Every year firefighters in Missouri get together during the annual Firefighters Association of Missouri (FFAM) conference. This conference is well attended by 400-500 firefighters from all over Missouri. This is a time that everyone can gather and network, attend classes and an expo and have some friendly competition in the Firefighter Games.
This years FFAM conference was held in Carthage, Missouri. earlier this month. Carthage is in Southwest Missouri and brought in 12 new Firewise Communities last year. With the Firewise Communities/ USA program becoming more popular with fire departments in Missouri, we were asked to set up a booth at the expo. In between classes and the firefighter games, people strolled through the expo to gather information on a variety of services available. During the expo, I was able to talk to a variety of firefighters from across the state about the benefits of beginning the Firewise process. Everyone that I talked to supported the Firewise concepts but were not very familiar with the process to become recognized. This was a prime time to be able to talk to a number of areas that could potentially become newly recognized Firewise Communities/ USA communities in Missouri. I handed out a lot of information throughout the 2 day conference and caught up with some old friends as well as made some new ones.
The Firefighters Association of Missouri, www.ffam.org, is an organization that is available to the Fire Service in Missouri. There are approximately 8,000 members and they offer a variety of benefits for the membership. Some of the benefits include, a voice in legislation and a representative with the National
Volunteer Fire Council, a Line of Duty benevolence program, assistance with eye glasses repair, college scholarships, low cost fire schools, low cost Accidental Death and Dismemberment insurance, discounts on training materials, a bi-monthly newsletter and a variety of other services.