Fire Fighters Association of Missouri
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From the Pen of the Chief

Dear first responders, regarding the roller coaster times we had, I would like to attempt to express to you the absolute and complete admiration and respect I have for your work, your service, and the time you gave to volunteer so the Missouri State Fair could function. And thank you to all the generous donations from districts and departments allowing the fire department to use their equipment and supplies. Without you, the Missouri State Fair Volunteer Fire Department would never happen.

You, the firefighters, are not only putting yourself at risk, but you are doing so to help those who can’t help themselves and those who desperately need it. This is something unprecedented in our nation’s history and despite the uncertainty in these times, you have stepped up and proven to be courageous, selfless, and honorable. Remember the first general meeting when I mentioned history? We made it every day because the Missouri State Fair Volunteer Fire Department is one-of-a-kind. So be proud.

Some people are on the doors of death and those who’ve never felt worse in their lives, but they can have solace and comfort in knowing you are there helping them survive and get through this in any way you can. No matter how big or small a job you have at any point, it is a job that the world can never thank you enough for. I feel very lucky to be part of the same nation and perhaps even the same community as people like you who strive to better our world. Continue to be amazing and noble, the world wouldn’t be the same without you.

And finally to the members that were rookies, thank you. I hope it was an enjoyable time and I hope that the fair will do the same thing it did for me 26 years ago. We will see your smiling faces for years to come. I hope the questions I asked were accomplished and you made some of your own, I hope I did an ok job as your chief.

Again to all that made the Missouri State Fair Volunteer Fire Department a big success, thank you. We are a team and an even bigger family.

News From District 7 – September 2021

Greetings from the east side of the state. I hope this finds everyone well. How time has gone by. The Missouri State Fair is in the history book which means summer is coming to an end and schools are in session but as I type this, the weather outside is saying summer is trying to hold on and not give up. 

That means fall is drawing near and with fall means fire prevention and the poster contest. I’m challenging all directors to submit posters for the contest for next year at the annual convention in Washington. To the winners that attended the fair, I say thank you for a job well done. I hope you enjoyed yourself at the fair and you will plan to submit another poster for next year. For more information including the theme and rules, go to the FFAM website under the Fire Prevention Committee. 

Fire prevention is not just in October, it is every day. As the air turns cooler and leaves drop from the trees, it’s important to keep a few important fall safety tips in mind. With proper precautions and safety awareness, your family can enjoy that crisp autumn weather while avoiding some of the dangers that come with the season. Continue Reading →

News From District 7 – July 2021

Hello from District 7 and the east side of the state. I hope all are enjoying the summer. With the days getting longer and warmer that means lots will be outside enjoying time with family and friends so here are a few things to think about so we can enjoy the days of summer.

Summer weather means cookouts, fourth of July fireworks, and all sorts of campfire fun as families across the country take advantage of the warm temperatures to get back in touch with nature. It is certainly relaxing to enjoy a beach bonfire with friends and loved ones, or roast marshmallows by the lake or in the backyard fire pit, but it is also important to ensure that everyone stays safe by observing a few simple fire protection guidelines. Continue Reading →

News From District 7 – March 2021

Hello from the east side of the state! I hope you all are doing well. I have to say Chief Billy Smith your persimmons forecast was very close. Maybe you should change your calling and become a weatherman! With spring around the corner, here are some things to think about when you get out and shake off the winter blues. Daylight savings time is on March 14, so don’t forget to change the batteries in your smoke and CO detectors.

Spring Safety Tips
With spring soon to be knocking on the door, the air will begin to warm, and the trees will bud. It means it’s time for spring cleaning, yard work, home repairs, and new exercise regimens. All of which can present a variety of health and safety hazards.

With warmer weather and longer days upon us, people are emerging from their winter cocoons to focus on long-neglected projects like spring cleaning, home repairs, and yard work. Many are also lacing up their shoes for their first outdoor walk or jog of the season. These activities can be extremely beneficial, but they also involve a variety of health and safety hazards that can be avoided with the proper precautions. I have provided some tips to help ensure everyone in our community stays safe this season.

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Fire Prevention Committee

As I am sitting in the office of the Missouri State Fair Fire Department all I can say is wow, how different this is. We are working with half crew sizes and equipment, and the streets only have a few people walking around. There are some that stop by to say thank you for all we do.

The 2020 Missouri Youth Livestock show will be one for the record books. We have made many improvements to the station. A big shout out to Evan, Emily, Kyler, Chris, and anyone else that helped with a massive upgrade to our communication and dispatching capabilities. During the fair, we also held a Basic Firefighter class for members that didn’t already have the training. For the members that have the certification, or higher, it was a great training refresher and great team building. 

With the youth livestock show in the books, it means that school will be starting which leads to the fall season and fire prevention. This year has been a year with the convention being canceled and the challenges of getting posters to the Fire Prevention Committee to be judged. We did have a few that we were able to get submitted. For those that were not able to submit your posters this year, I hope you can join us in Kearney in 2021 and get your posters turned in.

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News from District 7 – March 2020

Hello and greeting from District 7 and the east side of the state. I hope this note finds everyone well. Punxsutawney Phil could not find his shadow and as the legend goes, this means we’re in for an early spring. Phil I’m going to hold it to ya. It will be great to wake up to birds singing. The first signs of spring are here. As I type this, I hear a few birds outside my window with the days getting longer and the temperatures starting to lift, trees starting to bud, the entrancing smell of spring with the flowers, warmer weather, and misty mornings that fill the air. What else lets me know spring is near are all the potholes and trying to avoid the craters. But the local tire shop likes the potholes. With spring around the corner, slow down on wet roads.

Rain is a big deal and the deadliest weather-related driving hazard. There’s plenty of it at this time of year with spring showers making roads slick when water mixes with oil on the pavement. The first ten minutes of light rain can be the most dangerous for hydroplaning. When tires slide across a wet surface, particularly at speeds above 35 mph, according to the American Safety Council. Slow down and increase your following distance with the car ahead to five seconds when driving in rain, advises Edmunds. Also, add an extra second for each additional challenge, like driving after dark. Avoid standing water and large puddles. Stay away from the outer lanes where water accumulates and try to drive in the tracks left by vehicles ahead. Replace wiper blades. Rain presents the hazard of reduced visibility, so check your wiper blades for wear and replace them if they’re not up to the important job of keeping your windshield clear. Inflate tires. Tires typically lose pressure in winter and it’s a good idea to get out the pressure gauge to see if they need inflating to the recommended level, often indicated on the sticker in the driver’s door.

Share the road with cyclists and pedestrians. More people are choosing to walk, run and cycle to stay active, carry out errands or as an alternative to driving to work, especially when the warmer weather arrives, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Treat bicyclists as you would other drivers, and remember pedestrians have rights on the road, too, particularly at crosswalks, says the NHTSA.

Watch for animals. Animals are also brushing off the cobwebs and getting out and about in the spring weather, which can pose dangers if they stray onto highways. Slow down so you can stop safely if animals are in the area and be extra vigilant at dawn and dusk.

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News From District 7 – September 2019

Hello from the east side of the state and District 7. I hope everyone had an enjoyable summer despite what mother nature passed our way. Speaking of summer, it is almost coming to an end. The 2019 Missouri State Fair is in the history books and I want to say thank you to Chief Terry Plumb on his first year as chief. There is an old saying, “the first is the worst,” so if that’s the case, the next years to come will be easy sailing because your staff did an outstanding job. Congratulation to all the award winners: Junior Dispatcher Colton Smiley, Dispatcher Evan Clark, Firefighter Brian Smiley and Dylan Farrell, Officer Emily Sweet, everyone did a great job! Without all the members we could not have the Missouri State Fair Volunteer Fire Department. Another big thanks to all the department and districts and vendors that donated all the equipment for us to use during the fair. Words can’t express the thanks and the gratitude we have for them allowing us to borrow their equipment so we can serve the Missouri State Fair and the fair guests. 

This year’s poster contest winners were guests of the Missouri State Fair Volunteer Fire Department. They received their prize money, the poster, a ribbon and tickets to the midway. I hope that all that attended enjoyed the day at the fair and hope to see them again next year. A big shout out and thank you to the ladies auxiliary for the purchase of the stand to display the winning posters and ribbons. For the winner’s that were unable to come to the fair your prize money will be mailed. With the fair in the history books and summer turning into fall, that means that fire prevention week will be in the near future, October 6-12. This year’s fire prevention theme is Not Every Hero Wears a Cape: Plan and Practice your Escape. All departments wishing to submit posters need to make sure and go to the FFAM website and print the proper poster label so that all award winners can be notified.

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News From District 7 – July 2019

The leading cause of death in America is house fires, to get into specifics, most casualties happen in the kitchen. It’s a sad but a true fact. Most people in the US assume and say, “Oh I know about fire safety, just have a fire extinguisher in your house and if something catches on fire you call the fire department.” This is just barely grazing the surface of fire prevention. Yes having a fire extinguisher is very important, but do you know where you’re supposed to keep it? How often you need to check it? How many you need? Where to get one from? When to test them? And so on and so on. 

It is expected that not everyone knows about fire prevention. But seriously, fire is dangerous and it can kill you if you’re not careful. Children and teenagers are more often than not the cause of a fire, but it’s not usually there fault. As long as they didn’t purposely set the fire. They simply didn’t know the correct precautions. 

Take for example PASS. Now how many of you know what PASS stands for? Well for those of you who don’t, it stands for Pull the handle, Aim at the base of the fire, Squeeze the handle, and Sweep from side to side. This easy little reminder can help you and your family remember how to use a fire extinguisher because I know if I didn’t remember PASS then I would panic and most likely fumble around with the fire extinguisher until I figure out how to use it. Because let me tell you, the first time I tried to use a fire extinguisher it did not end well. How many of you know how to use a fire extinguisher? 

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