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History’s Corner – November 2019

I really doubt that very many readers of the FFAM newsletter have to be reminded that Hannibal is one of our states oldest and most famous towns. From the time most of us were kids we read the Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn in school and learned those iconic stories were based on things that took place in this little village on the Mississippi River. 

Moses D. Bates founded Hannibal in 1819. It soon became a principal docking port for steamboats, flatboats and steamers traveling the upper Mississippi. In 1845 Hannibal had achieved city status and the following year the Hannibal Fire Department came into existence.

Many well-known individuals have called Hannibal home, including William Lear, the designer of the Lear jet. Also counted among the famous sons are Congressman William Henry Hatch and Navy Admiral Robert E. Coontz.

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Ste. Genevieve FD Celebrates 125th Anniversary

With the department’s new Rosenbauer Ladder Truck parked behind them, Ste. Genevieve Fire Department Chief Ken Steiger, Assistant Chief Mick Schwent, Mayor Paul Hassler and State Fire Marshal J. Tim Bean spoke about the importance of volunteer fire departments and the strides the Ste. Genevieve department has made at a 125th anniversary celebration at the fire house on October 13.

Schwent, who served as fire chief from 1998 to 2015, gave a summary of the history of firefighting in the city. The department was established in 1894 but records of fire related history have been found back to the early 1800’s.

The trucks, equipment and firehouse were available for the public to tour. Demonstrations of a ladder truck rescue and extrication were given after the ceremonies.

The ceremony began with a Welcome of the crowd by Chief Steiger followed by a moment of silence to honor former firefighters, especially Stanley Schwent Sr. and David Grass Jr., both of whom died in the line of duty.

“It takes a lot of cooperation on many levels to be successful,” Steiger said, after welcoming the crowd. “One of the most important working relationships we have is with the city. I believe right now we have a very good relationship with our city.” Mayor Hassler agreed the relationship was good. He said he fears citizens often take volunteer efforts by the firefighters and others for granted.

Fire Marshal Bean also spoke on the importance of the volunteer fire departments and the difficulties in finding volunteer staff. Bean also commended the department on the progress made over the years.

The ceremonies ended with a couple of special service awards and thoughts from Chief Steiger on the direction the department is heading for the future.

Johnson County FPD #2 New Apparatus

Johnson County Fire Protection District #2 recently took delivery of two new apparatus.  Engine 551 is an E-One Mini Pumper that will be serving out of Station 5 and Brush 515 is a Ford F-350 that will be serving out of Station 1.

South Central Buchanan County FPD Update

On August 24, the South Central Buchanan County Fire Protection District held an open house for its new fire station in Faucett, MO. The new firehouse had been under construction since the district patrons passed a levy in April 2018. The 12,000 square foot, 6 bay fire house was occupied by the fire department in early June, 2019. 

South Central Buchanan County Fire Department protects approximately 80 square miles, including 12 miles of interstate highway in Buchanan County. The Department responds to approximately 350 calls for service per year providing fire protection, EMS first responder and hazardous materials operation response. 

Programs and games for the public were provided by the Missouri State Highway Patrol, Buchanan County Sheriff Department, St. Joseph Communications Center, Buchanan County EMS and the South Central Buchanan County Fire Department. An estimated 250 patrons enjoyed good weather, learned more about the Fire Department and walked away with some safety tips.

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Chief Darrell Wright Retires

Chief Darrell Wright started his career as a volunteer firefighter with Carrollton Fire Department on November 10, 1977, and hired full-time in April of 1978. He was then hired by Chillicothe Fire Department on April 19, 1983, where he has held the positions of Firefighter/EMT, Engineer/EMT, Lieutenant/EMT. He received his paramedic license in 1990 and went on to be Captain/Paramedic, Interim Chief and then promoted to Fire Chief/Director of Emergency Management in 2009. Chief Wright concluded his fire service career on September 15, 2019, after 42 years of service to the communities of Carrollton and Chillicothe. From 1992-2009 Chief Wright also instructed the EMT/Paramedic classes at the Grand River Technical School. Accomplishments during his tenure as fire chief were the addition of the state-of-the-art fire training center, ground-breaking for Life-Flight Eagle base in Chillicothe, honored by MEMSA as Administrator of the Year in 2017 and Fire Chief of the Year by FFAM in 2018. We want to wish him a well deserved retirement.

Heroes of the Storm Receive Awards

Deputy Chief Steve Barnes, Captain Alan Braun, Lieutenants Gary Braun and Justin Braun were honored with the Heroes of the Storm award. On May 22, 2019, at approximately 11:00 p.m., Deputy Chief Steve Barnes radioed to Jefferson City Central dispatch that his home had just been hit by the tornado. Through his home received damage and could not move his vehicle, he asked a neighbor, who is a CCFPD Board member, to drive him to Headquarters Station to coordinate all the incoming alarms for assistance.

Just minutes later the tornado struck Donnie Braun and Sons complex. Captain Alan Braun, and Lieutenant Justin Braun responded to Headquarters Station to help with the incoming alarms for assistance even though their livelihood has been destroyed. Lieutenant Gary Braun stayed at the business to evaluate the damage. The award they are holding is part of a tree that was destroy in the tornado.

Funeral Response and Assistance Conference

The Missouri Fire Service Funeral Assistance Team and the Missouri EMS Funeral Response Team held their annual conference November 1-2, in Osage Beach. Funeral team members Larry and Ann Joes received the 2019 Member of the Year Award. FFAM President Ken Hoover received a supporter recognition award on behalf of FFAM for their support of the Missouri EMS Funeral Response Team.

Cedar Hill Fire District New Pumper

Pumper 7734 is a 2019 Pierce Enforcer. The truck has a 1250 GPM Pump, 1000 gallon Booster Tank, 30 gallon foam cell with class A foam, Husky 12 foam system, Hercules 140 CAFS Compressor, 2100 gallon Porta Tank, 24’ extension, 14’ roof, 10’ folding ladder, Tempest PPV Fan, Holmatro Core power unit and combi tool, 2 bottle cascade system, 20’ of 6” hard suction, Wilbert LED Light Tower and 1800’ of 3” supply hose.