FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 16, 2012


April 17 Fire Fighters Day at State Capitol will call attention to importance of Missouri's fire service in disaster response

Ceremony will highlight importance of fire service mutual aid agreements and cooperation in dealing with disasters during 2011

Following a year that included major response efforts to tornadoes, severe storms, record flooding and a blizzard, firefighters from across Missouri will call attention to the importance of mutual aid agreements and departments working together at Fire Fighters Day at the State Capitol on April 17.

Gov. Jay Nixon has proclaimed April 17 as Fire Fighters Day in Missouri and saluted the efforts of Missouri's more than 20,000 career and volunteer firefighters during a particularly dangerous year in 2011.

"In 2011, Missouri's fire service, search and rescue teams and ambulance districts performed heroic duties, responding to one of the most destructive tornadoes in U.S. history, to other severe weather events, a blizzard and record flooding," Gov. Nixon said. "The work of these dedicated and highly trained individuals saved and preserved lives. We cannot thank these selfless public servants enough for their sacrifices to make all of us safer.”

Following the May 22 EF-5 Joplin tornado, 119 Missouri fire and search and rescue services responded to assist in the Joplin area. Thirty-seven fire and search and rescue services from other states also responded. Sixty-eight ambulance districts from across Missouri sent ambulances to Joplin, along with four ambulance districts from other states.

"Missouri firefighters have dedicated their lives to serving and protecting this state's communities, and they have proven that jurisdictional borders do not matter when it comes to responding to save lives," said Missouri State Fire Marshal Randy Cole. "We must also recognize the families of firefighters, who themselves make sacrifices so that their loved ones can continue to serve.”

Joplin Fire Department Chief Mitch Randles will participate in the ceremony and thank firefighters who responded and provided assistance following the tornado that led to the loss of 161 lives and left more than 1,000 injured. 


WHAT:           Ceremony honoring Missouri firefighters, including those who assisted in Joplin.
WHO:             Department of Public Safety Director Jerry Lee State Fire Marshal Randy Cole                         Joplin Fire Department Chief Mitch Randles                          Firefighters from across Missouri
WHERE:         Missouri State Capitol Rotunda
WHEN:           11 a.m. Tuesday, April 17

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For more information, call 573-751-5432 or e-mail mike.o'connell@dps.mo.gov