Greeting from the thirteenth floor. I am overwhelmed that I have been writing that now for four years. I am beginning my fifth year as your Missouri State Fire Marshal. That cold, snowy, wind-blowing 20mph February day at St. Louis headquarters seems like yesterday. Judy and I are honored and humbled for God’s blessing us to fulfill this role. Every hour and mile we have spent being able to meet, greet and eat with many, will forever be etched in our hearts. Thank you each for your dedication and commitment to serve our state and your communities. We look forward to serving for years to come.
I also must brag on my Division of Fire Safety team. Wow, what a devoted group of individuals. They believe in the mission of serving others and are very dedicated to your public safety where ever you may travel in our state. With the twelve different programs we administer, we feel the influences it has on you and your family’s safety. Thank you DFS family for accepting Judy and me and for everything you do daily across our state.
I have missed getting the opportunity to get out and visit your department events. Judy and I now have both taken our COVID shots, and because of that, we will be able to get back to visit before long. I am ready. I encourage you to get the shot, I had a good experience with the shot.
I was proud to be part of history recently with MU FRTI. Congratulations to Tracy Gray and his Winter Fire School team for pulling off the first-ever virtual Winter Fire School in our nation. I had the privilege to see some of the behind the scene activities. WOW what an accomplishment for MU FRTI. Thank you team MU FRTI, and to each instructor, and student who participated to make this successful, “Show Me Strong!” Hopefully, God willing, we will see each other in person in 2022!
After deep thought and listening to the experts, we will host Firefighter’s Day at the Capitol virtually for 2021 on April 14, 2021. The present environment at the state capitol is limited to visitors and extracurricular activities. We believe we should lead by example, and maintain the CDC recommendations. We will be pushing out a link over our social media and through email to join Firefighter’s Day at the Capitol virtually on April 14, 2021.
The 101st Legislative body is working hard. There are several first responder bills this session, if passed, would help us as first responders. Example: HB 559 which would create a cancer trust fund to assist our firefighters dealing with the diagnosis of cancer. There is a way to go on these bills. I encourage you to get to know your legislators and encourage them to support our Missouri fire service.
Save the following date, May 26, for the Fire Chief’s Virtual Summit. This will be a one-day summit catering to our Missouri Fire Chiefs and command staff. We plan to have different breakout sessions on topics that are affecting or will affect our Missouri Fire Service. We hope to create a solid lineup for the day, and fill you with knowledge, stay tuned.
Another very important date to mark on your calendar, the 5th Annual State Fire Marshal’s / Supporting Heroes Stair Climb. It’s unbelievable this is the 20th anniversary of 9/11. We will be back in the Jefferson building this year. Jefferson City will be hosting Patriots Day over the 9/11 weekend. There will be several activities to honor and “Never Forget” those who lost their lives that day. To register or support the fifth annual event on the 20th anniversary of 9/11, please visit www.mosfmstairclimb.com.
In closing, thank you to everyone who has renewed your fire department registration. If you haven’t done so please take the time and do so. If you need any assistance contact Eric.firstname.lastname@example.org.
I am honored to serve each of you and appreciate your support of the Division of Fire Safety. Thank you for your commitment to serve our state, and dedication to public safety. May God keep and bless each of you.
Also, I absolutely love the new format FFAM has gone to with the magazine, top shelf.