President’s Remarks – May 2021

President-Elect Larry Jennings presenting President Kenneth Hoover a plaque of appreciation.

Spring is here. A little too much rain but the temperature is improving daily. I want to start by thanking everyone that offered up prayers and get well wishes to both my wife and myself. January 6th we were both tested positive for Covid-19. I was transported by ambulance to Boone Hospital and treated for Covid-19 with double pneumonia for six days. My wife was able to recover at home. It’s been a long four months but I am starting to feel a little better. I’m finally over pneumonia but still extremely weak. Doctors have said it could be months. It seemed like every medication they gave me would create new problems. Thank you for your prayers and phone calls. I want to thank Chief Larry Jennings for taking the reins of FFAM while I’ve been sick. He has handled several issues for us. Thank you, Chief.

This will be my last article as your President. This has been such a pleasure and great opportunity that you, the membership gave to me several years ago. Together, we have made numerous accomplishments. I only hope that I have left the organization in a better position and ready to improve more under the incoming board.

I have had the best executive board that a president could ask for to work with and guide me. The committees have improved and working fairly smoothly. I firmly believe that FFAM is still one of the best professional organizations in the state and that is because of everyone working together for the same goal and purpose. Almost 8,000 members. There are so many names to thank but not wanting to miss anyone, I’ll be thanking you in person. My heart is humble.

Dr. Ron Baker has retired from his position as treasurer for the memorial and museum foundations recently. Dr. Baker did an outstanding job and I appreciate his dedication and commitment to the fire service. I know Keith Smith will say more on this.
With the position open, it is my responsibility to appoint the members to the foundation. I received several names for consideration. I have appointed Fire Chief Bill Albus, Little Dixie Fire Protection District to fill Dr. Baker’s position. Chief Albus has been heavily involved in the memorial since its groundbreaking and dedication. Chief Albus has accepted the position. Please welcome him onboard.

I have also appointed Chief Robert Francis, Fruitland Fire Protection District as the Director of District 12 in southeast Missouri. Chief Francis stepped up and volunteered for the position that has been vacant for many years. He will be recommending an assistant soon. Thank You Chief Francis and welcome aboard sir.

Our annual Fallen Fire Fighters Memorial service has been changed to October 9th at 9:00 p.m. for the Candlelight Service, and October 10th at 10:30 a.m. for the Sunday morning services. Please consider this your personal invitation to participate in the Honor Guard, Bag Piper, Antique Fire Equipment, and any other task you desire. Just let me know, please.

The commander for the Honor Guard again this year is Lieutenant Tracy Gray of the Columbia City Fire Department. Lieutenant Gray did an outstanding job last year. All honor guards and color guards are invited to participate. Please contact Lieutenant Gray at 573-590-1162 or tracy.gray@como.gov if you are interested and that you will be attending. I am still looking for one (1) ladder truck to fly the large flag at the Sunday morning services. If interested, please let me know. Chief Steve Olshwanger, Maryland Heights Fire Protection District will be providing one of the ladder trucks in honor of his department’s LODD, Chris Moore.