I am kicking off November with a thankful heart. Thankful for my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, my health, a working mind, most days, an awesome wife and family, a great place to work, and a remarkable Division of Fire Safety team to serve each and every one of our fire service and first responder families across this great state. I count it as an honor and I am humbled to be your state fire marshal!
We are coming out of fire prevention month and I appreciate every department that believes in educating your community about fire safety. Every life we touch with the fire safety message and every smoke alarm installed makes a difference and saves lives and property. Keep up the solid work all across our state. It matters!
I have a big shout-out for the FFAM memorial foundation team. They did a great job with this year’s 2019-20 Saturday night candlelight and Sunday morning memorial services. The Memorial looked great! Combining two years of recognitions, due to COVID, and collecting all of the information, the logistical and technical coordination to honor our Missouri fire service was remarkable. Thank you to the foundation team. It is an honor to serve alongside each of you. I felt the added 343 flags commemorating the 20th anniversary of 9/11 out front sent a great message, “Never forget!” Thank you, Doc Kritzer and Greg Wright! I highly encourage you to visit or attend the Missouri Fire Fighters Memorial site in Kingdom City. Please, put it on your bucket list. The 2022 FFAM candlelight and memorial services will be on May 14-15. Join us as we remember our firefighters who sacrificed and served our Missouri fire service. It takes several dollars to keep your memorial site maintained and looking good. You can take part in the Missouri Fire Fighters Memorial by supporting it with a financial contribution. Any assistance is always welcome.
Could your volunteer fire department/protection association use free grant money to assist with your worker’s compensation insurance? The legislators awarded us $560,000 to assist slugging volunteer fire departments to pay for their worker’s compensation insurance. There is $2000 now available through the Worker’s Compensation Grant for Volunteer Fire Associations. Go to www.dfs.dps.mo.gov and find the Volunteer Fire Protection Association workers’ compensation grant link. Click and fill out the application to apply for up to $2,000. We want to award the grant to every department eligible. Tell your neighboring departments! If you have questions, email email@example.com or call 573-751-1601 or 573-751-1742.
I am pleased to report that the Missouri Firefighter Critical Illness Pool is moving along nicely. Fire Chief Greg Brown along with several other fire officials across our state has established the commission to oversee the pool. The target date to implement the pool for the Missouri service is January 2022. This pool will allow our departments/firefighters to join the network and gain immediate assistance after a firefighter is diagnosed with cancer. Thank you to Governor Parson and state legislators for passing and budgeting financial assistance to support the pool. We will have more information in the weeks to come.
In closing, I attended the National Association of State Fire Marshals conference a few weeks ago. I want to share some of the topics and trends the fire service will be dealing with shortly. These items are addressed in the 2024 International Code Council ICC. It is critical you read or watch YouTube videos and attend fire training to educate yourself. Here is a list of topics: valet trash collection, setting your trash outside your apartment/dorm door for pick-up, mobile food trucks, 3D printers creating homes, temporary spray booths (inflatables), hydrogen mobile fueling, flammable refrigerants, Energy Storage Systems ESS (Ul 9540 and 9540a), battery storage/manufacture (bad batteries from electric vehicles, etc.), puzzle and escape rooms, sleep pods (in airports, you can pay to sleep in), pallets/totes (large facilities that have plastics storage bins, stacked, narrow rows, (Amazon). There are several others that I may share at a later time.
I highly encourage you as a first responder to get to know the service areas you protect. Solar batteries and electronics are driving our future. How we do business has changed and will continue to change at an alarming rate. I feel that within the next three years our knowledge/training and how we respond to an emergency will be a challenge to our Missouri fire service if we don’t start now to meet the needs.
If you have classes you would like to see offered we presently are not holding, please reach out to me! Tim.firstname.lastname@example.org or 572-751-1742. Judy and I and the Division of Fire Safety team appreciate every one of you! We thank you for all you do to serve and protect our state and anyone who crosses our state lines. Your commitment and dedication do not go unnoticed. We wish you and your family a Happy Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas. May God Keep you continue to Bless You!