Hello from the east side of the state and District 7. I hope everyone had an enjoyable summer despite what mother nature passed our way. Speaking of summer, it is almost coming to an end. The 2019 Missouri State Fair is in the history books and I want to say thank you to Chief Terry Plumb on his first year as chief. There is an old saying, “the first is the worst,” so if that’s the case, the next years to come will be easy sailing because your staff did an outstanding job. Congratulation to all the award winners: Junior Dispatcher Colton Smiley, Dispatcher Evan Clark, Firefighter Brian Smiley and Dylan Farrell, Officer Emily Sweet, everyone did a great job! Without all the members we could not have the Missouri State Fair Volunteer Fire Department. Another big thanks to all the department and districts and vendors that donated all the equipment for us to use during the fair. Words can’t express the thanks and the gratitude we have for them allowing us to borrow their equipment so we can serve the Missouri State Fair and the fair guests.
This year’s poster contest winners were guests of the Missouri State Fair Volunteer Fire Department. They received their prize money, the poster, a ribbon and tickets to the midway. I hope that all that attended enjoyed the day at the fair and hope to see them again next year. A big shout out and thank you to the ladies auxiliary for the purchase of the stand to display the winning posters and ribbons. For the winner’s that were unable to come to the fair your prize money will be mailed. With the fair in the history books and summer turning into fall, that means that fire prevention week will be in the near future, October 6-12. This year’s fire prevention theme is Not Every Hero Wears a Cape: Plan and Practice your Escape. All departments wishing to submit posters need to make sure and go to the FFAM website and print the proper poster label so that all award winners can be notified.
Safety for the season
With fall getting ready to make its way there becomes a danger with leaves on the roads.
When leaves accumulate on the roadway and become wet, they can get extremely slippery, making the driving conditions similar to driving on ice. If the temperature drops below freezing, the wet leaves will freeze and turn into dangerous icy leaves on the roadway. Besides reducing the car’s traction, causing skidding and the possibility of losing control of the vehicle, leaves often cover the painted road markings, making it difficult to know the locations of the lanes.
Slow down if you are driving on a road covered with leaves, especially when driving around turns. Allow yourself plenty of room to stop in an emergency. Keep a greater distance between you and the car in front of you. Leaves make it difficult to see potholes and bumps in the road.
A pile of leaves raked to the side of the road is an inviting place to a child. Children enjoy jumping into the leaf piles or burrowing down into them and hiding. Never drive through a leaf pile. Use caution going around turns and where children are playing.
Keep your windshield leaf free to avoid wet leaves getting stuck under the windshield wiper blades.
In order to avoid the possibility of a fire hazard from the exhaust system or catalytic converter, never park your vehicle over a pile of leaves.
Changing Weather Conditions
In many areas, autumn is a damp, wet season. There are many rainy or foggy days and nights. As the temperatures drop, frost often coats the ground at night.
When driving in fog, set your headlight to low beam. This setting aims the beam of light down toward the roadway.
In the fall as temperatures drop, frost often forms on the roadway, causing hazardous driving conditions. Drive slowly and break gently at overpasses and bridges as these areas frost over more quickly than other roadway surfaces. Be aware of areas where black ice forms on the roadway.
Adjust Fewer Daylight Hours
In the fall there are fewer hours of daylight. In the earlier darkness it is common to see children outside playing or riding their bicycles. People are walking their dogs, jogging or taking late afternoon or evening walks. In the fading light of dusk it is more difficult to see the children and pedestrians.
Watch out for children at their bus stops in the morning and as they return home in the afternoon.
Halloween is a fun fall holiday. Take special care where children are out trick or treating. They may be wearing masks or costumes that limit their visibility.
Always drive defensively.
Keep your headlights cleaned and in proper working order, making sure they are aligned. Replace your windshield wiper blades if they show any signs of wear. Keep an emergency car safety kit in your vehicle.