Fire Marshal’s Update – November 2022

Here we go closing out 2022. Where in the world has it gone? I want to thank every department that took the message to the street during fire prevention week/month, Fire Won’t Wait, Plan an Escape. I saw several departments that were out doing fire prevention programs and educating our citizens. We never know how many lives and property we save through our smoke alarm programs, going to schools and teaching, “don’t play with matches, candles, lighters, campfires,” “get out and stay out,” “call 911,” and “stop drop and roll,” to name a few. Please continue spreading our message about fire safety.

I saw several Light the Night displays across our state. My local fire department, Jefferson City Fire Department, had station #1 lit up supporting National Fallen Fire Fighters week. Governor Parson had the state Capitol lit red on Saturday night, October 8th. I appreciate Governor Parson showing his support for the seven line-of-duty deaths we have had this year. Mark your calendars for the first full week in October and join us in lighting the night to honor our fallen firefighters. Never forget.

For the last several weeks we have had very dry conditions across our state. We are coming off one of the largest natural cover fires in recent history in Cooper County. Close to 4,000 acres were burnt and over 20 structures were consumed. We had eight major fires going across our state, one overcoming a brush truck and injuring two firefighters. Natural cover fires are a common emergency in rural Missouri. We have had several fires within our larger cities causing interstate closures. With the dry conditions, elevated winds, and low humidity, these emergencies can turn serious quickly. Please get good information and use caution with these events. 

Fire Mutual Aid worked at its best while dealing with these natural-cover fires across the state. Statewide mutual aid was implemented on the Cooper County fire with over 50 agencies responding. As the state fire marshal, I could not be more proud of how our Missouri fire service stepped up. Having those city/county fire chiefs meeting throughout the year pays off when the poop hits the fan. Thank you for working together, and sharing your equipment and manpower day in and day out. Please continue communicating and building those relationships! We have taken an oath to serve and protect our state, the citizens, our guests, and our property. Keep up the good work, it matters! Neighbors helping neighbors.

This year we have many calls from fire departments and county commissioners on what it takes to create a burn ban. I have included a Burn Ban example you could share with your county commissioners. They would just need to add the counties, dates, and names. They will need to contact our office to make sure the Burn Ban area qualifies by the drought monitor criteria. Please save the form located at https://bit.ly/3FtMQXi. Hopefully, it helps. Municipalities and fire districts can establish a burn ban through their ordinances or fire codes.

I am excited to report that we have two new levels of state-accredited certification. The first is Emergency Medical Responder (EMR) 40hr. I know many of our rural firefighters are the frontline first responders in medical situations. We are happy that you can obtain an IFSAC/PROBoard certificate for this training. We are the first state to offer this type of certification. Please reach out to Amanda Williams at amanda.willaims@dfs.dps.mo.gov or 573-751-5302 for any questions on the EMR certification. We have also added Fire Officer III as a State accredited certification. Many across our state have asked for this level of certification. It is a 40-hour course. We plan to add Fire Officer IV sometime in the future. Our training team has worked very hard to create these two levels. I appreciate their vision to serve our Missouri fire service.

Thank you each for all you do to serve and protect our state and residence. If I can do anything for you please reach out to me at tim.bean@dfs.dps.mo.gov or 573-751-1742. Happy Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas to you and yours from Judy and me.