Fire Fighters Association of Missouri
Archive | February, 2021

COVID-19 and First Responders

As we all know, COVID-19 has changed the landscape of our lives. Disruptions to what we know as “normal” continue. COVID-19 has also created challenges for us as we serve our communities. Thankfully, President Trump and Governor Parsons each signed into law, legislation that provides protections to our First Responders. These presumptive laws help make First Responders eligible for benefits, should they contract COVID-19. Below, you will find a “cheat sheet” that gives a very basic overview of the presumptive legislation and the protections provided.

We would like to remind every Public Safety Officer, should you contract COVID-19, PLEASE file a workers compensation claim, regardless of your current need for care. No one knows what effect the COVID virus may have on your health, in the years going forward. You should secure your rights afforded under the presumptions, to protect yourself down the road. We have seen some reluctance of Work Comp carriers in accepting COVID-19 claims. If you face this situation, please refer your employer and/or Work Comp carrier to Governor Parsons Emergency Orders 20-02 and 20-04. You can also reference: https://labor.mo.gov/sites/labor/files/8_CSR_50-5.005_Emergency_Final.pdf.

If you know of a Public Safety Officer who contracted and died from COVID-19, please be sure to reach out to us. Continue Reading →

Memorial Foundation Report

A post-Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to everyone. Greetings from your Foundation Board of Directors. I will open with some changes, both current and eventually coming up in 2021.

Dr. Ron Baker, Foundation Treasurer has retired from the board after completing 9-years of truly outstanding service! Dr. Baker started assisting the Foundation while working as a volunteer with Callaway County Board of Tourism, which is now the City Hall for the Village of Kingdom City. A few years after being elected to the board, Dr. Baker accepted the position of Treasurer.

Ron is the face of the annual flag program and many promotional events including the FFAM Convention and Winter Fire School. While Dr. Baker indicated he is stepping away, he also hinted he is not too far away, which leaves us hopeful regarding future special projects. Dr. Baker has and remains an outstanding ambassador of the Foundation. Continue Reading →

News From District 11 – January 2021

District 11 Director Monty Thompson

A happy new year, and I hope everyone had a wonderful and safe holiday season! Now that 2020 is behind us, let’s look forward and be positive that 2021 will be far better. So with the new year, challenge everyone in your department to set a goal for themselves, including command staff, and set a department goal for the entire organization to achieve in 2021. No matter if you are a volunteer, combination, or career. We all can set goals to improve ourselves and enhance our organization we represent. With hopes that we are on the downward curve of COVID-19, we can get back to face to face training with members of neighboring agencies. I know some departments have limited outside training and some have suspended in house training as well. We all should be the “best boots on the ground” so if we are running with our mutual aid departments we know how they operate and the incident should go smoothly.

In other District 11 news, two fire districts were on Santa’s good list. Smithville Fire Protection District received their new Ford F-550 squad that will respond to medical and wildland fires in calls in the 112 square miles they protect per Chief Cline. In December, Edgerton-Trimble Fire Protection District also received their new Squad 81 Ram 5500 crew cab. It will help fight brush fires and will be used as a medical response. It is equipped with SCBA and structural firefighting tools and auto extrication equipment. Chief Rodney Deckman said the unit will be used in their 61 square miles. It can respond quickly to areas that larger apparatus have difficulty accessing. Both Chief Cline and Chief Deckman stated these new units would assist the district and reduce wear and tear and maintenance of the district’s pumpers currently used on medical calls.

Lastly, let’s talk about those that served before us. One thing that no one should forget, is to pay recognition to them all. Too often they become the old grumpy member or the forgotten retiree. In reality, they set the stonework of what your district or department is today. Some may have been volunteers before the agency ever thought of being a career or combo agency. Let’s not just push them aside and forget their importance to the station. Offer the retirees a cup of coffee or have lunch with the current crews. They lived the life we all are living currently at the station, but most did it for far less money or even free if it is now a career agency. My personal opinion is we can move forward with technology and the cool new rigs but, do not forget where we came from and who helped improve the department or district for yesteryears. Continue Reading →

Cole County Fire Protection District • New Truck

The Cole County Fire Protection District recently placed a new 2021 Chevrolet 3500 4×4 brush truck into service. The truck will replace a 1995 model. In November 2018, voters approved a property tax increase to improve the fire district assets. The extra funds will enable the district to replace trucks that are over 20 years old. The new brush truck came equipped with a 300-gallon tank, high-pressure pump with two 150-foot high-pressure booster lines with nozzles. Also the truck is equipped with forestry lines, rakes, shovels, and a backpack blower.

Santa Comes to Town • KNFD

The Knob Noster Fire Department (KNFD) held its Annual Santa Comes to Town event on Saturday, December 19, 2020. Due to current events precautions were taken to keep department members safe as well as our community members. As in every other event in 2020, COVID-19 was on the minds of your fire department and community. In most of our stops, family members wore masks as asked, and social distancing was maintained and observed.

During this event, KNFD transports Santa all over town delivering gifts to smiling children, as well as adults bringing much-needed holiday cheer to the community. Gifts are furnished by the parents of each child and those not receiving a gift are given a candy cane from Santa’s private stock. KNFD started this tradition roughly in 1990 with old Engine 1 and a very short list of deliveries. So when 2021 rolls around KNFD will have carried on this tradition for 30 years. 2020 produced 55 delivers not to mention all of the visits and stops to visit with all of the children on the streets. This has been one of our best years so far.

KNFD would like to also wish our brothers and sisters across the state a very Merry Christmas and the best for a prosperous and safe New Year. Remember mask up, wash your hands, and social distance. Be safe.

Auxiliary Meeting Minutes – January 2021

The meeting called to order by President Jessica Miller at 9:07 a.m.

Members Present
Jessica Miller, Norborne FPD; Sheri Berendzen, Cole Co FPD; Carissa Thompson, Holts Summit FPD; Joni Fields, Paris Rural FD; and Nicole Koepke, KCFD. Diane Wynne, Galt FD; and Theresa Cox, Wentzville FPD attended by Zoom call.

Minutes
Jessica Miller asked if there were any changes, comments, or corrections for the October 4, 2020 meeting minutes. Carissa made a motion to accept the meeting notes as written, seconded by Diane, motion passed.

Financial report
Sheri read the report with a beginning balance of $4,625.37 in our account at the closing of the October meeting. There were no deposits and a $250 expense, a sponsorship of a floor for the Fire Marshall Stair Climb, new balance of $4,375.37. Joni made a motion to accept the financial report, seconded by Carissa, motion passed. Continue Reading →

Knob Noster Fire Department • Holiday Dinner

On December 17, 2020, the Knob Noster Fire Department (KNFD) held its annual Holiday Dinner. Fire Chief Rick Johnson started off the event by saying a few words of appreciation and thanks. Knob Noster Fire Department members were in attendance, as well as immediate family members and the Mayor of Knob Noster, Adam Morton. Mayor Morton also spoke and said grace before the meal. While many of its members provided drinks and desserts, the main course was provided by town newcomer, Belly Down BBQ and was a huge hit.

This year’s holiday dinner was a little bit different than others because it was a night of promotions as well. Assistant Chief Ben Fundaburg walked to the front of the room and announced that there would be two well-deserving individuals being promoted within the department. The current Lieutenant, Tim Merrill, was promoted to Captain, a position that had an opening since Fundaburg’s promotion from Captain to Assistant Chief. Merrill has been with the KNFD since 2010 and has had a fire in his blood since he was a young child, running fire calls with his dad’s department. Lieutenant Merrill’s promotion to Captain made way for a much deserved and long-awaited promotion for Nathan McIntyre to Lieutenant. McIntyre has been with KNFD since 2018 but has served on Johnson County Fire Protection District since 2002. McIntyre also has a long line of firefighters in his family and has always had the desire to serve.

The Knob Noster Fire Department has 14 members currently and is always accepting applications from men and women with the drive to serve our great community. The Knob Noster Fire Department wants to thank everyone for all of the support while they do their best to continue “Being There.”

National Volunteer Fire Council

Happy New Year. To start with some positive news, NVFC Chairman Steve Hirsch was invited to participate in a Presidential Transition Team call with DHS Secretary Nominee Mr. Alejandro Mayokas on December 21, 2020, and discussed Volunteer Emergency Service needs. The call ran for an hour. Chairman Hirsch, who lives in NW Kansas, gave some background on his department and community, the role of the volunteer fire service nationally, and the role of the NVFC in representing volunteer fire, EMS, and rescue service needs. He discussed the NVFC board structure and invited Mr. Mayokas to speak at a future NVFC Board meeting, and he accepted.

Mr. Mayokas indicated that he does understand many communities are dependent on the volunteer fire service, and would like to raise the profile of the volunteer fire service nationally to help with unmet needs. He also asked what the economic downturn has meant to the volunteer fire service, which Chairman Hirsch outlined, specifically those which rely heavily on private fundraising through community events that were mostly canceled this past year. He outlined how volunteer agencies are struggling with staffing because of concerns about personal safety due to COVID-19 and requested a continued dialog shortly which Mr. Mayokas accepted.

Mr. Mayokas asked about equipment and vehicle needs in the volunteer fire service, and the extent to which federal grant funding is helping to meet needs. Chairman Hirsch outlined the unmet needs in small agencies due to a lack of funding. Continue Reading →