Meeting Minutes – January 2021

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, December 6, 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; Second Vice President Grant Oetting, Higginsville FPD; Secretary-Treasurer Jaime Miller, Johnson County FPD #2; Sergeant-at-Arms Rex Reynolds, Southern FPD of Holt County.

District 1, Terry Wynne, Galt FPD; District 2, Greg Wright, Shelbina FD; District 3, Larry Jones, Madison/West Monroe FPD; District 4, Joe Vaughn, Pleasant Hill FPD; District 6, Gary Berendzen, Cole County FPD; District 10, Greg Brown, Eureka FPD; District 14, Rick Dozier, Southern FPD of Holt County.

Assistant Directors
District 4. Jonathan Evans, Lincoln FD; District 6, Alan Braun, Cole County FPD; District 6, John Scheper, Gravois FPD; District 7, Andrew Caldwell, Boles FPD; District 9, Kurt Wilbanks, West Plains FD; 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.

Past President Keith Smith, Warrenton FPD.

Tim Bean, Missouri Division of Fire Safety; Gail Hagans, University of Missouri Fire and Rescue Training Institute; Dave Hedrick, MO Fire Chaplains Corp.; Chris Thompson, Holts Summit FPD; Ed Daugherty, Chillicothe FD; Rusty Black, MO Representative 7th District; Ben Burd, Johnson County FPD; Cy Fields, Paris Rural FPD; Evan Clark, St. Joseph FD; Brian Zinanni, Supporting Heroes.
President Hoover asked for additions to the agenda. Gary Berendzen moved to accept the agenda as presented. Glenn Dittmar seconded the motion and all approved.

President Hoover asked for corrections to the October 4, 2020 meeting minutes. Greg Wright moved to accept the minutes as presented. Andrew Caldwell seconded the motion and all approved.

Financial Report
President Hoover asked for a review of the September-October 2020 financial report. Terry Wynne moved to accept the financial report presented. Gary Berendzen seconded the motion and all approved.

Report of Officers and Special Guest(s):
Gail Hagans with the University of Missouri Fire and Rescue Training Institute reported that the Winter Fire School Expo has been canceled due to gathering restrictions in Boone County, but the classes will still take place. They will have more online classes. The Expo may be rescheduled in conjunction with Summer Fire School May 19 – 23.

The MFA grant period ended November 30 and she has asked for the FFAM Directors to help again in scoring the grants.

They are waiting for a meeting with the Division of Fire Safety in December regarding training funds.

State Fire Marshal Tim Bean with the Missouri Division of Fire Safety thanked those who helped make the virtual memorial services happen.

The Division is doing half staff each day to limit the numbers in the office so if you are planning a visit, call ahead.

The legislative session opened on December 1. There were twenty-five bills sent regarding fire. There are two fire investigators in quarantine currently, so response times are greater. Firefighter Day at the Capitol has been requested for 2021. The date will be released later. Jefferson City will be hosting Patriots Day on September 11, 2021, with several events. The annual memorial stair climb will also take place at that time. More information to follow.

Missouri 7th District Representative Rusty Black addressed the group and advised he had been contacted by Ed Daugherty with Chillicothe FD regarding the lack of legislation pertaining to collecting fees for non-dues paying residents of fire associations. Discussion followed. Mr. Black has asked for the FFAM to consider supporting the move towards more legislation to address this problem and/or more enforcement. The board directed Mr. Black to meet with our legislative committee and that FFAM will assist in any way we can.

A discussion was held on committee assignments. President Hoover advised he received a request to remove Joe Jennings from the Website Committee due to the increased commitments with the Awards Committee and that Chris Thompson is put in his place. Greg Wright made the motion to remove Joe Jennings and appoint Chris Thompson to the Website Committee. Andrew Caldwell seconded the motion and all approved.

President Hoover advised he will be changing the Education Committee with Gail Hagans as the chairperson and committee members Kurt Wilbanks and Josh Koepke. Andrew Caldwell made the motion to appoint Gail Hagans as the chairperson and Kurt Wilbanks and Josh Koepke to the Education Committee. Gary Berendzen seconded the motion and all approved.

Committee Reports

Awards Committee
A reminder that award nominations can be sent at any time. All nominations are due by February 28.

Budget Committee
Larry Jennings presented the proposed 2021 budget. Discussion followed. Joe Vaughn moved to accept the 2021 budget as presented. Gary Berendzen seconded the motion and all approved.

Bylaws Committee
Jonathan Evans advised they are discussing potential updates but nothing to report at this time.

Chaplain Committee
David Hedrick reported that the Missouri Fire Chaplains Corp held their annual meeting and elections via a ZOOM meeting on October 5, 2020. Acting president Charles Schultz was elected president, Ed Hatcher was re-elected as secretary/treasurer.

The National Volunteer Fire Council has developed a Share the Load™ Support Program for Fire and EMS agencies and personnel. The program has a variety of resources and information to help first responders and their families manage and overcome personal and work-related behavioral health problems. The program is focused on the need for the mental wellbeing of emergency personnel and has resources to identify or deal with behavioral health concerns such as anxiety, depression, burnout, post-traumatic stress disorder, and addiction. The information is online and can be accessed at https://www.nvfc.org/programs/share-the-load-program/ . The Federation of Fire Chaplains recommends the program as a resource for Fire Chaplains to share with their departments.

Contest Committee
Gary Berendzen reported they are in discussions regarding housing the contest trailer at the museum.

Convention Committee
Larry Jones advised that Kearney is proceeding with planning. The 2021 dates are April 30 – May 2.

Education Committee
No report was given.

Fire Prevention Committee
The new theme is serve up fire safety in the kitchen. Posters are due by the Friday of the convention.

Legislative Committee
Greg Brown advised that bill filings have started. It will be a difficult year due to funding.

The Critical Illness Trust Coalition on cancer and PTSD has not moved forward much so they are looking at a trust similar to one that Colorado has in place.

Membership Committee
Grant Oetting reported the following membership counts: 498 Directors/Councilman; 354 Retired; 21 Associate; 15 Sustaining; 24 Corporate, 360 Fire Departments; 6458 Active; 10 Educational; 122 Juniors; 6 EMS Department, 97 EMS individuals. If you have any conferences for next year that you would like FFAM to represent, let him know.

Jaime Miller advised 2021 membership packets have been sent out to all departments.

Nomination Committee
Keith Smith reported that the positions up for election in 2021 will be directors in Districts 4, 5, 9, and 10 as well as President and 2nd Vice President. District 8 and 12 also have open director positions. Nominations are due by March 1.

President Hoover advised that Roy Sims has retired from West Plains FD and has submitted his resignation as District 9 Director. Assistant Director Kurt Wilbanks will represent District 9 until the next election.

NVFC Committee
Keith Smith reported that the fall meeting was all virtual. There is a lot of behind the scenes work with organizations running both fire and EMS during the pandemic. NVFC is trying to support more virtual so they can get larger participation.

DNR has launched a program with funding through Volkswagen. They have reached out to the Division of Fire Safety to help get the information out so if you receive a survey, please take it so funds may be allocated to help with emissions in fire apparatus.

Scholarship Committee
Ed Daugherty reminded everyone that scholarship applications are due by February 28.

State Fair Committee
No report was given.

Website Committee
Jaime Miller reported that with the approval of the 2021 budget, FFAM will be moving towards designing a new website.

Jaime Miller reported that the newsletter will have a new look in 2021 so be watching for it in the mail mid-January. The deadline for the next newsletter will be January 1.

Historian Report
No report was given.

Fire Funeral Team report
Brian Zinanni reported that he attended a virtual meeting with directors from the DOJ in reference to Public Safety Officer Benefits. January 1, 2020, through December 31, 2021, if a first responder contracts COVID-19 and dies and they worked within 45 days prior, it is presumed to be a LODD and they are eligible for the PSOB benefits. Watch your communities very closely so no one gets forgotten. Let him know if a public safety officer contracts COVID-19 and passes.

There is also some push back from insurance regarding work comp and COVID-19. There is legislation signed by Governor Parson regarding work comp claims and COVID-19.

If you catch COVID-19 on duty, file a claim even if you do not seek treatment so in case something happens later, you have it documented. You have 30 days to report a work comp claim and 2 years to seek treatment.

EMS Funeral Team report
Greg Wright reported that the team has not responded to any incidents recently. They did hold their annual conference on October 22 – 23. During the conference, they present spirit awards for people that have gone above and beyond in their support for fire and EMS. This year, the spirit award was presented to Fire Marshal Tim Bean. Wright also reported he attended a LODD training in Indiana a couple of weeks ago.

Foundation report
Keith Smith reported that the foundation met on November 10 and 18. The exterior of the museum is nearing completion. Fundraising efforts are still needed to help finish the inside.

The 2021 memorial services will be held on the 3rd weekend in May. LODD families from 2020 will be invited back in 2021 to be present for a live memorial recognition.

There will soon be electrical, brick, and concrete updates to the memorial.

The kneeling firefighter statues are still available for sale for $75 with shipping included.

President Hoover advised the February meeting conflicts with Winter Fire School so a new date will be sent out.

Glen Dittmar moved to adjourn the meeting. Gary Berendzen seconded the motion and all approved.

President Hoover adjourned the meeting at 10:55 a.m.

Jaime Miller
Fire Fighters Association of Missouri