Well the 2017 Missouri State Fair has come and gone. Once again, the Missouri State Fair Fire Department (MSFFD) was in full operation during the fair to provide fire and emergency medical services to the fairgoers and citizens of the State of Missouri. From my point of view as the Captain of Communications for the MSFFD this year, the department responded to 146 calls. From the time, the dispatcher on duty received the call until the time all personnel and apparatus returned to the station, each call was handled in the most professional, courteous, and timely manner at which all personnel of the MSFFD was able to provide.
With the department being down on personnel as a whole this year, each person there was working extra hard to make sure things went right and worked smoothly. From, August 9 at 1800 hours until August 21 at 0800 hours, there was always someone at the ready. The weather was absolutely amazing during the days of the fair, except for the occasional rain shower and annual thunderstorm that always decides to make an appearance. With the weather the way it was, the fairgoers and the crews were able to enjoy the fair even more.
My position that I hold with the MSFFD is one that most people do not see in action. When it comes down to it, the dispatcher at the MSFFD is the one who everyone looks at but, again does not always see. The dispatcher is “The Voice That Controls It All” on every call. The dispatcher receives the call, determines the response needed, keeps in constant radio contact with all personnel, keeps track of all apparatus, making sure everyone returns back safely, all while either waiting on or dispatching the next call. The dispatchers of the MSFFD are among the best in this great state!! I am proud to have them work with me and help keep this MSFFD running smoothly year after year.
The dispatchers and I would like to Congratulate, Officer 3, Charlie Neubert, on his retirement from the MSFFD after putting in 40 years of service. Charlie has been and always will be a huge asset to the department. Charlie the department appreciates your hard work, dedication, and selfless service. If you see Charlie anytime please tell him “Thank You” for his service.
We would also like to Congratulate, EMS Battalion Chief, Grant Oetting, on his retirement from the MSFFD after 20 years of service. Grant was the first officer over me when I first started at the fair 6 years ago as a dispatcher. Grant has helped me and mentored me into the Captain I am today. Grant “Thank You” for your service to this department.
Last person I would like to Congratulate is, Benjamin Burd, on being announced as the 2017 MSFFD Dispatcher of the year. Benjamin is a member of the Johnson County Fire Protection District and has been working the MSFFD for the past couple years. Benjamin was assigned to the dispatch office this year and not only did he perform well at the task that was given, he went beyond expectations and limits of the job. Benjamin, Congratulations on being named “2017 MSFFD Dispatcher of the Year”.
If you have ever wondered what it is like to work the MSFFD and have never applied to come, please apply when applications come out again next year. Keep an eye on your FFAM Newsletter and on the FFAM website for the application. Also, if you have any juniors on your department please encourage them to apply as well. The communications office is always looking for people who want to know what it is like to be behind the radio.
I hope everyone has enjoyed their year thus far and has enjoyed this nice rare cool weather for this time of year. With Fall and Winter creeping around the corner and also the holiday season approaching, please stay safe and enjoy yourselves as you begin to close out 2017. Please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or comments you might have. Stay safe.