Greetings from District 11! I hope all is going smoothly for all the membership and everyone in the fire service! Here we are approaching almost six months of 2021. Hopefully for each of you and your family’s life is returning to a normal like pre covid. But unfortunately, we couldn’t hold the annual convention this spring due to some restrictions still in place, and I appreciate Kearney Fire District for the effort they made to put it on. Now look forward and start planning to attend the 2022 FFAM convention which will be in Washington, Missouri, and what I hear thus far is it is going to be one to attend to make up for two years of cancellations. So stay tuned to the magazine and website as we get details and post them.
The state fair is counting down to a huge event as it’s the bicentennial for the state and big things are in the works. We are still taking applications for people that want to come to experience this unique fire department. Get those applications in by June 1st because this fair is going to be one to be at!
After such a long past year I hope everyone is getting back to in-person department training and are taking advantage of the training I’m seeing the State of Missouri (SEMA), MU FRTI, and local colleges offering. Most are free depending on who’s hosting or the agency teaching. One class that I experienced firsthand was the Fire Service Leadership Enhancement Program that MU FRTI offers annually. What I can say is anyone in a line officer role currently or looking to move up in the line officer position I found this class very informative and will help upcoming personnel. There is so much that I wasn’t aware of and I was able to ask questions. The scenarios and group task made it easy to inquire and get answers from peers from across the state that had more experience than myself. If you can get in on the next application period and have the time to attend you should. I believe everyone will take something away from this course.
On April 18th Assistant District Director Billy Smith, myself, and State Fire Marshall Tim Bean, and his wife attended the Mayview Fire Protection District annual firefighter appreciation banquet hosted by the district’s board members. There were many announcements and awards given to the hard-working and humble volunteer members. They strive to be the best they can for the community they signed up to protect. From the countless hours they put in after they come home from their daily jobs to keeping their skills up and maintaining the equipment in working condition. Billy and myself were honored to attend and witness these members recognized by the chief and ladies auxiliary.
One special recognition was to Captain Jake Hayward who announced his retirement after 22 years serving the district and its citizens and the people who travel through their district daily on the I-70 highway. Captain Hayward was even presented with a resolution from State Senator Thompson for his dedication. We at District 11 and all the members of the FFAM wish you well on your next endeavor after retirement sir. Thank you for stepping up to answer the call for Missourians in need. For more details see the article and photos on page 22.
I will be at several conferences in the upcoming months. If you are at one and see me come say hi and chat for a bit. I like to get to know the members I represent since we are here to listen and help you and your department. That goes for any of our directors and assistant directors across the state. Don’t hesitate to reach out to any of us. Our contacts are on our website hope you all stay safe and look out for one another.
Also, don’t forget to watch out for our family in blue as they need our support more and more each day. We could be the ones that make a bad atmosphere or day, due to current events and them wanting to walk away from their job due to thinking no one has their back. Versus them knowing the red and gold lines have the blue line’s back. Invite them to the station for dinner or lunch or even coffee and someplace to relax and let their guard down. Even if it’s only 15-20 minutes, if you’re a staffed station, can make a huge difference mentality just knowing we care. Even though we like to give each other a hard time. Be safe out there.