Auxiliary Meeting Minutes – July 2023

The meeting called to order by President Jessica Weisz at 9:04 a.m.

Members Present
Jessica Weisz, Norborne FPD; Diane Wynne, Galt FPD; Sheri Berendzen, Cole County FPD; Theresa Cox, Wentzville FPD; Carissa Thompson, Holts Summit FPD; Joni Fields, Paris RFPD; Ann Jones, Madison West Monroe FD; Debbie Ransdell, Madison West Monroe FD; Debbie Meyers, Concordia FD; Robin Schrage, Jefferson R-7 FPD; Lachrissa Smith, North Central Carroll Co FPD; Rosanne Jorgenson, South Holt FPD; Jennifer Sterner, West Plains FD; Sarah Sue Brockett, Southern Stone FPD; Missy Erdel, Little Dixie FPD; Deidra Batlmer, Gravois FPD; Ashley Hoselten, Galt FPD; Reta Smiley, Galt FPD; Haley Hanes, Galt FPD.

Pledge of Allegiance was recited. Ann Jones read a poem, “My Husband is a Fire Fighter” as our devotion. Roll Call was read by Joni Fields. She reported 19 auxiliary members present, representing 14 departments.

Theresa Cox read the Sunday, May 8, 2022, Sunday convention meeting Minutes. Shelby pointed out a typo it should read; Shelby Teter, Northeastern Fire. Jessica also stated COID was misspelled and should be COVID. Ann Jones made a motion to accept the meeting minutes as read with two corrections made. Reta Smiley seconded the motion; the motion passed.

Sheri Berendzen reported we have 111 paid auxiliaries, and 13 Honorary, totaling 124 auxiliary members from 29 departments. She thanked everyone for their help that responded to her calls and emails. Theresa stated on the front table are two reports for those who want to look over who are Long Standing and Honorary Members.

Financial Report
Theresa gave the financial report. Missy Erdel made a motion to accept the financial report as read second was made by Sheri Berendzen. Motion passed. Theresa also stated the books were audited by Diane Wynne and Reta Smiley, and they found the books in order.

Sheri reported there were 4 men, 4 junior, and 1 female team(s) this year for the contest. The contest this year took 2 ½ hours to complete.

The contest committee sent a huge thank you to everyone who pitched in and put all of the equipment away. This year we did have some new equipment for the contest. They are looking into plaques for next year instead of the trophies.

Poster Contest
Reta Smiley reported there were posters from about 7-8 departments to judge. The main issue for disqualification was the size of the posters.

Ann Jones asked what did the winners get? First-place winners all receive family passes to the Missouri State Fair; they eat at the fair firehouse along with the firefighters and receive passes to the carnival rides. The 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winning posters are displayed at the firehouse during the fair.

Carissa stated if anyone has pictures she will take them. This past year she has gotten PayPal set up for us.

Old Business
Jessica reported the bi-monthly board meetings tried starting their meetings at 10:00 am for several meetings. This has been changed recently to currently starting these board meetings promptly at 9:00 am. Every Auxiliary member is welcome to attend these meetings.

This year’s Memorial Service will be Saturday, October 21st, and Sunday, October 22nd at Kingdom City at the Memorial. Discussed the Auxiliary is no longer making the ribbons for this event.

New Business
Theresa let the members know we made about $1,500 on the Silent Auction, about $1,600 on the 5-item raffle, about $245 on the Helmet Raffle, and about $355 from sales of challenge coins, Auxiliary T-shirts, cookbooks, and dues collected. Again these are estimates about how much was taken in by the Auxiliary. Ann Jones commented since we know what we have in the bank and now we have made this amount of money from convention, are there any plans for using this money?

Jessica stated that at this time there are no plans because it is a possibility of us hosting next year’s convention. And we have not paid all of the bills for this year’s convention.

Tim Bean, Missouri State Fire Marshall stepped into our meeting to talk. Tim started by thanking the Auxiliary for everything we have done.

He commented the Auxiliary has been in existence since 1956. He expressed how great this year’s convention turned out.

Tim’s message to us today was five parts;

  1. We as an organization and individual fire departments have had a decline in membership, personnel, and attendance in all aspects. He said this is happening on our Watch”. There is no one answer why, but we need to change this going forward or we will fail.
  2. Tim challenged us to get out and know your Senators and have conversations with them. Let your voice be heard. He said there were over 1400 bills and only 7 were passed this year. “This is very sad”. There are so many different opinions of the senators no one can agree on what is best for the majority, so bills fail. “Something has to change,” Tim said.
  3. Talked about the pool of monies set aside; for Fire Fighters who are fighting 17 different types of cancers contracted, which is a common danger of their job. This comes in the form of a Supplement Policy.
  4. Tim spoke about the Mental Health issues which everyone as First Responders are facing. We need to stop the stigma of Mental Health as a bad thing. The mayhem is real for first responders; we need to deal with how it affects mental health through proper support and training.
  5. Recently the very first Female Fire Fighter Symposium was held. They established a board at this symposium. Tim said it would be great if our auxiliary reached out and supported them by paying for the snacks or something at their next symposium. Hopefully, this will happen in the fall.

Jessica Weisz asked everyone go to back to their department and talk about the “Auxiliary Member of the Year” award. Many people are doing things to receive this award. More information is available on the website.

Jessica reminded the members at next year’s convention we will be holding an election of officers. Several of the current officers are wishing to step aside so new people can get involved.

Jessica asked if there was any more business, there was none. Carissa made a motion we adjourn the meeting, seconded by Reta. Motion passed, meeting adjourned at 10:17 a.m.

Respectfully Submitted,

Theresa Cox; Secretary/ Treasurer