Greetings from District 4. Spring is here, well kind of. Seems like Mother Nature just can’t make up her mind yet. That is not stopping people from getting out and enjoying all of the festivities that have been going on. Baseball/softball season is in full swing. Snagging season is here, the crappie are biting and the elusive morel mushrooms are abundant this year. With all these activities getting started and with the official start of summer coming up soon, traffic will be picking up as everyone travels to the lake for fun in the sun and to take family vacations.
With the majority of departments in the state made up of volunteers, I ask when was the last time that the extrication tools were used, when were they last serviced, when was the last inspection done of the hydraulic hoses or the batteries cycled? It’s the little things that are often overlooked but easy to check. As you are coiling up the hydraulic lines they are easy to check for cracks and bulges in the line. If you can’t remember the last time they were used, get them out at your next training and use them. My department physically checks and cycles the tools once a month at a minimum. It is better to find the issue before it becomes a problem or causes a failure of the tools when you need them the most.
On March 6, Firefighters Day at the Capitol was held. I had the privilege of attending this event with Fire Chief Greg Harrell and Deputy Chief Matt Irwin of the Sedalia Fire Department. If you have not attended this event before I recommend that you try to attend next year. Our voice is heard and we can make a difference. At this event the Division of Fire Safety likes to recognize a special guest and this year it was the Missouri Fire Service Funeral Assistance Team. This team provides an invaluable service behind the scenes to the grieving department and family during the most difficult time when they have suffered the loss of a loved one in the Line of Duty. As part of being the special guest the funeral assistance teams were greeted by Governor Parsons in his office and he spoke to and thanked each team member for their service. I would like to thank Chief Harrell for serving on the team since 2007.
I had the honor of being able to attend Chief Hoover’s retirement reception; it was a well-attended event with people from all across the state and even a few from out of state. Congratulations on your retirement Chief.
Another convention is in the books! It was hosted by the board of directors on the Missouri State Fair Grounds. Camaraderie, food and fellowship were enjoyed and don’t forget the competition for bragging rights and trophies. Next year’s convention will be hosted by Kearney Fire and Rescue Protection District. I hope to see everyone there.
During our annual convention the Pettis County Fire Department hosted their annual chili dinner fund-raiser. I would like to say thank you to those convention attendees who supported Pettis County Fire by attending their fund-raiser. I had the privilege of assisting Chief Harding and his firefighters by serving food to the public. I would also like to extend a thank you to our Second Vice President Grant Oetting for assisting at the fund-raiser.
Summer Fire School is just around the corner, if you plan on attending make sure that you get your registrations in soon. I hope to see you there and don’t forget about the Phil Sayer Memorial Scholarship which can cover your cost to attend fire school. For more information on the scholarship please see the MU FRTI website.
I want to take a moment to congratulate Training Officer Steve Ashbridge of the Warrensburg Fire Department on his retirement from the Warrensburg Fire Department after serving for almost 19 years with the department.
I would also like to congratulate Fire Chief Jim Kushner of the Warrensburg Fire department on his retirement after 39 years of service. If you would like to extend your well wishes to Chief Kushner they are having a retirement luncheon in his honor on May 17, 2019. Lunch begins at 11:00 hours with the program starting at 11:30 hours. This event is being held at Fire Station 2 1550 Corporate Drive Warrensburg Missouri.
In closing, I hope that everyone has a blessed Memorial Day and a fun summer kickoff. If the FFAM can be of any assistance to your department or if your department is having an event that you would like for the FFAM to attend or if you have any questions please feel free to contact me at 660-221-6161 or firstname.lastname@example.org. I will try to assist you or attend your event if possible. Until next time, stay safe out there.