Fire Fighters Association of Missouri
Archive | July, 2019

News From District 7 – July 2019

The leading cause of death in America is house fires, to get into specifics, most casualties happen in the kitchen. It’s a sad but a true fact. Most people in the US assume and say, “Oh I know about fire safety, just have a fire extinguisher in your house and if something catches on fire you call the fire department.” This is just barely grazing the surface of fire prevention. Yes having a fire extinguisher is very important, but do you know where you’re supposed to keep it? How often you need to check it? How many you need? Where to get one from? When to test them? And so on and so on. 

It is expected that not everyone knows about fire prevention. But seriously, fire is dangerous and it can kill you if you’re not careful. Children and teenagers are more often than not the cause of a fire, but it’s not usually there fault. As long as they didn’t purposely set the fire. They simply didn’t know the correct precautions. 

Take for example PASS. Now how many of you know what PASS stands for? Well for those of you who don’t, it stands for Pull the handle, Aim at the base of the fire, Squeeze the handle, and Sweep from side to side. This easy little reminder can help you and your family remember how to use a fire extinguisher because I know if I didn’t remember PASS then I would panic and most likely fumble around with the fire extinguisher until I figure out how to use it. Because let me tell you, the first time I tried to use a fire extinguisher it did not end well. How many of you know how to use a fire extinguisher? 

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New Chief at Little Dixie FPD

The Board of Directors of the Little Dixie Fire Protection District are proud to announce their new fire chief. Assistant Fire Chief Bill Albus was selected from a field of eight highly qualified applicants, Chief Albus will begin his official duties of Fire Chief on July 1, 2019. Chief Albus began his career with Little Dixie in 1978 and has been a valuable asset ever since. Bill worked for several years for Mexico Public Safety, Audrain County Sheriff, and most recently for the Missouri State Fire Marshal as a regional fire investigator. The Board of Directors and firefighters are excited about the future of the fire district and look forward to working with Chief Albus. Chief Albus and wife Sandy have been lifelong residents of Audrain County. Chief Albus can be reached at 573-581-6235.

Fair Grove FPD Opens NEW Headquarters

Fair Grove Fire Protection District (FGFPD) was formed in 1955 to serve the citizens of Fair Grove, Missouri. Thanks to the taxpayers of the District, on October 7, 2018, FGFPD opened a new 13,000 square foot Headquarters station at 340 West Eagle Ridge Court in Fair Grove. The new station consists of two floors, the top floor has four separate bedrooms, living room, bathroom/showers, kitchen and gym. The downstairs has the administration offices, four drive-through apparatus bays and a complete training room. This station replaces the oldest of our three stations that serve the 92 square miles that make up our District. On July 7, 2019, FGFPD will welcome Mercy EMS to our community. Mercy EMS will add a fully staffed ALS ambulance to our fire station. Their personnel will live and work from our station with our firefighters. This will be a great partnership for the community.

Hardin FPD Receives Donation

Don Blankenship is the President of the Hardin Fire Protection District Board. He has been on the fire department since 1965. Yesterday, he graciously accepted a donation from Stephanie Tyler and Andrew Homfeld through FCS Financial’s Connecting Rural Missouri program. The Hardin Fire Department has roughly 20 volunteer firefighters and services 49 square miles. The rig behind them is their high water unit. It can navigate 3 feet of water as is, or they can put a kit on the exhaust and go up to 5 feet. The donation will go towards a vehicle stabilization kit. This will assist them on being able to stabilize multiple different situations, mainly dealing with car accidents.

Museum Update and News

Phase-I of the Educational and Historical Preservation Center, known as the firefighters museum project has finally progressed having moved passed several weather delays. The building is up and closed-in. We have one major element remaining with the phase-I construction agenda involving the old Fire station look which faces the memorial. This construction phase involves an exterior insulation and finish system (EIFS) which we hope to finalize by early July and construction finished by late August. We still have some minor but important projects we need to include with Phase-I, so funding remains a very high priority. Please keep your foundation in mind with local and region projects in your area. Just a reminder that Morton is our primary contractor and at least to this point, have been very pleased with their quality of work, attention to details and customer service. They have been outstanding to work with.

Thoughts on the West Plains FD

Thank you Chief Westhoff for asking me to share my reflection of my years serving with the West Plains Fire Department. 

It’s interesting that I am at this point of my life, reflecting, but mother time allows this. I was born and raised in West Plains in a family of seven. My Dad, Joe, was community minded. He served the U.S. Army, served on the Fairview R-11 school board for many years, a Deacon at our local church, Ordained Minister, and volunteered as a firefighter for over 35 years with the West Plains Fire Department. Dad presently serves as president with Howell County Rural Fire Department. My Dad lead by example and passed that on to each of my other siblings, we all serve in one capacity or another.

I reflect back on my career with West Plains which begin in June, 1984, as a police officer and I joined the West Plains Fire Department at the same time. It was awesome because I got to serve alongside my Dad for a period of time. I grew up attending fire drills, and responding to fire calls occasionally, and picking up the fire phone that rang into the house for many years and listen to the dispatcher give out the emergency. My how things have changed!

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History’s Corner – July 2019

The City of West Plains is the county seat of Howell County and it’s history dates back to the mid 1800’s when the city was platted and began to develop. It quickly developed into a trade center for a farming and livestock-raising area. 

Because of its location near the Arkansas state-line, it was subjected to numerous raids during the Civil War from both Union and Confederate forces.

West Plains continues to be a city with many faces and is blessed with a number of manufacturers including flooring, pallets, furniture and electronic equipment, as well as footwear and truck bodies. Tourism is also important because of the city’s proximity to several lakes and the Mark Twain National Forest.

West Plains can also boast about their celebrities. Porter Wagoner, the star of the Grand Ole Opry and country music was born near West Plains on August 12, 1927.

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