President’s Remarks – November 2022

Preparing for Fall

Greetings and welcome to the last days of 2022. For many, this was a year to return to a more “normal” flow of business as we emerged from the more severe portion of the reported pandemic related to COVID-19. 

The return to “normal” has been somewhat of a healing in and of itself as we began re-tooling our service models again while providing quality service to our citizens.

As the year draws to a close please keep in mind it is almost time to complete your annual registration with the Missouri State Fire Marshal’s Office. This registration is required under RSMo 320.271 and needs to be completed even if you have submitted your information before. You can easily complete the required information by visiting the Division of Fire Safety’s website and following the directions for registering. Although we have improved registration percentages over the years, we still haven’t achieved total compliance. When your agency is working on the process don’t forget to remind your neighboring agencies to get their registration filed also.

The University of Missouri Fire and Rescue Training Institute personnel are working diligently to put together another beneficial Winter Fire School so start watching for class announcements. Whether you have been before or not this is an excellent way to receive training at a reasonable cost while also being provided an opportunity to interact with fire service personnel from all across the state and even from other areas of the country. Make plans to increase your fire service knowledge and sign up once the information is released.

Another annual event is also on the horizon and it is never too early to start making plans. The FFAM’s annual business meeting and convention will be held June 2–4, 2023 in Springfield. The FFAM Board of Directors is hosting the 2023 convention and has been working towards providing you with an excellent event and an opportunity to bring your family along for an extended visit to take in all Springfield and the surrounding area has to offer, before or after the convention. 

Additional information will be available as we move forward. Save those dates now so we can see you and the rest of the family in Springfield in June. 

If your agency is interested in hosting a future convention and annual meeting visit our website under the “Committees” tab and contact one of those listed on the convention committee.

As we all will experience over the coming weeks our society will be filled with references to the “holiday” season. This time of year is often a joyous one filled with gatherings of friends and family, celebrations of long-standing traditions, and an opportunity to be thankful for the many blessings most of us enjoy in our lives. Keep in mind however that this is not the case for all people and this part of the year is often associated with an increase in depression, isolation, and perhaps self-harm. Not just with people in general, but with members of the emergency services. Please take the time to recognize those that may be struggling and reach out to either assist them firsthand or help them find the assistance they may need. We normally talk about everyone involved in emergency services being one family no matter what branch we may represent. Not long ago there was a slogan displayed prominently that said “in this family, no one fights alone.” So particularly as we move into the holiday season let’s all remember we belong to this large family and make sure we take care of each other.

With the winding down of 2022 and the positive and hopeful outlook we have for 2023 have you taken time to reflect on what you and your agency can do for your community? Keep in mind those we serve are the very ones that make it possible to fund the services we provide. 

The more you can do to work with your community in positive and proactive ways will pay dividends when needs occur within your agency. The more you are involved in your community, the more valuable an asset you and your agency are to the community making you an indispensable piece of the community. 

If you are not currently interacting with the citizens you serve except when they call for service on perhaps the worst day of their lives please reach out and get involved. There are many ways to be active either individually or as an agency and you simply have to take that first step of making yourselves available. For those of you that spent October moving from one event to another to spread a fire safety message, my hat is off to you. This valuable opportunity to educate sometimes gets “old” and isn’t something everyone still gets excited to take part in, but the more you can share your knowledge with others the better prepared our society may be to deal with fire-related issues.

Every year our fellow members of the fire service do outstanding things and many deserve recognition for those things that exemplify the good in our industry. The FFAM has many award opportunities available. The criteria for each can be found on our website and the nomination process is fairly simple. Remember to get your nomination in by February 28.

I do not doubt that we will all face challenges in 2023 and I hope each of us can find the strength to persevere and overcome whatever is thrown our way. Remember no one is in this business alone so we should all work together to achieve success while providing quality service to our citizens. 

Take care of yourselves and I hope you enjoy the wind-down of 2022.

If any of the Board of Directors can be of assistance please never hesitate to reach out as we are all here to serve you, the members of Missouri’s emergency services. Be Safe!