Hello to all and I hope this finds everyone well. My name is Charlie Peel, your new 1st Vice President of the FFAM. I would like to tell you how truly honored I am to be able to represent the membership of the FFAM, and I am looking forward to collaborating with everyone. I thought I would take this opportunity to tell you a little bit about myself and tell you a little bit about my family.
As I said in the beginning, my name is Charlie Peel, and I am a captain at the Southeastern Randolph Fire Protection District, with stations located in Clark and Renick, Missouri. I am also the Region B training coordinator and an adjunct instructor for MU FRTI with my primary course of instruction being the Certified Fire and Ambulance District Board Member Training class. I serve on the Missouri State Fair Fire Department (MSFFD) and I serve on the Board of Directors for the Randolph County Ambulance District, and I am the past secretary of the board for Southeastern Randolph FPD. As for my full-time employment, I am a damage prevention manager for Missouri One Call Systems.
I started my fire service career in 1989 as a volunteer with Carrollton (MO) Fire Department, and before that as a junior firefighter with Carrollton as well. Shortly after starting my firefighting career I joined the Army and served this great nation for nearly 26 years. During my time in the service, I was able to maintain being a volunteer firefighter, being allowed to go to the OSU Fire Service Training Academy, where I obtained my Firefighter 1 & 2, EMT, and instructor ratings. Later in my career, I was able to obtain those Missouri certifications as well.
I remember as a kid growing up, we lived on the same street as the late Joe Jackson, who was a family friend of my grandparents. We, the neighborhood kids, would always look forward to when Joe would bring a demo fire truck home so we could go down the hill and dream about being a firefighter, in addition to when he would pull his antique fire truck out for the parades. He also liked inviting us into his house for a cold drink and he would take the opportunity to talk about the fire service and show us his infamous sprinkler head collection. I credit a lot of my drive to the fire service to his early mentorship and his willingness to take the time to talk to the kids about the fire service. I was assisting with moving the FFAM museum items from Kay Asher’s house to Kingdom City. As we were taking a break, I pulled out of one of the boxes just a random copy of a book and it just happened to be a copy from the Third Annual Convention of the FFAM held April 27-28, 1952. Now, any other time this would be nothing, but what caught my eye, is the location of the convention, it was in Carrollton, MO. I know deep in my heart that Joe was talking to me that day and I knew then that I was in the right place for the right reasons. Well enough about me and on to my family.
My wife Laura Peel is secretary to the Board of Directors for NE R-IV Fire Protection District and a member of the Ladies Auxiliary of the FFAM. My oldest son, Holden Peel, is a firefighter with NE R-IV and serves on the MSFFD, and his significant other is Shelby Teter of Cairo, Missouri. My bonus daughter is Shelby Kelly and her significant other is Matt Phillips of Ottumwa, IA. My middle son Dakota Peel and his wife Joely and my two grandchildren Kycen and Wailynn reside in Richmond, MO. My bonus daughter Casey Schopp and her husband Zach live in Moberly, MO. My Daughter Sadie Benefiel and her husband Brett and granddaughter Braizley with a fourth grandchild are en route with an ETA of October.
I have very strong convictions about this great organization, what it stands for, where we have been, where we are, and where we are going as an organization. It will take the continued support of our membership and I encourage and challenge each one of you that are members of the FFAM to reach out and ask your neighboring departments if they are members. If they are not, ask them what we can do to assist them in becoming members. Reach out to your directors and assistant directors to see what you can do to assist with the FFAM. I challenge each and everyone one of you to show up for the FFAM meetings. The dates are posted in this magazine and on the FFAM website. If you do not know who your directors and assistant directors are, they are listed on the website.
As far as directors and assistant directors, I encourage and challenge you to bring new and existing members with you to the meetings, and encourage them to be a part of an organization that means so much to so many. As we proceed further in this adventure, we are going to be looking for input from the organization. If anyone is looking for an invite to the meetings, well here it is. Come one, come all, and be a part and have your voice heard at the meetings. Please be prepared for more challenges to come in future articles in the FFAM Magazine. I can be reached at 573-721-7657 or firstname.lastname@example.org anytime. Thank you for the opportunity to serve you in the FFAM.