Fire Fighters Association of Missouri
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Missouri State Fair Volunteer FD

We closed out a very busy 2021 Missouri State Fair with the car races on Sunday evening. We planned and completed several public demonstrations during the fair in front of the firehouse and grandstands again. The Fair opened on Thursday, August 12 with hot weather, go figure, rain and lightning canceled the opening day parade and concert after a 2-hour rain delay. We always expect one storm during the fair and opening day was it this year. 

We gave apparatus tours daily from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and many nights longer as staffing allowed. That is one of the highlights for many of the younger fair attendees as a big firetruck is impressive. The 1929 firetruck is a fan favorite as well and a hand crank Q siren was added this year and the kids loved being able to run a siren and ring the bell. The remote control fire truck Patches and Pumper is always a favorite in front of the firehouse. Smokey the Bear and Sparky the Fire Pup are always a big hit and they both made their appearances daily during the fair. We have a wooden cut out of a firefighter for photo ops and this continues to be a big draw for kids and adults alike.

We used the car fire training prop on Friday at the firehouse in front of a large crowd to show how we fight vehicle fires and stress the importance of moving over to give us room and slow down so we can return home safely to our station and families. Saturday we had the Missouri State Fire Marshal’s Office assist with the sprinkler demonstration trailer in front of the grandstands and again the last Thursday of the fair in front of the firehouse. Eric Hartman and I gave the program about sprinklers, smoke detectors, and the difference in how the fire progresses without sprinklers was evident to all watching. We did the Facebook live on our page (Missouri State Fair Fire Department) for these and several other events. State Fire Marshal Tim Bean and his staff had a booth next to the firehouse to assist in promoting fire education and safety again for the fair this year. Continue Reading →

Operations Come at a Price

There is a great value and cost associated with placing a fire department in service for eleven days at the Missouri State Fair each year. We went into service at 18:00 on August 11, and finished our official duties at 18:00 on August 22. The FFAM held a meeting on August 8th, and many personnel attended. Personnel started after the meeting with preparations for the fair. Several traveled to the donating departments to pick up equipment and supplies for the fair. The kitchen staff had been picking up donations as well as shopping for the supplies the crews for the eleven days we staffed the fairgrounds. I will not have any of these expenses added in but we all realize that the department would not exist without all of the supporting personnel to get ready. We again provided mutual aid with an engine this year to Pettis County FPD to a chicken barn fire before the fair opened.

We manned three engines and squads for the firefighting equipment along with a duty chief vehicle for the fair. We manned five ambulances along with three rapid response UTV’s with paramedics and equipment for the medical response along with staffing the first aid in our building for any minor walk-in medical treatment. We had three UTV’s available to shuffle personnel and give courtesy rides to families injured and needing assistance back to their cars or the Disaster Medical Assistance Team (DMAT). DMAT’s assistance on the fairgrounds helps to alleviate the medical care rush at the Bothwell Hospital Emergency Department and is at no cost for the patients.

I used the FEMA allowance for the fire and EMS equipment only for the 288 hours we were in service for a total of $287,893. That is with no allowance for the equipment on the trucks or supplies in the ambulances required to be in service and available. We used the median wage for the state of Missouri for the staffing costs and hours worked for a total of $333,606. There are major equipment costs to outfit an engine with equipment as there are for an ambulance with cots and medical supplies and equipment. I would estimate doubling what we have for equipment and personnel would get us in the ballpark to operate. That would put us at $1,242,998. We have a lot of people that put in many hours during the year preparing for the fair as volunteers. They make this department ready to function and do a tremendous service for the State of Missouri. The FFAM is proud to sponsor the department and support us each year, showing what mutual aid and the brotherhood of firefighters can accomplish. Thousands of fairgoers each year for the last 59 depend on us when the call comes in. We have been able to answer with all of our groups involved including the Missouri State Fair Commissioners and Missouri State Fair staff’s support. Continue Reading →

2020 Missouri State Fair Fire Department

The Missouri State Fair Youth Livestock Show started with beautiful weather for August. We had staff on hand of 42 volunteers from 24 FFAM member departments each day to manage and care for all the fair visitors and show participants. We had three ALS ambulances, one UTV ALS ambulance, one engine, one rescue, and one brush truck ready to respond during the 264 hours we were in service. The Missouri DMAT team again deployed to assist with patient care and first aid free of charge for the fair visitors and our department staffed the first aid station for walk-ins.

With the Youth Livestock Show being one of the only events this year, our staff had extra time this year to accomplish many duties and training we would normally not have time for during the fair. A group of instructors from the department put together the basic firefighter training on short notice and offered to anyone on the department free of charge to be completed during the fair. We had a total of six instructors and twenty-one participants to assist during the training. There was a mix of classroom training and the practicals to complete each required section of the course. The fairgrounds staff was gracious enough to let us use the facilities on grounds for search and rescue, pump operations, ladder training, and all the skills for completion of the course. The basic course provided new and experienced firefighters a refresher and all participants were able to get valuable training to improve their skills when they return home to their departments.

Many improvements to facilities were accomplished during the fair in dispatch under the direction of Emily Sweet, Evan Clark, Chris Thompson, and Kyler Oliver. The commissioners’ of the State Fair Fire Department approved spending for new dispatch equipment, radios, and computers. Many vendors and individuals donated equipment with a value exceeding $28,000 to our department. Many hours were spent installing all the new equipment before the fair started.

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State Fair Fire Department

Why do we attend the Missouri State Fair? What things do we do at the Missouri State Fair? Fair fire department members said they attend the fair for the friends they make, the food, and to be a part of something great. It’s an experience you cannot have anywhere else in the nation.

The Missouri State Fair Fire Department is the only eleven-day functioning fire and EMS department in the nation. It is made up of firefighters and EMS personnel from all parts of Missouri. Making friends from all parts of the state makes going to the fair a great experience! Let’s not forget the food, while at the fair we are fed three meals a day and it is true home cooking.

August will be here before we know it and the State Fair EMS team is ready to make this year great again. Our team is working to bring new educational opportunities in hopes that everyone will leave the fair knowing they have served a great service, earned lots of CEU’s, and most of all had fun while doing so. First aid will be open daily for walk-in basic first aid. Come join our team and have one of the best experiences in Missouri.

Be a part of something that is only offered in Sedalia, Missouri. The fair offers networking with volunteer and career EMS personal. You will learn new skills to bring to your home departments and make forever friends while doing it. Do you know someone who may want to be part of this experience? Come join the State Fair Fire Department family. Applications are due June 1, 2020, and are available in this newsletter.

State Fair Volunteer Fire Department Awards

The Missouri State Fair Fire Department wants to say a big thank you to all who came to work and support the operations of the 2019 Missouri State Fair. We averaged over 60 personnel a day for a total of 683 for the 11 days of operation. We logged 2,196 hours of training, inspections and public relations at the firehouse and on the grounds. Total manpower hours would be 16,392 hours the staff was available for calls on duty. Our final runs for 2019 were 124 EMS incidents, 13 fire incidents and 31 standbys. That gives us an idea of the dedication of all the volunteers that give their time and talents to form the fire department each year. The kitchen staff has a big job to nourish the crews along with the Missouri State Highway Patrol and security officers that stop in to cool off in our kitchen area. It is an amazing feat to form a fire department, EMS service and first aid unit that all fair attendees can use for no charge to them each year. We also are fortunate the Missouri Disaster Medical Team chose to set up a mobile medical tent next to our firehouse again this year so they can practice their skills in case a disaster hits and they must respond.

Each year we award the top individuals for their service and efforts in several categories. Junior Dispatcher of the Year went to Colton Smiley of the Galt Fire Protection District. Dispatcher of the Year went to Evan Clark of the City of St. Joseph Fire Department. EMT of the Year went to Ben Burd of the Johnson County Fire Protection District. Firefighter of the Year award went to two individuals, Dylan Farrell of the Union Fire Protection District and Ryan Smiley of the Galt Fire Protection District. Officer of the Year went to Emily Sweet of the Gower Fire Protection District.

We wish to invite any FFAM member that would like to be a part of the Missouri State Fair Fire Department to consider putting in an application for next year and stay for a few days. The experience will be one of a kind as we are the only know volunteer fire department that forms for a state fair each year and has all donated equipment and apparatus from the Fire Fighter Association of Missouri members that allow us to do our job. 

2019 FFAM Scholarships

We presented four high school students with $1,000 scholarships and two Continuing Education recipients with $500 scholarships at the 2019 FFAM Convention in Sedalia, Missouri.

High School Scholarships
Sarah Betherum from Fair Grove High School and a member of the Fair Grove FPD. She plans to attend Ozark Technical Community College.

Hannah Cole from Farmington High School. She plans to enroll at Missouri University in Columbia.

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Volunteer at the MO State Fair FD

We are looking for you to assist at the 2019 Missouri State Fair Fire Department from August 8-18, 2019. We can use assistance to do the public relations each day during the fair. The fire and EMS crews assist as time permits with passing out handouts and giving truck and station tours to the fairgoers throughout the day. We have a remote-control fire truck, with Patches the driver that the kids love. We have Smokey the Bear and Sparky the Fire Pup costumes that walk the fairgrounds and visit daily. If you would like to assist, please sign up for public relations duty for a couple of days to enjoy the fair.

We can use firefighters, EMS and inspectors to assist daily for duties and enjoy the day on the grounds with concerts and all the other events. We cook the meals daily for all at our station and if you enjoy cooking or grilling, we can use you also. As I visit with the staff, the new attendees always say how much fun they have and are glad they decided to come and volunteer and check out a new way to serve. If you have never considered to apply, do so this year and come to be a part of the biggest function of the Fire Fighters Association of Missouri that you are a part of. We will have a spot for you to work and you will have a great experience you can only get at the fair. 

The Missouri State Fair Fire Department has seen an increase in calls for service each year at the fair. With the added increase the fire department has changed how we respond to the calls. Due to the crowded fairgrounds, we have started using brush trucks for initial calls not fire related. The smaller trucks allow for better maneuverability around the fairgrounds and through the large crowds. The brush trucks are primarily used for medical runs and to handle outside fires on the fairgrounds.  The department will staff two (2) brush trucks with three (3) personnel each and three (3) pumpers with four (4) personnel each. The number of staff needed every day of the fair to fulfill fire apparatus is 18. We always encourage new faces and welcome the experienced to the beginner.  The fire department takes great pride in coming together and working together. You can experience a once a year Missouri State Fair and all the excitement that comes with the events.

State Fair Fire Department

We closed this fair out with much needed rain that cancelled the Sunday night races. The crews were cleaning and returning all the equipment, getting it back in good shape for the departments that allow us to use their fire equipment. It is always good to see everyone to begin the fair and hard to say good bye until next time. What a great experience we all enjoy. If you have never signed up to volunteer, please consider doing it for the 2019 Missouri State Fair Fire Department, August 8-18, 2019.

We opened the 2018 fair with personnel from forty-eight departments that signed up to volunteer for the staff of the fire department. We average a staff of seventy volunteers daily, for the ten days we are in service. Opening day we saw the annual parade and specials for all fair attendees. We participated in the parade with our equipment and special guests Smokey the bear and Sparky the fire pup. They rode in the 1929 fire engine for the route and they are always a big attention getter and favorite of the crowd during the route.

Several trainings were held during the fair for fireman and the public at the firehouse. We had fire extinguisher demonstrations that people could actually spray from an extinguisher on a live fire prop. It is always a big attention grabber for the youngsters to see the fire and get to hear how to properly use a fire extinguisher. Every year we hear from adults to kids, that this is the first time they have ever used an extinguisher. The car fire prop with live fire and extinguishment always draw a big crowd. The engine crews demonstrated extrication tools and let the people see up close the tools used for extrication. We advise them to slow down and give us room when they see emergency personnel on the highways so they are safe and we can do our job quickly and resolve the situation. Continue Reading →