Fire Fighters Association of Missouri

Fishing River FPD FFAM Grant Award

The Fishing River Fire Protection District would like to thank the FFAM for choosing our organization as one of the recipients for the 2019 FFAM Grant Award. With the grant award we were able to purchase 22 traffic safety vests, some of them have FIRE on them and some have EMS on them to help identify everyone in what could be a chaotic situation. This will also give every member a traffic vest to help keep them safe while working along the roadways of our fire district coverage area. We also were able to purchase seven Nomex hoods to provide to some of our members to add to their PPE protection equipment. We really appreciate that the FFAM organization had chosen us as one of grant award winners. This will allow us to use the funds that would have been spent to purchase theses items to be spent on other fire safety equipment that our members will need to be safe and provide protection to the people in our fire district.

District 4 Updates

I  hope that everyone has had a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. The holidays are a busy time for most of us. As things start to settle down and we return to our normal routines or begin new ones with our resolutions. 

As I am writing this I am reflecting on the retirement ceremonies I attended this past year and realize that there are some big shoes to fill in the Fire Service. One of those is here in District 4, Fire Chief Leo Huff retired December 20, 2019, after serving the Citizens of Clinton for 46 years, 2 months, and 5 days. Congratulations Chief Huff on your retirement! We will miss the vocabulary lessons from the Hufftionary as your crew called it. Chief Huff had a way with words. One example was the word, “Woo Mow,” now as most of you know that word is not found in Webster’s dictionary but it is a word that his crews know. To use it in a sentence, Chief Huff would tell one of the crew to go get the, “Woo Mow,” from the truck. When the crew member would have a blank stare like what are you talking about Chief, he would say, “you know the tool that you pull the rope and squeeze the lever and it makes the Woo Mow noise.” He was referring to the saw. This was just one example of the words the crews at Clinton Fire Department shared at the retirement ceremony and will leave a lasting impression for years to come.

Have you signed up for classes yet at MU FRTI Winter Fire School, February 7-9, 2020? This is a great opportunity to network with the vendors at the Equipment Expo, reunite with old friends and meet new ones, and listen to top quality instruction from fire service leaders from across the US. I would like to ask those who are attending to support the FFAM memorial and museum project by dining at Texas Roadhouse on Friday night. The display of spirit and camaraderie is endless. There are classes for everyone and at every level. Even webcasts for those of us that are unable to make it to Columbia but have the desire to further their education. If you make it there and see me at the expo please say hello. 

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Note From the Fire Marshal’s Wife

When someone says, “Be present,” the present moment tends to run into the next present moment and into the next until becoming a blur of moments turning into a day, a week, a month…years. Then we wake up one day and ask, “Where did it all go?” 

Well, thank the Lord for the still-frame of the camera. That photograph you stumble upon of the moments years later to remind you. You were present at that moment! The memories around that still-frame moment start to form and suddenly you are time-warped to an event that was formed by many more moments. You had forgotten you were present in at that time.

In the year 2019 I went through tons of old photos. I mean tubs of old photos. I wasn’t swiping the phone to see pictures, I was not looking at the computer downloads, but real hold-in-your-hands photos. I can remember, as I am sure any of you born in the fifties like me can, the camera. Pictures were captured in this handheld box and when the film was all used up, it was pulled out in a neat little roll and taken to a shop that specialized in developing all your precious moments. You did not have the luxury of immediately looking at the film to make sure you got the shot you wanted. You had to wait. Sometimes you had to wait days to see your masterpieces or mess-ups. There was no recreating those moments with digital magic. Either the “Kodak moment” was preserved or lost, and your control ended with the click of the camera.

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History’s Corner – January 2020

Looking back over the last fifty or so years that I have been fortunate enough to have been involved in the fire service, lots of changes have taken place. One of the major modifications has been the evolution of fire apparatus.

The first rig I remember riding on as a kid was a 1942 GMC/Central that is still in use today as a parade and PR piece in the O’Fallon Fire Protection District. It was purchased around the time my Dad was the fire chief there. 

O’Fallon Fire Protection District 1942 GMC/Central

I viewed a Facebook photo recently that showed it in a fire apparatus parade at the 26th annual JEFFCO Apparatus Muster. The box on the running board with the angled top was built by my Dad. It held several army surplus type parka coats with hoods for winter use by volunteers who would normally run out of their places of business on Main Street without their coats when the town fire siren sounded.

O’Fallon is also the proud owners of a 1927 Chevy front mount pumper purchased around the time my Grandfather was the fire chief. 

O’Fallon FPD 1927 Chevrolet Pumper
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Johnson County FPD Years of Service Awards

Left to right (Back/Middle): Chief Larry Jennings; Division Chief Ken Jennings, 20 Years; Jeremy Floyd, 25 years; Ben Burd, 5 years; Antonio Evans, 10 years; Lee Murry, 10 years; James Wilson, 10 years; Lt. H.R. Zellner, 10 years; Capt. Nick McDaniels, 10 years. Left to right (Front): Blake Rasmussen, 5 years; Chris Bueckers, 5 years; Stacey Langley, 20 years, retirement; Jimmy Tawzer, 15 years; Batt Chief James Fitterling, 25 years; Capt. Joe Jennings, 15 years; Assistant Chief Dee Bennett. Not pictured: Chris Gibson, 5 years; Larry Steinbach, 39 years, retirement.

District members were recognized for their years of service during the December 10, 2019, board meeting. Thank you for your continued service!

Howell County Service Awards

Left to right: Assistant Chief Chris Wilbanks, Lieutenant Lee Arthurs and Fire Chief Joe Auffert. Chris and Lee both received their 10 year service pins at the dinner and the Fire Chief Joe Auffert presented.

Auxiliary Meeting Minutes – January 2020

Meeting called to order by President Diane Wynne at 9:00 a.m.

Members Present
Diane Wynne, Galt FPD; Jessica Miller, Norborne FPD; Theresa Cox, Wentzville FPD; Sheri Berendzen, Cole County FPD; Joyce Thompson, Kearney Fire; Joni Fields, Paris Rural FPD; Missy Erdel, Little Dixie FPD; Carissa Thompson, Holts Summit FPD; Laura Peel, SE Randolph FPD.

Minutes
Diane Wynne asked if there were any changes or comments or corrections for the October 4, 2019, meeting minutes. Theresa Cox made a motion to accept the meeting notes as written, seconded by Carrisa Thompson, motion passed.

Financial report
Sheri Berendzen read the report with a total of $6,867.37 in our account at the closing of the October meeting. There was no deposit and one expense for $1,000 given to the Fire Museum, with a new balance of $5,867.37. Jessica Miller made a motion to accept the financial report, seconded by Carissa Thompson, motion passed. 

Committee Reports

Membership
Theresa Cox reported there were 24 renewal at this time. Theresa also announced that we have a new member and the department is Central Taney Co FPD.

Auxiliary Member or Auxiliary of the year
Jessica Miller said at this time there are no nominations. Said that nominations can be submitted to Diane Wynne, Shelia Nichols or herself.

Poster contest
No news.

Convention
Joyce Thompson said at this time there was no new news to report. There will be no alcohol allow at the contest or banquet which is being held at the high school. Reminder convention will be May 1-3, 2020.

Contest
There was no news to report about the contest.

Historian
We will be without a historian until convention, at that time we will vote in a new historian.

Old Business
Sheri Berendzen reported the name tags are ordered.

The media policy is still being gone over by the fire fighters side. 

Jessica said the tablecloths will be ordered soon and be here for the convention.

Ann was not able to attend so the reading of the by-laws is tabled at this time.

There will be a meeting in January about scholarships for the Phil Sayer Scholarships. Theresa and Carissa will be attending the meeting representing the auxiliary. Donation is being held until the January meeting.

New Business
Audit needs to be done at the next meeting.

Theresa talked about a letter she received from Burns Recovered asking for a donation. Pam Carsten use to do a quilt and the money made off of it went to the Burns Center. Carissa made a motion to donate $200 and second by Missy, motion passed.

Missy made a motion to adjourn meeting and second by Jessica. Meeting adjourned at 9:30 a.m. Next meeting is to held February 2, 2020.

Respectfully Submitted;
Sheri Berendzen
Cole County FPD
FFAM Auxiliary Secretary Treasurer 2018-2019

Missouri Fire Service Funeral Assistance Team

As 2019 draws to a close, and we ring in 2020 with hopes of a better year. I wanted to take this opportunity to share with you some updates about our team. Earlier this year, the funeral response team was honored by State Fire Marshal Tim Bean and Governor Parson at Firefighters Day at the Capitol. It was my great pleasure to accept, on behalf of our amazing team, this recognition. Each of our five response teams is served by a dedicated crew of volunteer team members, who make it their mission to honor, with dignity and reverence. Without the tireless efforts of these team members, we would not be able to fulfill our mission. 

This year has been a very active year for our team members. In following with our beliefs that all who serve should be honored appropriately, we were called to provide service level honors for 37 firefighters who were proudly serving, or had served their communities and fellow man. Sadly, we were also called to serve six families, whose loved ones paid the ultimate sacrifice, by providing Ultimate Honors for those who served and sacrificed their lives in the Line of Duty. 

For those of you who follow us on Facebook or through our website, you have seen the activity of our team. We are also involved in supporting the fire service in ways that may go unnoticed. This year, we participated in a state-wide meeting regarding firefighter cancer, and how we as Missouri fire service must do a better job of acknowledging and dealing with this horrible disease within our profession. The topic of cancer is difficult, for many reasons. Current Missouri laws provide little to no support to our firefighters and their families, as they face this horrible disease. We even struggle to identify what cancers are due to firefighting versus the general public who also develop cancer related illness. I left the meeting with many more questions than answers, but also with the faith that this topic has the attention of nearly every fire service organization that exists in Missouri. Each who are committed to doing everything in their power to “do better.”

This year has also brought new gifts to our team. We are in the process of placing in service two brand new response trailers. Through the generosity of Missouri’s fire service, we were able to save up enough money to purchase these units to replace two of the original response trailers. This completes the “fleet” upgrades we have been working on for the past several years. With this phase complete, we are now turning our focus on adding a sixth response trailer. This trailer will be unique, in that it will respond only on Line of Duty responses. Our vision is to purchase professional stage equipment to use as risers and platforms, with safety side-rails, to help us place caskets on top of fire apparatus in a much safer manner. Professional staging equipment is very expensive, but we feel this is the gold standard we must strive for. We anticipate the costs to get this sixth unit in service and fully functional, at $25,000. I would love to fulfill this last phase of our upgrade project by this time next year.

We never charge for our services. Our teams function solely on the donations we receive. I want to take a moment to thank Retired Captain Dale Hart, who is a member of the St. Louis based team. Dale has facilitated our one and only annual fundraising event, our golf tournament. This golf tournament has provided much of the equipment we have in service, and serves as our only regular funding source. Dale puts long hours into the prep work for the golf tournament and does much of the leg work on his own. Thank you Dale!

This past November, we partnered with the EMS Funeral Response team to provide joint training to our team. The two-day Ultimate Honor program was presented and afforded our teams an opportunity to work together and hone the skills necessary to better serve. During this conference, we recognized long time team members Chief Larry Jones, and his wife Ann. They have served with our team since its inception and never turn down an opportunity to assist organizations in honoring one of their members. I hope you will join me in thanking Larry and Ann for their years of outstanding service.

In closing, I can only say thank you for the trust you have placed in our organization. Thank you in advance for supporting us as we improve our service with our new Line of Duty Death trailer.