Hello from District 2. Usually, my updates are not too long but this issue I would like to share some information on several topics.
First off it was great to see everyone at the Winter Fire School Equipment Exposition. Big crowd. Thanks for stopping by the FFAM booth, the fire funeral team and the memorial booths. I was pleased to see all the interest from people that are not members of the FFAM. Membership is climbing. If you know a department near you that are not members let Grant or your district representative know so we can get information to them and maybe make a trip to visit with them.
Several things going on around District 2. I had the opportunity to stop by the LaBelle Fire Department and eat breakfast at their fundraiser. Great to see everyone and the food was great. Several classes coming up in our area. Make sure you check out the training coming up in this issue.
Several fundraisers are going on right now. The museum fundraiser is still going on so if you have not bought your tickets, let us know and we will get you fixed up. The museum is built and now we need to finish the inside. $10 per ticket, 1,000 tickets to be sold. 2 chances to win a side of beef including the processing. Drawing will be held at the FFAM conference on May 1-2. The EMS Funeral team is having a raffle as well. 2,500 tickets to be sold. $5 per ticket. 3rd place gets a $250 grocery shopping spree. 2nd place gets a 10 year Air Evac membership or $500 cash. The grand prize is a $1,500 gift card for a cruise, any cruise anywhere, any length, or $1000 cash. That drawing is at the Missouri EMS Conference and Expo in July. Did I mention I have tickets for both!
The Missouri Fire Service Funeral Assistance Team has a fundraiser going on right now and you can double your donation. Let me explain. The fire funeral team is working on a line of duty trailer that will respond when we have lost a firefighter in the line of duty. It will be a special trailer with all the equipment including a new scaffolding system which is much safer than the old wooden boxes they have now.
DOUBLE YOUR DONATION
Go to www.mofirefuneral.org. Click on “How can I help” then click on the Creve Coeur challenge. Creve Coeur Fire Department will match any donation up to a grand total of $10,000 to help the team make this endeavor a reality. We wish to thank the Creve Coeur Fire Department for their support. Make sure you take advantage and double your donation.
Speaking of the fire funeral response team. I would like to share in this update a little about honoring a member of your department. Whether it is a line of duty, an active member that passes away, or you wish to honor a retiree from your department. There are different levels of honors. But many departments do not understand what is available or how to honor a member. Sometimes we think that giving them everything makes the loss easier to deal with. And that is just not so. If you do everything for a retired member, what is left for that firefighter that is killed fighting a fire. Always remember how your organization responds to the death of one of its members will become an expectation for families in the future as well as scrutinized by families in the past.
On the Missouri Fire Service Funeral Assistance Team website, there are guidelines for you to use to setup your organization’s guidelines before something happens. The fire funeral team members are trained and attend training all the time to provide the honors that a member deserves and do it with consistency, honor and respect.
There are also two classes available to departments at no cost to help organizations set guidelines and help departments understand. Brian Zinanni shares a program Introduction to Line of Duty Deaths and Public Safety Officers Benefits. This six-hour program shares information on a number of issues facing organizations if they have a line of duty death. Please don’t let the “introduction” part of the title fool you. This class covers a lot of important information that everyone should be familiar with, but few are.
I share a program entitled Losing One of Our Own. This 90-minute program is a very basic program but shares information on what is a line of duty death versus on duty, emotion, level of honors, notifications, and public Safety officers benefits. This program does not go as in depth as the six hour introduction does. But regardless of which of the above classes, we are confident you will find these free classes to be time well spent. Both classes are for board members, chiefs, supervisors, or any member that might be involved in helping coordinate a visitation or funeral. We also encourage that you invite neighboring fire, EMS and law enforcement to come. Feedback from individuals that have attended either program have been positive with many saying it covered important aspects of line of duty deaths they had never thought about or considered before.
Please feel free to contact Brian or myself to get one of these programs hosted by your organization.
Well that’s about it for this update. I hope to see you at the 2020 Missouri Fallen Firefighter weekend in Kingdom City May 16-17, 2020. Till next time be safe.