Meeting Minutes – January 2024

December 3, 2023 • Sedalia, Missouri • Secretary/Treasurer Jaime Miller Draft • Approval at Next Meeting

President Larry Jennings called the meeting of the Board of Directors of the Fire Fighters Association of Missouri to order at 9:00 AM Sunday, December 3, 2023, at the Missouri State Fair Fire Department in Sedalia, MO. The meeting began with the Pledge of Allegiance.

Roll Call of Board of Directors and other officials

President Larry Jennings, Johnson County FPD; First Vice President Charlie Peel, Southeastern Randolph FPD; Second Vice President Grant Oetting, Higginsville FPD; Secretary-Treasurer Jaime Miller, Johnson County FPD #2; Sergeant-at-Arms Rex Reynolds (V), Southern FPD of Holt County.

District 2, Vernon Cash, Shelbina FPD; District 3, Rob Erdel, Little Dixie FPD; District 5, Terry Plumb, Southern Stone FPD; District 6, Gary Berendzen, Cole County FPD; District 10, Greg Brown, Eureka FPD; District 11, Billy Smith, North Central Carroll Co FPD; District 12, Rob Francis, Fruitland FPD; District 14, Rick Dozier, Southern FPD of Holt County.

Assistant Directors
District 1, Janet Cain, Shoal Creek FPD; District 3, Josh Loyd, Martinsburg Area FPD; District 3, Dale Ransdell, Madison West Monroe FPD; District 6, Alan Braun, Cole County FPD; District 7, Andrew Caldwell (V), Boles FPD; District 10, Harriett Vaucher, Eureka FPD; District 11, Josh Koepke (V), Kansas City FD; District 14, Kyler Oliver (V), NTA Ambulance District.

Gail Hagans, David Hedrick (V), University of Missouri Fire and Rescue Training Institute; Tim Bean, Missouri Division of Fire Safety; Doc Kritzer, Memorial Foundation; Chris Thompson, Holts Summit FPD; Larry Eggen, Johnson County FPD; Keith Smith, Warrenton FPD.
*(V) denotes Virtual Attendance

President Jennings asked for additions to the agenda. No additions were made.

President Jennings asked for additions or corrections to the October 1, 2023, meeting minutes. 

Rick Dozier moved to accept the minutes as presented. A vote was held, and the motion was approved.

Financial Report
President Jennings asked for a review of the September/October 2023 financial report. Discussion was held and the board advised to file the report for the annual compilation.

Report of Officers and Special Guest(s)
Gail Hagans with the University of Missouri Fire and Rescue Training Institute reported that Winter Fire School registration is now available online. Brochures will be mailed out next week. 

The Fire Service Enhancement Leadership Program begins on January 23. There are 24 signed up.

There are MODOT training funds available until June 30. Contact your regional coordinator for more information.

The MFA grant period has closed, and the first round of grading will go to the FFAM directors this week. 82 applications were received.

Tim Bean with the Missouri Division of Fire Safety thanked FFAM and the Memorial Foundation for their work on the annual memorial services in October.

He also thanked Greg Brown for representing FFAM and the fire service in the Missouri Fire Service Alliance. He has been very impactful with the cancer legislation and other endeavors. Bean continued to encourage everyone to get to know their state legislators. It is very important to reach out to them to help support firefighter training funding.

There is a 40-hour basic firefighter course available called Introduction to the Fire Service. It has been updated to the current standards. Reach out to DFS if you would like more information or to schedule the class. 

The Fire Mutual Aid Coordinator position is open. It will be based out of Jefferson City.

The annual fire department registration opened Friday. This is a state law so get your fire departments registered. President Jennings added that many grants require that your department be registered to apply. 

DFS will be putting out a survey regarding firefighting foam and how fire departments dispose of it. Once some information is gathered, DNR will be looking for funding to set up disposal sites.

Firefighters Day at the Capitol will be in April. The theme will be women in the fire service.

A thank you card was received from Donnie Rogers to the State Fair Fire Department for their monetary donation.

Old Business
Discussion was held on a board meeting to be held at the museum site in Kingdom City. The board agreed the April 7 meeting would be held in Kingdom City. Discussion was held on moving the October meeting due to a conflict with the annual memorial service. The October meeting will be moved to October 13.

New Business
Keith Smith reported that the National Volunteer Fire Council’s fall meeting will be held in Kansas City September 18-20, 2024, at the Kansas City Marriott Country Club Plaza. They are asking for assistance from FFAM in the registration room and airport transportation. Discussion was held and Keith Smith, Rob Erdel, Grant Oetting and Josh Koepke agreed to assist on that committee.

Keith Smith reported that NVFC is also looking into departments that have received a SAFER grant and are inundated with paperwork requests/requirements. They are looking at trying to obtain a list of departments in Missouri that have received a SAFER grant so that those departments can be contacted to find out about their experiences. 

Jaime Miller presented the board with the 2022 annual compilation report that was prepared by Gillum and Gillum, CPA. Grant Oetting moved to accept the report as presented. A vote was held, and the motion was approved. 

Charlie Pell presented the 2024 proposed budget. Discussion followed. Greg Brown moved to accept the 2024 budget as presented. A vote was held, and the motion was approved.

Chris Thompson, chairman of the Missouri Fire Service Charity Smokeout, advised that the bar-b-que competition would be September 14, 2024, at the Fire Fighters Memorial in Kingdom City. Any fire department, organization or individual is welcome to participate. All the information will be made available in January, and they are accepting sponsorships. All proceeds will benefit the museum project and the Missouri chapter of the Fire Cancer Network.

Committee Reports

Awards Committee
No report was given.

Budget Committee
No report was given.

Bylaws Committee
No report was given.

Chaplain Committee
David Hedrick reported that the MFCC will be conducting two classes at Winter Fire School on Saturday, February 3. They are: Beginning and Sustaining a Fire Service Chaplaincy, and Mindful Decontamination: Self-Regulating Techniques for First Responders. More info and registration are in the MU FRTI Winter Fire School brochure and website. 

The MFCC will also be conducting a Winter Training session before WFS at Campus Lutheran in Columbia, MO, on January 31- February 1: Theodicy and Trauma, and Essentials of Fire Chaplaincy. To register for these classes, contact Ed Hatcher at edhat@earthlink.net.

Contest Committee
Gary Berendzen reminded any teams who wish to participate in the contest to get their applications in.

Convention Committee
Josh Loyd reported that Lake Ozark FPD is still working on a location for the 2024 convention. The dates are May 17-19, 2024.

Education Committee
No report was given.

Fire Prevention Committee
Andrew Caldwell advised that posters will be accepted until 10:00 am on May 18.

Legislative Committee
Greg Brown reported that it is projected that the next legislative session won’t make much progress due to internal conflicts, but he encouraged everyone to continue to get to know their local representatives.

The personal property tax repeal will be presented again with no avenue of where funding will come from. The federal reimbursement allowance for ambulances and hospitals is also coming up.

The Firefighter Critical Illness Pool is still working on behavioral health issues. So far, the pool has just under 3,000 members in 85 agencies with 17 claims received. 

Membership Committee
Grant Oetting reported the following membership counts: 500 Directors/Councilman; 437 Retired; 22 Associate; 12 Sustaining; 22 Corporate, 352 Fire Departments; 6607 Active; 1 Educational Entity; 5 Educational Active; 129 Juniors; 4 EMS Department, 160 EMS individuals; 0 911 Entity; 0 911 individuals. 

Oetting reported that Charlie Peel, Greg Brown and himself met with the IAFF president to get feedback regarding union members and membership with FFAM. They are working on getting some requested information back to him. 

Larry Jennings reminded the directors and assistant directors that they will be giving district reports beginning at the February meeting. He encouraged them to get out and meet with the member departments and non-member departments to try to get our membership up. There will be a basic form available to them to record these meetings. 

Nomination Committee
No report was given.

NVFC Committee
Keith Smith reported that energy storage systems are the newest hot topic. They are discovering that fire departments have very little information on how to handle these systems when there is a malfunction. 

They will be hosting a webinar on December 6 regarding these types of systems.

Smith reported that he attended a state networking meeting in Iowa. Decreases in convention attendance are a trend with all the surrounding states. Another discussion point was provisions for directors to meet with member and non-member departments. Phone calls and meetings are important when maintaining and increasing membership.

Scholarship Committee
Larry Eggen reported that the scholarship deadline is February 28. Please follow the directions and include all of the required paperwork.

State Fair Committee
Rick Dozier reported that Kegan Wilson has been appointed as fire chief for 2024. He has selected his command staff. 

Mark Wolfe has retired as Director of the Missouri State Fair. Jason Moore has been appointed to fill that position.

Website Committee
No report was given.

Jaime Miller reported that the next magazine deadline will be December 20. 

Historian report
No report was given.

Fire Funeral Team report
Harriett Vaucher reported they have responded to 2 LODD and 39 non-LODD this year.

EMS Funeral Team report
Jaime Miller reported on behalf of Greg Wright that they have had 4 non-LODD callouts since the October meeting.

The annual funeral team’s conference was held in Osage Beach on October 13-15. Some of the fire and law enforcement funeral team members joined the conference again this year. The annual banquet was held at the conference. The Leanna “Dee” Lueckenotte Asclepius Award for meritorious service was awarded to Mr. Randy Davis from St. Francois County EMS and Mr. Brian Zinanni with the Missouri Fire Funeral Assistance Team.

At the annual board meeting the board elected Kevin Cash from Mexico, MO as their 2023-24 board president. Due to the passing of executive director Tom Yates, the board elected to appoint George Wright as the new executive director. The position will be for 2 years with the option to continue.

The organization voted to do 2 fundraisers in 2024. The annual raffle and the second will be a new event, the Tom G. Yates Classic golf tournament. Plans are for it to be held at the Bear Creek golf complex in Lake Ozark, MO in conjunction with the funeral team’s annual conference on October 11. 

The 2024 conference will be held at Camden on the Lake on October 11-13. The board also approved holding the 2025 and 2026 conferences in October at Camden at the Lake.

Foundation report
Keith Smith reported that for this year’s memorial services, 450 ribbons were made and only 19 were left. 142 non-LODD and 8 LODD were honored. They have 90 on the list so far for the 2024 service.

The Foundation is working on their website which will be available soon.

Gail Hagans advised that the Fire Fighters Memorial Foundation is a Como gives recipient this year for their mid-Missouri fundraiser. Share the information that is available online. The deadline is December 31. 

President Jennings adjourned the meeting at 11:22 am.