Meeting Minutes – July 2020

President Ken Hoover called the meeting of the Board of Directors of the Fire Fighters Association of Missouri to order at 9:00 a.m., Sunday, June 7, 2020, at the Missouri State Fair Fire Department in Sedalia, MO. The meeting began with the Pledge of Allegiance.

Roll Call of Board of Directors and other officials

President Ken Hoover, Little Dixie FPD; First Vice President Larry Jennings, Johnson County FPD; Secretary Treasurer Jaime Miller, Johnson County FPD #2.

District 2, Greg Wright, Shelbina FD; District 3, Larry Jones, Madison/West Monroe FPD; District 5, Terry Plumb, Southern Stone FPD; District 6, Gary Berendzen, Cole County FPD; District 11, Monty Thompson, Kearney FPD.

Assistant Directors
District 1, Janet Cain, Braymer Fire Rescue; District 3, Rob Erdel, Little Dixie FPD; District 6, Alan Braun, Cole County FPD; District 6, John Scheper, Gravois FPD; District 10, Harriett Vaucher, Eureka FPD; District 11, Josh Koepke, Kansas City FD; District 14, Glen Dittmar, Dearborn Area FPD; District 14, Emily Sweet, Gower FPD.


Tim Bean, Eric Hartman, Missouri Division of Fire Safety; Kevin Zumwalt, the University of Missouri Fire and Rescue Training Institute; Jeff Kempker, Missouri Lagers; Larry Eggen, Joe Jennings, Johnson County FPD; Matt Frankenberg, Washington FD.

President Hoover asked for additions to the agenda. Gary Berendzen moved to accept the agenda as presented. Monty Thompson seconded the motion and all approved.

President Hoover asked for corrections to the February 2, 2020, meeting minutes. Greg Wright moved to accept the minutes as presented. Larry Jones seconded the motion and all approved.

Financial Report
President Hoover asked for a review of the January – April 2020 financial report. Terry Plumb moved to accept the financial report presented. Monty Thompson seconded the motion and all approved.

Report of Officers and Special Guest(s)
Kevin Zumwalt with the University of Missouri Fire and Rescue Training Institute reported that the University of Missouri is projecting a $100 million loss in funding this year. MU Extension has to cover $700k and are looking at $5 million being redirected. The new fiscal year starts July 1. FY 2021 will also see a reduction. They are continuing to look for ways to cut expenses.

The replacement for his position has been put on hold so there won’t be a transition period between his retirement and a new person starting the position. John Wordon will serve as the interim chair. Every Extension employee’s salary is taking a 10% reduction and hourly employees are furloughed a week with no pay.

There has been a suspension of in-person classes due to the pandemic. They are now in a push to get airport training done to meet FAA requirements, so they have been doing some of those classes.

Summer Fire School has been canceled this year.

Part of MU FRTI staff has returned to the office and the rest of the team will return by the end of June.

MU FRTI will no longer be printing and mailing certificates. They will be sent by email.

They are continuing to look for opportunities for more online training.

Fire Marshal Tim Bean with the Missouri Division of Fire Safety introduced the new mutual aid coordinator, Eric Hartman. Hartman advised he has been working on PPE distribution and pandemic supplies. Supplies have been sporadic so if your department is not getting any PPE, contact him. Make sure your department is registering as this is how supplies are distributed.

Phase II of the process will be a build-up of supplies in a warehouse and then an ordering system will be put into place for departments to request supplies.

There were some strike teams in Region F as part of the protests and to help with any mutual aid requests. Bean advised they have been reaching out to departments that may be impacted by protests.

The training division is getting back up and running after the shut-down. They have approximately 3,500 back logged now that need written testing. They are working through those with social distancing restrictions as they are not doing any testing at DFS currently. They are also reviewing the possibility of having third party proctors for testing.

In reference to the firefighter recognition program through DFS, it is now an online request process to receive a certificate. This request can be made for chief promotions, retirements, and firefighter deaths. It will not be retroactive, only current.

109 volunteer fire associations were contacted via email on May 18 to see if they were having budget issues due to the pandemic. They only received back 9%. The DFS is unable to help if they do not know about your situation. Keep your email address current with DFS and if you are a volunteer fire association, please get back with them.

They are trying to get legislation updated through the Cares Act to include volunteers since it is tied to employment. They are wanting to get funding for volunteer departments who cannot have their fundraisers due to the pandemic. This is often the only source of income for many departments.

If you receive an email from DFS, please read it. This is how they get their data.

There is a department in need of an engine so if your department has one, please contact DFS.

DFS has been tasked with removing $81 million from their budget. If this goes forward, they might loose two investigators which will reduce their response platforms when requested.

Jeff Kempker with Missouri LAGERS was present and advised the board and guests that LAGERS retirement system remains financially solvent through this economic time and are 95% solvent. They currently have $8 billion that they manage for their members. They currently have 800 employers and represent 5,000 current and retired firefighters. One legislative priority did get passed which allows more flexibility for employee contributions to their retirements. EMS, dispatch and jailers are now part of public safety definition and can retire at 55.

President Hoover advised that due to gathering restrictions in Clay County, the 2020 convention has been canceled. Kearney Firefighters Association has been instructed to provide a report in August of their financial losses due to the cancellation.

Matt Frankenberg with Washington Fire Department did state that Washington is willing to push their convention to 2022 and let Kearney host in 2021 if they would like. Monty Thompson advised he would take that back to Kearney and will advise their decision at the August meeting.

President Hoover received a request to appoint Billy Smith as Assistant Director of District 11. Terry Plumb moved to accept the appointment. Larry Jones seconded the motion and all approved.

Committee Reports

Awards Committee
Joe Jennings advised that 18 total nominations were received with 13 awards given. With the cancellation of convention, a virtual presentation will be done on Facebook on July 11 and the District Directors will be asked to hand deliver the awards to the recipients. 32 department grant applications were received. Decision letters will go out this week.

Budget Committee
Larry Jennings advised two investment CD’s matured, so the funds were reinvested in 6 month CD’s at 0.2% interest, which was the best rate at this time. Budgets will be due in October.

Bylaws Committee
No report was given.

Chaplain Committee
On behalf of David Hedrick, Jaime Miller reported at this time the Missouri Fire Chaplains Corp is still planning on conducting their annual meeting and training session September 14-15, 2020, in Grandview, MO. There will be three classes offered: CISM Assisting Individuals in Crisis; Essentials of Fire Chaplaincy; and Chaplains Tool Box. The Essentials class is a core training class for new Chaplains and taught through the Federation of Fire Chaplains. Additional information on the conference will be available in the near future.

The pandemic has delayed training development of the SEMA Disaster Chaplain program. Training sessions are expected to be set up and conducted during the fall.

The Chaplains organizations continue to pray for the safety and well-being of our emergency responders as they deal with the added stresses brought about by the pandemic and civil unrest that is occurring throughout our country. You are in our thoughts and prayers. Take care and be safe.

Contest Committee
No report was given.

Convention Committee
No report was given.

Education Committee
No report was given.

Fire Prevention Committee
Joe Jennings advised that the committee will be doing an electronic poster contest. Those with submissions will be asked to send pictures to the committee. More information will go out this week.

Legislative Committee
No report was given.

Membership Committee
Jaime Miller reported the following membership counts: 473 Directors/Councilman; 354 Retired; 20 Associate; 14 Sustaining; 22 Corporate, 354 Fire Departments; 6257 Active; 10 Educational; 121Juniors; 7 EMS Department, 97 EMS individuals.

Nomination Committee
No report was given.

NVFC Committee
Rob Erdel reported that he will be attending the fall meeting in October. On behalf of Keith Smith, NVFC provided a one-time COVID-19 impact work assistance stipend of $300 during March and April. This was funded through internal reserves and outside grants. They also quickly ran out of money. Any volunteer who was laid off work due to COVID-19 impact on employment (staff reductions) could apply but they had to meet one of two requirements. They had to either be an NVFC member or they had to be a listed member with a FFAM department. There were fourteen applications in Missouri before funding ran out, but only eight approved. One was an NVFC member and seven belonged to FFAM. Of the remaining six, four were from department who were not members of FFAM and while two were with FFAM departments their name was not listed (one was a department only and each member had to pay individual dues (they had not) and the second submitted their list, but did not have the applicant name.

The PPE cost impact has hit all of emergency services very hard, but especially the small (largely volunteer) departments. Their inventories were largely gloves ONLY and now they needed masks, gowns and best practice face shields. This was a did not have, did not budget and could not get situation for many. NVFC has tried to assist with all three, but state governments largely dominated.

NVFC Share the Load (free counseling) is up 30% over 2019 due to wider acceptance and the current situation with COVID-19.

While the impact of COVID-19 on career departments has some national understanding, it is not so clear or understood with the volunteers, especially with the EMS side. NVFC is attempting to get more data on this with a goal of future reporting. They are running head long into the same challenges as cancer reporting. We know it is happening, but reporting/collecting of case data is hit/miss.

Scholarship Committee
Larry Eggen reported that they will also be recognizing the scholarship winners during the online virtual awards presentation.

State Fair Committee
Monty Thompson reported the Governor is supposed to announce this week if there will be a fair. 73 applications were received, equipment has been lined up.

Website Committee
No report was given.

The deadline for the next newsletter will be June 24.

Historian report
No report was given.

Fire Funeral Team report
Harriett Vaucher reported that the two surplus trailers have been sold. They are still waiting on funds for the LODD trailer.

EMS Funeral Team report
Greg Wright reported that the team assisted in Lebanon last week. Everything went well.

The 2020 Missouri EMS/Fire Funeral Team annual banquet will be held October 24, in Lake Ozark.

Foundation report
President Hoover reported that the walk-in door is finished, and they are working on drainage issues.

The drawing for the beef raffle will be held on July 11.

Monty Thompson moved to adjourn the meeting. Gary Berendzen seconded the motion and all approved.

President Hoover adjourned the meeting at 11:15 a.m.

Jaime Miller
Fire Fighters Association of Missouri