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Convention 2019 – The Aftermath

Well, it is over. That’s right Convention 2019 has come and gone and all that is left is some nifty shirts and memories. It was the pleasure of the FFAM Board of Directors to serve as host for the 2019 Convention and we hope each attendee had an enjoyable experience.

Returning to familiar territory, the event was held on the beautiful grounds of the Missouri State Fair, home too many of our members for 11 days a year during the State Fair. We were fortunate enough to have decent weather and made it through the entire weekend without rain, torrential winds or snow, all of which have blessed the convention on various other occasions.

As others will be providing additional details about the Convention throughout this edition let it suffice to say the fire fighter challenge contest and awards banquet went well. We tried something a little different this year and included a Friday evening meal as part of the registration fee. We put together a pretty tasty picnic style meal and were able to accommodate almost everyone’s dietary needs for the evening.

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A Message from the 1st Vice President – MAY 2019

I hope this edition finds each of you poised to enjoy summer and maybe some much needed time away from at least a few of your normal responsibilities. I have come to realize over the years that it is vitally important to make and take time to break the normal daily schedule as overall life is way too short to not enjoy all that is around you.

Let’s talk a bit about the future. For those of us getting a little long in the tooth, that’s an “old generation” saying, the “future” we once saw may have already become yesterday and we have moved on towards a new “future.” For those younger readers it may seem like the future is so distant that it is just not that important to you right now. For those in the middle you have seen enough to know the past is the past and the future you once saw is not that far away. No matter which group you may fall into we all must remember one fundamental concept: the future is yours.

There are some schools of thought that believe everything is pre-determined and no matter what action you may or may not take, your future is already written and you just have to ride the wave to find what your future is. There are other schools of thought that would subscribe to the theory that everything you do is controlled by you and what your future is will be shaped by the decisions and actions you take.

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A Message from the 1st Vice President – MAR 2019

Greetings! During these cold, ice and snow covered days in parts of our state it is hard to think that Spring, if we get to have one this year, and then Summer will be upon us in no time at all and we will all be discussing how hot and humid our state is and how much we wish Fall or Winter was near.

In this edition let’s talk about investing. Seems like a simple enough topic on the surface, but investing can take on many forms at many different levels in our lives. I think we can all agree that an investment in the obvious form normally deals with a financial matter. In other forms investment can be doing things for your betterment, we have all heard the saying “invest in your future” at some point or another.

When you consider the overall importance of financial matters in the long term well-being of any of us it becomes pretty evident that at some point we each need to make investments. Although money is not everything, it is an unfortunate thing that in our society money is required to meet many of our obligations. The recent federal government shut down news coverage was riddled with the sensational stories of employees that had not yet missed the first paycheck, but were already going to be evicted or had no food for themselves. I am fully aware that there are many people in our society that live literally from one paycheck to the next, but to have this outcry before a check was missed should be a wake up call to anyone working and receiving a paycheck.

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A Message from the 1st Vice President – JAN 2019

Welcome officially to the New Year! Since you are reading this it is a good sign that you made it through all of the various holidays that closed out 2018. As hard as it is to believe the year certainly sped by as they all seem to do anymore. I hope you all had a good close to 2018 and my hopes are you have a prosperous and safe 2019!

Let’s talk about goals in this edition. It seems about the end of one year and the beginning of the next many of us jump up and make noises about one thing or another to improve ourselves either through better eating, more exercise, more education or other similar endeavors. While all of these items are admirable, are they realistic? Oh, we all say they are and we have the best intentions, but a short time into making that modification in our lives something always seems to come along and derail us. Before long we sink in to that funk that perhaps we are a borderline failure or just somehow don’t have the required discipline to stick to our goals.

This issue can extend beyond those personal expectations we set with the best of intentions and spread into our work or even family lives. We sometimes set goals that many times for reasons beyond your direct control fall short and we once again start sliding into that funk. Eventually we reach a point that we just don’t care anymore and give up on trying to do something positive with our lives or careers and just start going through the motions to exist. When this happens it can lead to many negative results if left unchecked.

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A Message From the 1st Vice President – November 2018

Well believe it or not, just as expected the winter months have begun, daylight savings time has wound down, busy schedules have not slowed and we are headed in to the traditional “holiday” season. I hope each of you are well and will have the opportunity over the coming months to enjoy much needed rest and interaction with family and friends.

I believe we should talk about motivation this time. For a large share of people this is a word or concept that just happens with little to no effort. For others, motivation can be a challenge. For some people they have been highly motivated, but now find themselves… Let’s just say, less than motivated. I would imagine if you think back to your early days in the fire service you were highly motivated. It was exciting, it was new, it was a challenge, and you wanted to learn. For some, that remains the spirit right up to an into their retirement years. The rest fall someplace between the highly motivated and the person who leaves the fire service entirely.

Perhaps we should examine why over time some of our members are no longer very motivated to put out their best effort, show up for incidents or trainings or even stay a member. I firmly believe that motivation is one of the key drivers in keeping a person actively involved in the fire service. It is incumbent on each of us and particularly on the formal leaders in the fire service to make the fire service worthwhile and to spark the motivation every member had at one time.

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A Message from the 1st Vice President – 09-2018

Greetings! Hopefully you have had an opportunity to enjoy the summer as once again a simple blink of the eye and it seems like it is already ending. Normally a time filled with activity including vacations, local and state fairs, sports and other events. Unfortunately for many of us it has not been a time filled with much if any needed rain. Speaking of fairs, the Missouri State Fair has come and gone and from all reports the staff of the Missouri State Fair Fire Department did another outstanding job serving all visiting the fair. Great work folks!

This edition, let’s talk a little about convention. As you are or will become aware as you read this edition the FFAM 2019 Convention is being hosted by the FFAM Board of Directors and is being planned for April 12-14, 2019. Put those dates on your calendars and as soon as we develop more information concerning the planned events, lodging and other news we will let you know so you can make plans to be there.

What is convention? The dictionary, an old paper version of a google search for a word, defines the word as the summoning or convening of an assembly; an assembly of persons met for a common purpose; a meeting of the delegates of a political party for the purpose of formulating a platform and selecting candidates for office. Okay, so what is the FFAM Convention? The FFAM Convention draws a little from all portions of this definition. We do summon our members, we do meet for a common purpose and it is a meeting of the delegates, in our case for our annual meeting. So let’s look at each of these elements just a bit. Continue Reading →

A Message from the 1st Vice President – 07-2018

Greetings! I hope each of you are having a tolerable summer and have had the opportunity to get away with family or friends for even a brief break from the normal day to day of our hectic lives as servants to the public.

This time let’s talk about hats and tee shirts. So immediately, the thought crossed your mind that the old guy has officially lost it because what could hats and tee shirts have to do with the fire service anyway? Stick with me on this one and just maybe I am not as far gone as some may think.

Have you ever given much consideration to why people join the fire service. Whether it be on a paid full time agency or a completely volunteer agency where personnel don’t even receive a stipend of some sort? Well think about it a minute, because there has to be a reason buried somewhere in the history and future of this profession. We have examined this issue from time to time on a local basis and I think we may have discovered why people keep agreeing to join a dangerous, often thankless, dirty, stressful, mind numbing, time consuming and physically demanding profession… it has to be the hats and tee shirts that have our stunning, yet not really unique, logo proudly displayed. Continue Reading →

A Message from the 1st Vice President – 05-2018

Greetings to all! Well another convention has come and gone and by all accounts it was another successful event to be recorded in the history books of the FFAM. If you didn’t get the opportunity to attend this year, start making plans for next year’s convention as it is never too early to make a reservation and get the event on your calendar.

Now that convention has passed let’s talk a bit this time about rest. Seems fitting to talk about this now as we had an opportunity to rest a bit, although I am sure not everyone did, during convention. Now you might be thinking “what does rest have to do with me, or for that matter the fire service.” For the sake of this article the term rest is going to be a large all-encompassing word to cover all aspects of what you may think rest is.

The concept of rest in the fire service is somewhat obvious, but encompasses many things. Getting some sleep, relaxing, taking a break, disconnecting or recharging yourself. These are important steps to help you avoid what can at times be deadly consequences of not resting. Continue Reading →