Fire Fighters Association of Missouri

A Message from the 2nd Vice President – November 2019

Hello FFAM membership. Summer has left us and the fall season is upon us. The farmers are in the field taking care of the 2019 harvest, deer hunters are anxious to get into their deer stands and pumpkin spice is in full swing.

The FFAM has been continuously busy working for the membership. We are attending events that you the membership are inviting us to. Many directors have been working on budget request for next year’s budget to better serve the membership or having a presence at the national level at the memorial service in Emmitsburg, Maryland.

On September 11, I was a very busy attending events on the behalf of the FFAM. The day started with an invite from Knob Noster Fire Department for their 911 ceremony. The ceremony was held at the city hall with the lowering of the flags and remembering the lives that were lost that day. The ceremony was also attended by the Whiteman Air Force Base Fire Department as well. This was a very moving service and reminded us that many lives were lost that day but never forgotten. Thanks to Chief Rick Johnson for the invite, I thoroughly enjoyed this ceremony.

From the Knob Noster ceremony, I traveled to Lexington, where they were dedicating their Line-of-Duty-Death (LODD) Memorial. Assistant Director Josh Koepke of the Kansas City Fire Department joined me at this ceremony. The department was honoring two firefighters that were killed in the line of duty. Those firefighters that were honored were Firefighter John Lukenbill who was killed in 1939 and Firefighter Paramedic Harold Hollingsworth who was killed in 2013. These gentlemen were honored with a statue in front of the station and their names were placed on the statue. The Lexington Fire Department also honored Former Chief Kirk Smith who served the department for twenty-five years. Kirk was a great teacher when I started my career in the fire service. He would always give you a helping hand whenever you needed it, a great mentor for sure. Congratulations Kirk on your retirement and thank you for your service to the citizens of Lexington and thank you for being a great teacher to me and others in the fire service. Chief Brad Weber thanks for the invite, it meant a lot to me to see everyone and to be a part in your ceremony.

By the October meeting, the directors had to have their budget requests into 1st Vice President Larry Jennings and the finance committee. The budget is a huge part on how we operate as an organization. If you would like to see an item added for the budget please do not hesitate to contact your director or myself and we will try to get the item or items added to next year’s budget.

On October 6, Missouri had representation at the National Firefighter Memorial Service in Emmitsburg, MD. Chief Gordon Fowlson of Riverside Fire Department and Captain Brian Schowengerdt of the South Metro Fire Protection District served as escorts for the ceremony. Our State Coordinator of the Missouri Fire Firefighter Funeral Assistance Team and Supporting Heroes Brian Zinanni and our Fire Marshall Tim Bean with his wife Judy were also in attendance. The ceremony honored Firefighter Russell Hayes of the El Dorado Fire Department who was killed last year in an apparatus accident Thank you Gordon, Brian S, Brian Z, Tim and Judy for representing Missouri at this National service.

It is not too early to start thinking about convention. Next year’s convention will be hosted by the Kearney Fire Protection and will be held on May 1-3, 2020. I know hotels are booking quick as I made my reservation the other day and she stated there was very few rooms left. The convention is always a great time to network with other firefighters and their families to make some great friends and have some quality training and fun as well.

Before we know it, the holidays will be upon us. We will be eating lots of food and spending time with our families and friends. On behalf of the board of directors and myself, I would like to wish you and your family a Happy Thanksgiving, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. If we can be of any assistance, please contact your director or myself. I can be contacted by email at grant_oetting@yahoo.com or my cell phone at 660-229-4525. 

Stay safe my brothers and sisters, until next time.