Greetings FFAM membership. As I sit at my desk to write this message to you, I can’t help to think how much our lives have changed since the last newsletter. COVID-19 has changed so much in our daily lives. How we respond to EMS calls, social distancing, staying home, what businesses are open, and do we need to be wearing a mask at all times, etc.
The COVID-19 outbreak has also affected the FFAM. We can’t promote the organization or have the events that we have become accustomed to like convention and the memorial service when they are regularly scheduled. Convention and the memorial services have been postponed to later dates which are a blessing for everyone and I will speak more about that later in this message.
Before the COVID-19 outbreak, I was able to attend two events. The first was my department awards banquet in Higginsville on March 7. A nice meal was provided by the American Legion ladies and our annual awards were handed out. The department also gave out a nice gift to all personnel as a thank you for our service. Fire Marshal Tim Bean and his wife Judy were in attendance. Thanks for all that were involved in making this night special not only to the firemen and their spouses but also to our fire marshal and his wife.
The second event I was able to attend was the Johnson County Volunteer Fire Auxiliary spaghetti dinner and auction. This event funds the organization for the year and helps to provide services to several fire departments in Johnson County. This was attended by several hundred people and raised thousands of dollars for the ladies. Thank you to Jaime Miller, Chief Jennings, and Chief Miller for the invite. I will try again next year to attend. I enjoyed the evening.
Like I stated earlier convention was postponed. I am happy to report that the convention will still happen. Kearney Fire Protection District has rescheduled this for July 10-12. I encourage members to register as I know Kearney has invested lots of time and money and we owe it to them as members to register. Thank you to David Pratt, and your committee for your hard work. It has not gone unnoticed.
The memorial services in Kingdom City were also postponed due to COVID-19. The new dates for this event are October 10, for the Candlelight Service and the Memorial Service is on October 11. Please try to attend this event. I know Keith Smith and the committee have put lots of time into this event as well. We owe it to our brothers and sisters to give them the greatest farewell, especially those that gave the ultimate sacrifice.
In June the FFAM will be in attendance at the Missouri Association of Fire Districts conference at the Lake of the Ozarks. The FFAM will be there promoting the organization and to possibly get some new memberships. Thank you to Chief Brown for the invitation to attend.
In July, Firefighter/Dispatcher Cy Fields and I with the Paris Fire Protection District and Monroe County 911 were planning to attend the Missouri 911 conference at the Lake of the Ozarks. This conference has been postponed until September 13, in Springfield. We will attend and promote the FFAM and also promote membership with the 911 dispatchers.
Before we know it, the state fair will be upon us. The state fair committee and Chief Terry Plumb have continued to plan for the fair even with the COVID-19 events going on. Please make sure to get your applications in if you plan to work. The dates for the fair are August 13-23.
Since the last newsletter, I am sorry to report that Missouri has had at least one line-of-duty-death. The Kansas City Fire Department (KCFD) lost EMT Billy Birmingham due to COVID-19. Birmingham worked with the Municipal Ambulance Services Trust (MAST) from 1998-2010 and continued after 2010 when MAST switched to KCFD. He was 69 years old. Rest in peace brother, we will take it from here.
Speaking of KCFD, on behalf of myself and the FFAM board of directors, we would like to congratulate Assistant Director Josh Koepke and his wife Nicole on the delivery of their son Gage Clyde Koepke on April 19. Gage weighed 6 lbs 8 oz and was 19 inches. Both mom and baby are doing fine. Gage, welcome to the FFAM family.
In closing, I would like to remind our brothers and sisters to remain safe out there especially with COVID-19 still going strong. If the FFAM can be of any assistance to you or your department, please contact us, we will be glad to help. Once things calm down and we can go back to normal, we will be glad to attend your events as well. I can be contacted at 660-229-4525 or by email at email@example.com. Until next time, stay safe my brothers and sisters.