Greetings from the 13th Floor
As I type this article from the thirteenth floor it makes my heart happy to see the beauty of spring. The curse of the cold weather is gone, which makes my heart happy also. “Happy Spring” one and all.
We made history again in the Missouri fire service this year at Fire Fighters Day at the Capitol. First we want to thank Governor Parson for the nice proclamation declaring April 12th as Fire Fighters Day at the Capitol. We kicked things off with a full room, actually running over, with the fire service alliance giving a briefing on what legislative bills were moving and what to talk with their state representatives and senators about. Thank you Chief Greg Brown and Jorgen Schlemeier.
Each year we have a special guest we host for fire fighters day. Our guest (the historical part) this year were students from all across our state, who are presently enrolled in the fire science programs with their local high schools or college career technical centers. These students can and will be part of the Missouri fire service in the very near future. Many will graduate with their state certification in Firefighter 1 & 2, Hazardous Material Awareness/Operations, and EMT. My heart leapt with joy as I had the opportunity to meet these students, and listen to their ambitions and goals to join the Missouri fire service. Hopefully one out of the 67 we had attend will be the state fire marshal. We had six of the nine career centers attend. They were, Cape Girardeau CTC, Cass Career Center, Jefferson College Area Technical School, Ozark Technical Community College, South Technical Institute, and STEM-St. Louis Public School System. The other three that could not make it were, Excelsior Springs Area Career Center, Fort Osage CTC, and Rolla Technical Institute. Thank you to each of the schools for attending along with the program managers who assisted in making this a successful day. If I were looking for replacement firefighters, these are the doors I would be knocking on, I guarantee!
We also want to express our appreciation to the following legislators who took time out of their busy day to participate in our program. Lieutenant Governor Mike Kehoe for his remarks and to his office staff (Todd Mayfield and Gabby Pilcard) who reserved an area to eat lunch, State Representative Tim Taylor, pledge of allegiance, State Representative Hannah Kelly, National Anthem, State Representative Ben Baker, opening prayer, State Senator Holly Thompson Rehder, closing prayer, Fire Chief Scott Frandsen, reading the proclamation, Assistant State Fire Marshal Matt Luetkemeyer running the program, MoChiefs for providing the Firehouse Subs for lunch, and St. Louis Chiefs Association for the morning donuts. Lastly, my Division of Fire Safety team. They are busy behind the scenes making sure everything runs smooth, Thank you team DFS. If you have never attended Fire Fighters Day, please come next year, we are making plans now for you to attend!
Somewhere in this newsletter (page 12)there is an article from the Missouri Women of Fire. Last year we hosted the first ever females firefighters symposium here in Jefferson City. Ladies from all across the state attended from career and volunteer departments. From that meeting they are on an awesome mission to create an organization just for the female firefighters. I’m behind this mission with my whole heart, soul and body. Join me in supporting your local female firefighters so they can be part of this historical opportunity.
Each year we advocate and promote the Light the Night campaign. The National Fallen Firefighters Foundation NFFF spearheads this event. The board of directors for NFFF voted to move the yearly memorial service weekend from October to the first weekend in May beginning in 2023. It has been common practice for the Governor to light the capital red for this weekend. That will not be happening this year. Our state memorial has been moved to the first weekend in October to not conflict with the NFFF memorial, and accommodate the LODD families. Ok, so I am suggesting we light the night in May and also in October. Get it on your calendars and let’s show our support to those who have lost their lives in our nation’s fire service in May, and again in October for our Missouri Fire Service.
In closing, it is an honor to be your state fire marshal. If there is anything I can do for you feel free to contact me by email, (firstname.lastname@example.org) or call me at 573-751-1742 or my cell 573-645-2069. Thank you for everything you do, stay safe!