Fire Fighters Association of Missouri
Archive | May, 2021

A Message From The 1st VP – May 2021

This will be my last official rambling as the 1st Vice President. I have enjoyed sharing some thoughts with you over the past few years and I hope you have gained some additional perspective to use as you carry out your service to the citizens of Missouri and those passing through our great state. I appreciate the support I have received and the remarks provided concerning some of my musings.

This edition I want to visit with you about knowledge. We all likely have a pretty good understanding of the concept of what knowledge is so we won’t consult the dictionary for a long definition. How much knowledge is too much knowledge? Does knowledge equate to power? How can knowledge help or hurt an organization? How do we handle the knowledge we have? I am not sure that any person or the members of any organization can ever have too much knowledge. At times an overload of knowledge can slow down a process and may initially inhibit a decision from being made, but in the end, making informed decisions leads to informed actions and is the ideal way to proceed. Many of us have been involved in what I will call “knee-jerk” situations when events happen or information is provided in limited amounts that cause decisions or actions to take place. I would venture a guess if we each thought back to these situations most didn’t work out as planned or served the purpose we intended. Making new policies or other changes in an agency without as much knowledge as possible can often devastate the members and the organization over time. Gathering knowledge can be tedious and time-consuming, but being armed with the most knowledge available allows for better decision-making.

How many times have you either received a new policy or perhaps have seen the results of legislation that was enacted without being based on the most detailed available knowledge? When these types of things take place the intended result may be overshadowed by the negative aspects that were not fully understood at the time of execution. If you follow the legislative process or even if you are part of your department’s policy-setting process you will notice these normally do not get finalized “overnight”. Many steps are taken during these processes in an attempt to get things right and to attempt to foresee the consequences. Unfortunately not every possible result can be predicted, but by gathering the available knowledge and then actually using it in the decision process many pitfalls can be avoided.

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Memorial Foundation Report

Normally by this time, the annual memorial services would have just concluded our May programs but we rescheduled in hopes of not having to limit numbers on site. It is never too early to send out a “Save the Date” reminder for the 2021 Candlelight Service. They have been moved to Saturday evening October 9th at 9:00 p.m. and the Sunday morning service to October 10th at 10:30 a.m.

We are planning to honor our line of duty death (LODD) families and departments in-person who were previously planned for the 2020 services in addition to those for this month in 2021 but have been moved to October. We will continue with the planning which goes into both services, gathering of the required information to be presented, and the logistical organization to move forward. While we are still reviewing and refining some details, one new addition for the Sunday service will be live streaming.

The new LODD support trailer with a custom-designed scaffolding system for a casket to hose bed assistance was delayed by the last report but very happy to confirm both are now into the delivery process. The next steps are setting up the trailer and lettering which has moved projected service availability to late June. Brian has put in numerous hours and many miles both by air and car working out the best options in bringing this next operational asset dedicated to giving honors to our fallen. We all hope it will never be needed for the purpose intended but history does suggest otherwise.

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Auxiliary Meeting Minutes – May 2021

Meeting called to order by President Jessica Miller at 9:01 a.m. The Colors were present and the “Pledge of Allegiance” was said by all. The devotion, “Life of a Fireman’s Wife” was given by Ann Jones from Madison West Monroe.

Members Present
Jessica Miller, Norborne FPD; Sheri Berendzen, Cole County Fire; Theresa Cox, Wentzville FPD; Carissa Thompson, Holts Summit FD; Joni Fields, Paris FD; Ann Jones, Madison Wet Monroe FD; Robin Schrage, Jefferson R-7 FPD; Joyce Thompson, Kearney Fire & Rescue; Brenda Wright, Shelbina FPD. Attendee’s via zoom are Missy Erdel, Little Dixie FPD; Christina Loyd, Little Dixie FPD.

Introduction of Officers
President Jessica Miller, Norborne FPD; 1st Vice President Diane Wynn, Galt FD (not present); 2nd Vice President Sheri Berendzen, Cole County Fire; Secretary/Treasurer Theresa Cox, Wentzville FPD; Historian Carissa Thompson, Holts Summit FD; Sergeant at Arms Joni Fields, Paris Rural FPD.

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Cole County Fire Protection District Promotions

During the past year, the Cole County Fire Protection District lost Senior Assistant Chief Galen Hammann and Assistant Chief Robbie Hammann. With their passing, the Fire District has made the following promotions as shown in the picture below. Pictured from left to right are; Assistant Chief Scott Kempker, Assistant Chief Jason Hammann, Captain Justin Braun, Fire Chief Wayne Hammann, Captain Adam Bashore, Lieutenant Mac Kennedy, and Lieutenant Bradley Kempker.

South Central Buchanan County FPD

The South Central Buchanan County Fire Protection District recently put a new brush truck into service. The department has been without a devoted wildland fire vehicle for several years, using dual-purpose pickup trucks for natural cover fires. The Ford F350 was purchased through the Missouri Contract Purchasing program. The Heiman Fire skid unit as well as the radio and hand tools were purchased in cooperation with Missouri Department of Conservation grants. The Fire Protection District is in Northwest Missouri and covers 80 square miles with two firehouses in Buchanan County. It also covers calls on nearly 10 miles of Interstate Hwy. The District has strong mutual aid agreements with 8 surrounding fire departments and mutual aid calls add the District answering nearly 400 calls for service per year. The fire department members for the District are all volunteers.

Howell County Rural Fire District Update

We would like to recognize all our officers from the oldest to the newest. Pictured here on the front row are Fire Chief Joe Auffert and Assistant Chief William Wilbanks. On the back row are Safety Officers Wesley Hendricks, Jerry Lewis, and Tim Dailey. All three safety officers were promoted from firefighter to safety officer within the last six months. All of our officers are very dedicated to the fire department and work very hard to maintain as safe of an environment as possible on all incidents we respond to and at the fire station.

Howell County Rural Fire District #1 recently donated $350 to Cystic Fibrosis. We usually help out at the concerts they have every year for a fundraiser for Cystic Fibrosis research. This year they were unable to host the concert again due to COVID. We would like to challenge all emergency service organizations in Missouri or any individual that can to donate something if possible. Every little bit donated helps out and it all goes to Cystic Fibrosis research to help find a cure for that disease someday.


A Message From The 2nd VP – May 2021

Greetings FFAM Membership. Spring has arrived! Everyone is busy this time of year with graduations, taking care of our yards, and started planning vacations as COVID restrictions are now being relaxed. The FFAM has been busy representing the Missouri fire service across our great state by attending banquets of our members, promoting the organization at various events, and assisting departments with training thru MU Fire and Rescue Training Institute (MU FRTI).

On March 11th, I attended the virtual pinning ceremony of the Warrensburg Fire Department. The ceremony gave cadets and current personnel their badges either thru starting as a probie or being promoted thru the ranks of the department. Thanks go to Training Officer Matt Soer for sending me the link to attend this very special ceremony. I am glad I could be a part of this special event and appreciate the invitation.

Carrollton Fire Department annual ham and bean dinner fundraiser for life-saving equipment.

Nine days later, I was invited to the Carrollton Fire Department annual ham and bean dinner. This event is a fundraiser for the department to raise money for life-saving equipment that the department might use shortly. Also in attendance was Assistant Director Billy Smith. This invite was very special to me as this was the department where “Mr. FFAM” Joe Jackson was from. Thanks to Chief Lonnie Sensenich for the invite, Assistant Director Smith and I appreciate it.

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International Firefighters Day

Legend of St. Florian extinguishing a massive fire with only one bucket of water and saving a village from ruin.

The fire service in the United States has a long and glorious history stretching back to the early 1700s. Even in the early days of the fire service, the mission was the protection of life and property. With this noble desire and calling for a person to help their fellow man, it is easy to understand how this vocation has become an honored profession for over 275 years. Many times the Bible verse from John, Chapter 15:13 is quoted as an example of the conviction of firefighters, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” In the early 1900s, Chief Edward Croker of the New York Fire Department eloquently spoke about what it means to be a firefighter. He said:

Our proudest endeavor is to save the lives of men-the work of God Himself. Under the impulse of such thoughts, the nobility of the occupation thrills us and stimulates us to deeds of daring, even at the supreme sacrifice. Such considerations may not strike the average mind, but they are sufficient to fill to the limit our ambition in life and to make us serve the general purpose of human society.
Based on the willing service of so many and the perilous challenges they faced, a strong history and tradition developed over time as part of the profession of firefighting, whether career or volunteer.

Though many significant dates come to mind that contribute to this history and the subsequent traditions, one that comes to mind during May is the recognition of International Firefighters Day on May 4th. The significance of this date and how it came to be, has a special history.

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