Meeting Minutes – May 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, May 2, 2021, at the Missouri State Fair Fire Department in Sedalia, Missouri. 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 2 Greg Wright, Shelbina FD; District 3 Larry Jones, Madison/West Monroe FPD; District 4 Joe Vaughn, Pleasant Hill FPD; District 5 Terry Plumb, Southern Stone FPD; District 6 Gary Berendzen, Cole County FPD; District 10 Greg Brown, Eureka FPD; District 11 Monty Thompson, Kearney FPD;

Assistant Directors
District 1 Janet Cain, Shoal Creek FPD; District 3 Charlie Peel, Southeastern Randolph FPD; District 4 Jonathan Evans, Lincoln FD; District 5 Shelby Honea, Southern Stone 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.

Past President Keith Smith, Warrenton FPD.

Tim Bean, Eric Hartman, Missouri Division of Fire Safety; Gail Hagans, University of Missouri Fire and Rescue Training Institute; Dave Hedrick, MO Fire Chaplains Corp.; Larry Eggen, Joe Jennings, Ben Burd, Johnson County FPD; Cy Fields, Ronnie Fields, Paris Rural FPD; Matt Frankenberg, Washington FD; Dylan Honea, Southern Stone FPD; Rob Schrage, Jefferson R7 FPD; Ed Daugherty, Chillicothe 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 January 31, 2021 meeting minutes. Andrew Caldwell moved to accept the minutes as presented. Terry Plumb seconded the motion and all approved.

Financial Report
President Hoover asked for a review of the January – March 2021 financial report. Greg Brown moved to accept the financial report presented. Andrew Caldwell 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 noted that the Certified Fire and Ambulance District Board Training was held May 1. There were 24 in attendance. They are working on finding another instructor to help teach that program.

Summer Fire School will be May 19-23. The Division of Fire Safety funded five courses. There are approximately 150 people registered to attend. There will be a vendor expo on May 21 from 12–7:00 p.m. so come out and support the vendors.

State Fire Marshal Tim Bean with the Missouri Division of Fire Safety reported that the Division is finishing up its fiscal year which will end in June. There is still funding available for classes.

There are employment opportunities available in the investigation’s unit. They are wanting two investigators in each area so there are openings in Region A, C and E. If interested, apply online.

DFS has signed a contract for a new records management system that will allow for individual logins for access to personal training records and transcripts.

Their training partners have been working on hosting training throughout the state to use training funds that are still available.
The virtual firefighter day video is available on YouTube. The theme this year was firefighter cancer so make sure you are using the proper precautions to keep yourself safe.

Eric Hartman reported that the VW grant for emissions is still working on some language and will hopefully be finalized soon.

Fire department registrations are still going on. Numbers are up and they are reaching out to delinquent departments to try and get updated information.

There will be a two-day event in Jefferson City for Patriots Day in September. Watch for more information in the FFAM magazine.

A discussion was held on the proposed short-term disability and standard life insurance benefits presented by Kevin Dusheke at the last meeting. No action was taken by the board.

President Hoover advised that he is recommending Chief Robert Francis of Fruitland Fire Department to fill the open District 12 Director position. Discussion followed. Monty Thompson moved to appoint Robert Francis as District 12 Director. Gary Berendzen seconded the motion and all approved.

President Hoover advised that with the recent retirement of Ron Baker, there is an open position on the Missouri Firefighters Foundation board. He has appointed Bill Albus with Little Dixie Fire Protection District to fill that open position.

Sergeant-at-Arms Rex Reynolds conducted a roll call of the delegates. There are 28 delegates present.

The proposed bylaw changes were presented. Discussion followed. Greg Brown moved to approve the changes as presented. Gary Berendzen seconded the motion and all approved.

Keith Smith reported that two officer positions are up for election. Larry Jennings, President; Grant Oetting, 2nd Vice President. Greg Wright moved to approve the officer appointments as presented. Joe Vaughn seconded the motion and all approved.

Keith Smith reported that four director positions are up for election. Joe Vaughn, District 4 Director; Terry Plumb, District 5 Director; Kurt Wilbanks, District 9 Director; Greg Brown, District 10 Director. Larry Jones moved to approve the director appointments as presented. Gary Berendzen seconded the motion and all approved.

Committee Reports

Awards Committee
Joe Jennings advised that the awards presentation will be done virtually again this year at a date to be announced. There were a low number of nominations received.

Budget Committee
No report was given.

Bylaws Committee
No report was given.

Chaplain Committee
David Hedrick reported that Missouri’s State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), Disaster Chaplains Program members participated in an online training program on April 22-23, 2021, on “Mobilizing Faith-Based Community Organizations in Preparing for Disaster.” The course focused on planning and preparedness for disasters using a whole community approach.

Planning is moving forward for the Missouri Fire Chaplains Corps Annual Meeting and Training Conference. It is scheduled for September 13–14, 2021, and will be held in the Lee Summit area. Classes will be Chaplains Essentials, Assisting Individuals in Crisis, and Chaplains Tool Kit. More information will be made available soon.

May 4th (St Florian’s Day) is the feast day of St Florian, the patron saint of firefighters. It is also the day that is set aside as International Firefighters Day to recognize all firefighters for their service and sacrifice. The mission of the fire service, the protection of life and property, has remained unchanged for centuries. Though the equipment, tactics, and training have changed with the times, the commitment to saving lives and putting the safety of others before self has remained the core principles of the profession whether career or volunteer.

On May 4 please honor and remember our compatriots, family members, and friends who made the ultimate sacrifice in the performance of their duty. We also pray that our expressions of gratitude and respect will help to heal the hearts and minds of the families left behind and to give strength to those individuals who continue to serve and uphold the mission and traditions of the fire service.

Contest Committee
No report was given.

Convention Committee
Larry Jones has advised that Kearney FPD has asked FFAM for reimbursement for some of their expenses due to the cancellation of the convention. Jones advised that the Convention Committee budget will be used to reimburse for some of their expenses.

Matt Frankenberg with Washington FD advised that the 2022 convention will be May 6-8. All events will be at the Knights of Columbus. They are working with Best Western and Super 8 to get special pricing and rooms blocked. Registration will be done online and they will make that information available soon.

Education Committee
Gail Hagans reported that the committee met recently. There are no upcoming classes scheduled.

Fire Prevention Committee
Joe Jennings reported that 22 posters were submitted. They are working on the judging and hope to provide award winners with tickets to the state fair and midway carnival.

Legislative Committee
Greg Brown reported that 10 days are remaining in the legislative session. Firefighter training funding has been retained in the state’s budget for next year. There is also $575k for work comp grants. A $5 million critical illness pool is moving forward. The pool will help offset premiums for departments. There are 14 types of cancer recognized by NFPA.

Through this pool, an agency can join, and their firefighters can get coverage. SB 45 is still working through the house.

There are several bills relating to property taxes and the EMS federal reimbursement act. Links for active bills and language are provided in the weekly legislative report that is emailed to member departments.

Membership Committee
Grant Oetting reported the following membership counts: 509 Directors/Councilman; 366 Retired; 17 Associate; 11 Sustaining; 18 Corporate, 358 Fire Departments; 6426 Active; 1 Educational Entity; 6 Educational Active 119 Juniors; 6 EMS Department, 89 EMS individuals; 1 911 Entity; 10 911 individuals. There are several upcoming conferences that FFAM will be attending.

Keith Smith opened for discussion ideas for Directors to go to departments in their area to provide information about FFAM and promote membership. The topic was tabled for the next meeting.

Nomination Committee
No report was given.

NVFC Committee
Keith Smith reported that NVFC the spring meeting was held via Zoom. The fall meeting will be in person in Wyoming. Kansas City will be hosting the spring NVFC meeting in 2024. NVFC is in search of a new executive director after the sudden passing of their current director.

The main topics of NVFC currently are cancer, PTSD, suicide, and covid. Discussion is being held on presumptive covid exposure and line of duty coverage. 1 line of duty has been approved and three are pending approval.

Scholarship Committee
Larry Eggen reported that six scholarships were awarded. The official announcement of winners will be announced along with the virtual awards presentation.

State Fair Committee
Applications are due June 1. There will be a work session June 5-6.

Website Committee
Jaime Miller reported that she is still working on a new website with Travis Johnson.

Jaime Miller reported that the next magazine deadline was May 1. Gail Hagans advised any late articles need to be in no later than May 5.

Historian Report
No report was given.

Fire Funeral Team report
Harriett Vaucher reported that one trailer is currently in Vichy helping with services. May 17 will be a Taking Care of Our Own training. May 18 will be team training. June 28 will be a golf tournament and they will hold joint training with the EMS team in October.

EMS Funeral Team report
Greg Wright reported that the team has responded to three services since the last meeting. They will be attending the National EMS Memorial in July in Virginia to recognize nine Missouri EMTs. Their annual conference will be October 22–23. There will be online classes this year as well.

Foundation report
Keith Smith reported that the memorial services have been moved to October 9-10.

The guttering is done on the outside of the building and the inside is an open shell. The shelter house is up and picnic tables should be arriving soon. The focus right now at the memorial is flower beds and deep cleaning. They can accept some donations for the museum at this time. Items are being stored in the storage room in Kingdom City.

A brief history of the Funeral Assistance Team was outlined since it was formed in 2005.

1st Vice President Jennings presented President Hoover with a plaque recognizing his 28 years of service to the FFAM Board of Directors with thanks for his dedication and commitment to the organization.

President Jennings adjourned at 11:15 a.m.