Fire Fighters Association of Missouri
Archive | September, 2019

News From District 7 – September 2019

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.

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State Fair Volunteer Fire Department Awards

The Missouri State Fair Fire Department wants to say a big thank you to all who came to work and support the operations of the 2019 Missouri State Fair. We averaged over 60 personnel a day for a total of 683 for the 11 days of operation. We logged 2,196 hours of training, inspections and public relations at the firehouse and on the grounds. Total manpower hours would be 16,392 hours the staff was available for calls on duty. Our final runs for 2019 were 124 EMS incidents, 13 fire incidents and 31 standbys. That gives us an idea of the dedication of all the volunteers that give their time and talents to form the fire department each year. The kitchen staff has a big job to nourish the crews along with the Missouri State Highway Patrol and security officers that stop in to cool off in our kitchen area. It is an amazing feat to form a fire department, EMS service and first aid unit that all fair attendees can use for no charge to them each year. We also are fortunate the Missouri Disaster Medical Team chose to set up a mobile medical tent next to our firehouse again this year so they can practice their skills in case a disaster hits and they must respond.

Each year we award the top individuals for their service and efforts in several categories. Junior Dispatcher of the Year went to Colton Smiley of the Galt Fire Protection District. Dispatcher of the Year went to Evan Clark of the City of St. Joseph Fire Department. EMT of the Year went to Ben Burd of the Johnson County Fire Protection District. Firefighter of the Year award went to two individuals, Dylan Farrell of the Union Fire Protection District and Ryan Smiley of the Galt Fire Protection District. Officer of the Year went to Emily Sweet of the Gower Fire Protection District.

We wish to invite any FFAM member that would like to be a part of the Missouri State Fair Fire Department to consider putting in an application for next year and stay for a few days. The experience will be one of a kind as we are the only know volunteer fire department that forms for a state fair each year and has all donated equipment and apparatus from the Fire Fighter Association of Missouri members that allow us to do our job. 

Cancer Support Network

Are you tracking your fire exposures? One of the most important, yet most overlooked aspects of a Cancer prevention program, is the tracking of your career fire exposures. Throughout the course of their career, firefighters are routinely exposed to numerous chemicals and carcinogens on a relatively routine basis. It’s the exposure to these by-products of combustion that increase the likelihood of a Cancer diagnosis for firefighters. Current statistics indicate that firefighters have a 9% increased risk to develop a Cancer, and a 14% increased risk of dying from a Cancer when compared to the general population.

Why is tracking your exposures important? Quite simply, it paints a picture of your career. If you were to ever receive a Cancer diagnosis, your exposure reports can be vital information to provide to your medical team, or to provide to your employer if seeking a workers compensation claim. Too many firefighters have realized the importance of keeping good records after they’ve received the diagnosis. Of course at that point, it’s oftentimes too late!

How can you track your career exposures? First, we need to understand what constitutes an exposure. Essentially, any time you come into contact with a known chemical or any fire smoke, you need to consider that an exposure. There are a few ways to track your fire exposures. Quite simply, you can start a written or electronic journal to document your exposures. To take it one step further, you can download free exposure reports from an online source, print them off and fill them out. Or, while you are searching online, you can also find fire exposure databases through various online companies that allow you to track your fire exposures using their online forms. Most of these require a small annual fee, but the online resources often outweigh the minor expense to maintain an online database.

The Firefighter Cancer Support Network is here to assist any firefighter who receives a Cancer diagnosis. All you need to do is check us out online for the most current contact information.

A Message from the 2nd Vice President – September 2019

Greetings FFAM membership. Whoa, where did the summer go? When you’re reading this article school will be already back in session, fall will be upon us, farmers will be in the field shortly with the harvest, pumpkin spice will be back and before we know it Christmas and the end of the year will be upon us.

The FFAM has had a very busy summer attending conferences to promote the organization. The Missouri State Fair has passed, and the fall season is looking at being a busy one as well, as organizations are asking the FFAM to attend their conventions and help doing some more promotions for the organization. I am glad to see because this is what keeps the organization strong. Thank you!

Since my last article I have attended two conferences that were very productive for the organization. The first was the Revolutionary Fire Tactics at the Lodge of the Four Seasons. At this conference, myself and Assistant John Scheper of the Gravois Mills Fire department had a great response not only from vendors that wanted to become cooperate members but also fire departments that were not members. I had one department that took membership packets for their whole county as Tim Bean, our fire marshal had told them about the FFAM at their county chiefs meeting. Thanks Tim, I really do appreciate it. The biggest surprise I got at this conference came from Chairman David Woodward and Treasurer George Creamer on the last night. They presented a check to me with our vendor fee being donated back to us to be given toward the memorial. Thank you gentleman for your great hospitality and thank you for your donation to the memorial. 

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Auxiliary By-Law Changes

The following are the proposed changes to the FFAM Auxiliary ByLaws.

ARTICLE I NAME

The name of this organization shall be the Auxiliary to the Fire Fighters Association of Missouri, hereinafter referred to as the Auxiliary.

ARTICLE II OBJECTIVE AND POLICIES

• To promote firefighting safety 

• To promote fire prevention education 

• To give fire and emergency assistance 

• To create and maintain a fellowship among members of the Auxiliary 

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A Message from the 1st Vice President – September 2019

I hope everyone’s summer has gone well and you had the opportunity to get those things done you wanted and maybe even carved out a little time to rest and relax. For those of you that represented the FFAM by working at the Missouri State Fair Fire Department, I extend my personal thanks and thank you on behalf of the citizens of Missouri and those visiting our great state for your dedication and willingness to serve in such a unique agency.

In this edition why don’t we talk about memories. Each of us have developed many memories over the years and will continue to do so at least up until the day we pass. Some of those memories are treasured and bring great joy to us when we reflect on them, but others are not so good and sometimes as much as we try they just don’t go away. Stop, before you don’t read any further because you think we are going to rehash a current topic of job related mental illness and PTSD, we are not headed there.

It has been said that all of our experiences and all of the memories that result from those experiences blend together to make the person we each become. If you are fortunate to have only good experiences and positive memories then I applaud you and hope you bring a ray of sunshine into everyone’s life you touch. Of course if this is the case it is likely you are not in the emergency services field. As most of you know our line of work exposes us to the worst days of a lot of people’s lives and even though the tragedy may not have happened directly to us, we will share that memory with those people forever. Due to that exposure we in the emergency services field tend to be a little more cynical or skeptical and have what I like to call, “a firm grip on reality.” No, I am not saying we should all run around being gloom and doom, I am just saying we may sometimes be a little less than a ray of sunshine.

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Museum Update and News – September 2019

The saying from the movie Field of Dreams, “Build it and they will come,” was mentioned more than once as we planned for a phased museum project and raising the funds for the interior finish. An encouraging development at least for now is we have seen an up-tic in donations and offers of assistance in-kind. I was also humbled by one very generous gift from Alan Braun during the August board meeting in Sedalia. A tornado took his family business this spring, but Alan donated half of a raffle winnings to the Foundation and the balance to another very deserving organization. The fire service has and remains one of the most gracious groups of people on the planet.

Morton has finished their portion of the construction and we are now waiting to finalize the EIFS project with a Masonry Contractor out of Columbia. The Foundation has presented the design we are looking for, in the visual effect of the large front face and plan to wrap that back to the North entrance. Aside from the underground drain system that will finish phase-I or essentially the exterior element of the museum for now.

We are actively fund-raising for the next phase in finishing the interior which involves nearly everything except wall insulation. As you read through the newsletter, you will notice some promising opportunities to assist. So please keep us in mind. Some of you have used a birthday fund-raiser on Facebook to benefit the museum and thank you for doing that.

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