand another excellent Summer Fire School was presented in Columbia by the University of Missouri Fire and Rescue Training Institute. Congratulations to Kevin Zumwalt and staff.

The FFAM State Fair Fire Department Committee has been working many hours preparing for the 2018 State Fair. A work weekend is scheduled on July 13-15, 2018.

Everything is shaping up for another great time at the 2018 Missouri State Fair. A full staff of FFAM members from throughout the state have been selected to work and I am looking forward to another great time seeing old friends and making new ones. Donnie Rogers will serve as the fire chief again this year.

I am very thankful for all the FFAM officers, directors and assistant directors, committees and many others serving the needs of the fire service of Missouri.

As always, I am available in the event you have any questions or comments. You may contact me at 573-581-6235 or

Kenneth Hoover
Fire Fighters Association of Missouri