Greetings, Spring has arrived! We are all now thinking about vacations, going fishing, visiting family and friends, having picnics, and of course the kids are itching to get out of school for the summer.
The FFAM has been very busy since the last newsletter. Firefighter Day at the Capital in Jefferson City, on March 6, was a huge success. Firefighters from all over the state were visiting their representatives and senators, some were even were invited on the floor of the House of Representatives, talking about the issues in hand. Including workers compensation and other fire related issues. The Missouri Firefighter Funeral Assistance Team were the featured guests of the Fire Marshal’s office and also Governor Parson. While at the Capital, there was a special service recognizing the funeral team and also a visit with Governor Parson in his office, to talk about the issues the fire service is facing today. Kudos to Fire Marshal Bean and his staff in hosting a very successful Firefighter Day at the Capital.
March 30, was a busy day for myself and Assistant Director Josh Koepke of District 11. We first started traveling to the Alma Fire Protection District for their open house they were having at their station. The district was thanking the citizens for their continued support of the district. They had numerous actives going on like showing the trucks, activities for the kids, an auto extrication demo, Air Evac was there selling memberships and they even had a BBQ serving hamburgers and hot dogs to its patrons. While we were there 1st Vice President Larry Jennings was in attendance as well. Chief Jeff Buford and the Alma Fire Protection District thanks for the invite and it is obvious the patrons of your District support your department.
Later in the day Assistant Director Koepke and myself traveled to another Lafayette County department. We attended the open house at the Odessa Fire Protection District. Odessa was trying to educate their patrons of a upcoming April ballot, in which they were trying to pass two different issues. The first was a 30 cent levy increase to move the ambulance from the city to the fire district and another 15 cent levy increase to help with staffing for the district. They did much like what Alma did, and had patrons tour the station, look at the trucks and equipment the district had, and they too had a BBQ. While we were there they had several EMS calls, myself and Assistant Director Koepke rode out on the trucks to see how their operation worked. I am happy to say that both issues passed in Odessa. It is good to hear that the voters of Lafayette County support Public Safety. Thanks to Chief Kevin Campbell and his staff for the invitation, Josh and myself really enjoyed the visit.
The FFAM convention was held April 12-14, in Sedalia at the Missouri State Fairgrounds. If you missed the convention you missed out on a lot of fun activities and networking with other firefighters. Friday consisted of an equipment expo, opening ceremonies with the vendors in attendance, and of course the mixer. The mixer was different this year as the FFAM served a BBQ dinner to the attendees, which I heard was a big hit. Saturday was a full day of activities with the games. Pettis County Fire hosted a chili dinner and dessert auction at their station and we ended the night with the banquet and the dance. On Sunday the convention concluded with the business meeting. At the business meeting it was reported by Brian Zinanni of the Firefighter Funeral Assistance Team, that the team was in need of new public address systems as their frequency was no longer in use. The FFAM stepped up to the plate and donated $2,500 to this cause and even the bartenders from the convention donated their tips to this cause. Thanks are in order to the Board of Directors for hosting a great convention, and also to BK Catering out of Higginsville for the amazing food.
As I stated above, while at the convention several of the directors, assistant directors, board members and even members of the ladies auxiliary attended the annual fund-raiser of the Pettis County Fire Protection District. When most of us arrived, we found Assistant Director Evans of District 4 helping serve chili along with his brothers and sisters of Pettis County. He even helped with the dessert auction, to make sure to get a good prices on the desserts and that everyone went home happy. Director Vaughn was also in attendance as well as Fire Marshal Bean. Thanks to Matt Gardner for the invite, talking to all who came we all had a great time and willing to help out a great department.
May 11, is the Missouri Fire Service Charity Smoke Out in Columbia. The event will be held at the Mid America Harley Davidson at 10:00 a.m. This event will help support the Firefighter Cancer Support Network and the Firefighters Memorial Foundation of Missouri. Teams at this event will be judged on the category of ribs. I am proud to say that the FFAM has a team in the contest sponsored by the Missouri State Fair Fire Department. Tickets are still available for this event, get your before they run out.
The next weekend on May 18-19, is the annual Candlelight and Memorial Service in Kingdom City. The Candlelight Service will be held at dusk on the eighteenth and the Memorial Service will be held the next morning. If you are a Facebook follower, you need to check out the Missouri Firefighters Museum Page. On their page you will see that the museum is started to be built and materials have arrived. They are hosting several fund-raisers in the coming months and if you want or your department wants to donate their is a link on their Facebook page.
The State Fair will be here before we know it. Chief Plumb and his staff have been busy getting equipment, medical supplies, ambulances and even PR items for the fair. They have announced the following weekends as work weekends to help them prepare for the fair, any help would greatly help: May 31 – June 2: July 12-14; and August 2-4.
At these work weekends, they are cleaning the station, organizing supplies, making phone calls for additional equipment or supplies that they find they are running short on. You don’t have to be a member of the department to help out, we love to have the volunteer help. Any questions feel free to contact the State Fair Committee or Chief Plumb if you would like to help out.
The FFAM is committed to being a voice for the Missouri Fire Service. If the FFAM can be of any assistance to you or your agency we would love to hear from you or if you want us to attend your next event. I can be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or cell 660-229-4525 and I will be glad to serve you with whatever needed you have.
Stay safe my brothers and sisters. Until next time…