Fire Marshal’s Update – July 2022

Wow, what a change in the weather over a couple of weeks. With the dry conditions, the chance of grass and brush fires increase. The environment of those emergencies increases with many of our constituents celebrating Independence Day on July 4th by shooting fireworks. Unfortunately, we lost four lives due to fireworks last week. We at the fire marshal’s office have regulator oversite on firework stands, manufacturers, jobbers, and distributors. During the fireworks season, our fire inspectors and fire investigators are busy out inspecting fireworks stands across our state. Each fireworks stand has a set of safety rules they should be enforcing and a Division of Fire Safety operation permit should be displayed. We encourage you to reach out to us at 573-522-1624 if you feel something is not right in your area with a fireworks stand. Each year we find fireworks stands operating illegally across our state. 

We at the division wish each of you a “Happy Fourth of July.” I appreciate my freedom and the liberty I have as an American. I am forever grateful for the men and women who sacrificed for me to enjoy that right, “God Bless America.” 

Exciting news, Missouri Fire Fighters’ Critical Illness Pool has opened its doors for business. I’m pleased to hear over 1,000 firefighters have joined the pool. The Critical Illness Pool allows your department an opportunity to purchase cancer coverage at a minimum cost. I encourage you to log onto mffcip.org and familiarize yourself about the pool and the benefits it offers if you get diagnosed with cancer. For assistance email: mffcip@mcgriff.com, or phone: Joe DePaepe at 503-943-6628. 

Here are some alarming statistics provided by DetecTogether. As a firefighter, you have a 14% greater risk of dying from cancer than a civilian. On the job, you may inhale, ingest, and absorb carcinogens from smoke, soot, and fumes. Firefighters have an elevated risk for many cancers, including breast 45%, colon 21%, esophagus 62%, kidney 27%, melanoma 21%, mesothelioma 60%, prostate 15%, testes 34%. Firefighters are more likely to get certain cancers, like prostate, before age 50. The breast cancer rate applies to women. I would strongly encourage you to take time and begin educating yourself on this critical topic. I have found this website detectogether.org to be a good resource. The Three Steps to Detect is a solid example you can integrate into your life for the early detection of cancer. Please take time and invest in your health and future. 

In closing, I appreciate everything you do across our state. Serving and protecting life and property, being the best boots on the ground, and leaving things better than you found them. If there is anything I or our division can help you with please call 573-751-1742 or email me at tim.bean@dfs.dps.mo.gov. May God continue to bless you.