Fire Marshal’s Update – January 2022

Happy New Year from Judy and I, and every member of the Division of Fire Safety team. We all wish every one of you a healthy, safe and prosperous 2022. We at the Division of Fire Safety want to express our appreciation to all the first responders who woke up each day and were the “best boots on the ground,” and left thousands of emergencies better than you found them in 2021. May God continue to watch over you and protect each of you in 2022.

I’m excited to announce we will be celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Division of Fire Safety throughout this year. On June 23rd, 1972 the 76th General Assembly and Governor Warren E. Hearnes signed Senate Bill 487 into law following extensive advocacy efforts by the members of the Missouri fire service and the service organizations around the state, including the Fire Fighters Association of Missouri, West Central Firemen’s Association, the Missouri Association of Fire Chiefs, and Missouri Arson Association.

Senate Bill No. 487 provided for the hiring of a fire marshal, a deputy, four investigators and a secretary. The fire marshal and his staff were tasked with three basic responsibilities, assist police, fire departments, and insurance investigators in cases of suspected arson, establish a central records file on suspicious fires, and develop programs to train local fire departments in the collection and preservation of evidence. Funding for the position and staff was approved in 1973. I will be sharing more history on the Division in the coming magazines.

We want everyone to join our 50th anniversary celebration with us. Your first opportunity will be on Fire Fighter’s Day at the Capitol, April 5th, at noon. Plans are under way to have an exceptional program full of history, previous State Fire Marshal’s, DPS directors and other Division members from days gone by. Please mark this on your calendar, come be part of history that will be made.

The legislators have returned to the capital for the 2022 session. Expectations are high for a successful year. There has been over 600 bills filed early on, several fire and first responder bills have been filed. If you have a questions on a bill feel free to contact me. As always get to know your State Senator and Representative, it matters.

We have lost 140 of our brothers and sisters this year across our nation. Many of those due to COVID. My heart and prayers go out to each family affected. With that being said, if you have had a firefighter who has passed away from COVID related illness please make sure it doesn’t meet the federal criteria for Line-of Duty Death. If you have any questions please contact me at 573-751-1742. It’s never too late to ask!

It is time for 2022 annual fire department registration. We appreciate each of you that registered last year. This information is very important. We use it while working fire mutual aid emergencies, and other matters throughout the year. Spread the world to your neighbors. Feel free to contact Eric.hartman@dfs.dps.mo.gov if you need assistance. His state cell number, 573-821-0937

We also have $2000 to pay for work compensation insurance for any Volunteer Fire Department. Please call us and see if you qualify.

In closing, I’m humbled and honored to be serving as your state fire marshal in 2022. It is a responsibility I take very serious while it’s my watch. If there is anything I or our DFS team can assist you with contact us. Thank you each for everything you do day in and day out. May God continue to keep you.