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.
Thank you, to the men and women who volunteered to work at the Missouri State Fair Fire Department this year. I appreciate your dedication and commitment to serve. From the cooks to the dispatchers and everyone in between. It shows when duty calls you will step up and take the task on, even if there is a worldwide pandemic. Hopefully, 2021 will bring a full and operational state fair, thanks again!
I want to express our gratitude to every firefighter who has applied for state testing and has been patient with us as we chip away to get each of you tested. We opened up testing in May and have administered over 1,300 tests, to over 900 firefighters. We need you to continue to use email to communicate with our training division. We have over 1,300 more firefighters waiting in line to take tests. For the firefighters who have failed on your first attempt, you may find yourself going to the end of the line before you get your second opportunity. Thanks to each of you for training and furthering your educations and certifications. We will make it through this if we all work together.
At this time we will be hosting the 4th annual State Fire Marshal’s Stair Climb on October 10, here in Jefferson City. We plan on running it out of the Jefferson building as in the past. We will practice COVID-19 guidelines by social distancing, wearing masks, and sanitizing during the event. The money raised this year will go to Supporting Heroes who assist our families and friends when they lose a member in the line of duty. If available we will also be supporting the FFAM memorial foundation in Kingdom City. Log onto www.momsfmstairclimb.com to register. I ask you to join me and sign up, even if you can’t climb. It will be the best investment you make in the Missouri fire service.
In closing, thank you for everything you do across our state. Your dedication and commitment are very much appreciated by me and our Division of Fire Safety team.
J. Tim Bean
State Fire Marshal
Division of Fire Safety