Fire Fighters Association of Missouri
Archive | September, 2020

President’s Remarks – September 2020

I did not have the opportunity to be at the Missouri State Fair Fire Department this year. My doctor did not want me to be at the fair due to the COVID-19 pandemic with my medical condition. I missed seeing many old friends and the opportunity to visit with many of our legislators. This was a different fair with just the youth livestock shows. We staffed about 45 personnel which is about half of the normal. Great job everyone by adapting and overcoming. 

I appreciate Fire Marshal Tim Bean for being present many days and for having many of his staff there working and teaching fire prevention and using the training props for demonstrations.

Governor Mike Parsons and Lieutenant Governor Mike Kehoe made a special stop by the fire station to thank the fire and EMS personnel for all they do. They are committed to the fire service and have vowed to help us in any way they can. Thank you, Governor Parsons and Lieutenant Governor Kehoe.

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Fire Marshal’s Update – September 2020

Greetings from the thirteenth floor. The first of September begins and it has triggered in my mind many “firsts.” My first son and grandson were both born in September which is a great memory, my sweet mother’s birthday as well, Happy Birthday Mom. It has also triggered other firsts I’ve experienced in my life in 2020 due to COVID-19. Here are a few that come to my mind and a few from my thirteenth-floor team.

First, dismissed my entire thirteenth-floor team to work from home immediately in one day, immediately stopped state testing, and wore a facepiece, other than an SCBA to work. We now take our temperature before we enter work, keep six-feet from another human being, learn to look down at the floor while shopping to make sure we are going the right way, those isle police do their job well, and order groceries online, and have it delivered. Also, attended church from the parking lot or virtually, Zoom family gatherings, Web-ex the DFS team at one time, a collection of masks on my turn signal, visit ill family members through a window or while they were sitting behind a barrier, washed groceries boxes and all the food before putting it in the cabinets. Took a vacation and stayed home, used the phrase “new normal” 50,000 times! Ate homemade meals every night, and saved money! Got a stimulus check for the first time in my life, and the list goes on and on. The one thing I’m learning is no matter what and how it happens, I need to continue to be the best boots on the ground every day, and leave something better than I found it! 

September brings back in my memory the unforgettable moment that America was attacked by an evil enemy killing 343 of our brave FDNY firefighters. Earlier this year Judy and I visited the memorial and museum site in New York. It was a moving and very educational experience for us. We must not forget our past and the service and sacrifice of the many before us. From that tragic event, the last FDNY graduating class had 21 children of firefighters who sacrificed their life on 9/11. I appreciate those children’s wiliness to serve.

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Meeting Minutes – September 2020

President Ken Hoover called the meeting of the Board of Directors of the Fire Fighters Association of Missouri to order at 9:00 a.m., Sunday, August 9, 2020, at the Missouri State Fair Fire Department in Sedalia, Missouri. The meeting began with the Pledge of Allegiance.

Roll Call of Board of Directors and other officials


President Ken Hoover, Little Dixie FPD; First Vice President Larry Jennings, Johnson County FPD; Second Vice President Grant Oetting, Higginsville FPD; Secretary-Treasurer Jaime Miller, Johnson County FPD #2; Sergeant-at-Arms Rex Reynolds, Southern FPD of Holt County.


District 2, Greg Wright, Shelbina FD; District 3, Larry Jones, Madison/West Monroe FPD; District 4, Joe Vaughn, Pleasant Hill FPD; District 5, Terry Plumb, Southern Stone FPD; District 6, Gary Berendzen, Cole County FPD; District 7, RB Brown, Union FPD; District 11, Monty Thompson, Kearney FPD; District 14, Rick Dozier, Southern FPD of Holt County.

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A Message From The 1st Vice President – September 2020

Welcome to fall, or perhaps early spring or late summer or maybe even winter! As crazy as this year has been I am not sure what to prepare for in the coming months and if things continue as they have been it will certainly change no matter what we plan for. We have seen some things change directly for the FFAM with no convention and a modified State Fair Fire Department. I am proud of the way our organization has adapted to the challenges as they have been presented. Hopefully, next year will see us return to our traditions and roots and we will find some normalcy in our activities.

In this edition let’s visit a bit about accountability. What does that mean anyway? One book definition is the fact or condition of being accountable; responsibility. Another says accountability refers to an obligation or willingness to accept responsibility for one’s actions. A very common application for the fire service accountability is keeping track of all resources and personnel at an incident scene, something we are generally pretty good at.

So if we are good at keeping track of our personnel and resources at our incidents do our agencies or we as individuals also excel at accountability in all other phases of our fire service related service? Are we quick to accept the responsibility for actions taken or for actions not taken? 

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2020 Missouri State Fair Fire Department

The Missouri State Fair Youth Livestock Show started with beautiful weather for August. We had staff on hand of 42 volunteers from 24 FFAM member departments each day to manage and care for all the fair visitors and show participants. We had three ALS ambulances, one UTV ALS ambulance, one engine, one rescue, and one brush truck ready to respond during the 264 hours we were in service. The Missouri DMAT team again deployed to assist with patient care and first aid free of charge for the fair visitors and our department staffed the first aid station for walk-ins.

With the Youth Livestock Show being one of the only events this year, our staff had extra time this year to accomplish many duties and training we would normally not have time for during the fair. A group of instructors from the department put together the basic firefighter training on short notice and offered to anyone on the department free of charge to be completed during the fair. We had a total of six instructors and twenty-one participants to assist during the training. There was a mix of classroom training and the practicals to complete each required section of the course. The fairgrounds staff was gracious enough to let us use the facilities on grounds for search and rescue, pump operations, ladder training, and all the skills for completion of the course. The basic course provided new and experienced firefighters a refresher and all participants were able to get valuable training to improve their skills when they return home to their departments.

Many improvements to facilities were accomplished during the fair in dispatch under the direction of Emily Sweet, Evan Clark, Chris Thompson, and Kyler Oliver. The commissioners’ of the State Fair Fire Department approved spending for new dispatch equipment, radios, and computers. Many vendors and individuals donated equipment with a value exceeding $28,000 to our department. Many hours were spent installing all the new equipment before the fair started.

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What’s in a Budget

Each year the FFAM receives many financial funds through membership dues, corporate sponsorships, donations, and other funding sources.  The annual amount of income as you could probably guess fluctuates quite a bit dependent on the various funding sources that are not all guaranteed at a given rate.  Many of your agencies, municipal and tax-based districts, generally have a fairly good idea each year what the income and available funds may be.  For those paid subscription agencies you no doubt understand how your funds fluctuate depending on who pays each year to be a member.

You might wonder how this affects the overall functions of the FFAM.  As with any business, agency, organization, or group, it takes financial support to be able to function as the FFAM.  Each year we go through a process of setting a budget to be utilized to get through the year and always try to end up with unused funds to carry on to the next year.  Each committee serving the FFAM is tasked with creating a budget request reflecting what funds they will need to accomplish their particular purpose in support of the overall mission of the FFAM.  Those requests are due by the October FFAM Board of Directors meeting.

Once received the requests are individually considered by the Budget Committee for merit.  At times a follow-up conversation takes place to determine if the request is a “need” or a “want” and alterations are made as appropriate.  Once the details get hammered out the committee creates a proposed budget that is presented at the December meeting of the Board of Directors for adoption. 

Discussion is held at that meeting to make the fine-tuned adjustments that may be needed before the final vote is made to adopt a budget.

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Remembering Fallen Firefighters

The memorial foundation as with all other organizations involved with group gatherings has been faced with very challenging decisions this year. Our regular spring meeting in May involving the Saturday night candlelight and Sunday morning service was moved to October 10th and 11th in hopes of things returning to normal. In early August, the Foundation determined that was not going to work. 

This year we will not be able to meet in a large group given the on-going safety concerns with COVID-19, especially if the weather forced us to move inside. In the tradition of the fire service, we opted to adapt and overcome. 

After reviewing several options that have been used as an alternative to large group meetings versus accepting an outright cancellation, the Foundation has decided to follow a similar program used by the Missouri Law Memorial Foundation. We are going to present a virtual service and it is our most sincere prayer that this will be the first and last time to do so. When so many deserve such honors, an outright cancellation is just not an option.

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Cole County FPD Donations

Cole County Fire Protection District recently received a $10,000 check from the Three Rivers Helping Hands Community Foundation. The money will be used to buy and install electric transfer switches to convert from utility/land power to generator power in case of a power outage at the district’s fire stations. The Cole County Fire Protection District also received a grant check from Phillips 66 Pipeline in the amount of $30,000. The grant money was used to buy a 35KW generator which is shown in the background. The District is extremely grateful to these two organizations for helping obtain much-needed equipment to keep fire operations functioning during a disaster.