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OCTOBER IS FIRE PREVENTION MONTH!

 OCTOBER IS FIRE PREVENTION MONTH!

The 2014 Fire Prevention Month theme is “WORKING SMOKE ALARMS SAVE LIVES – TEST YOURS EVERY MONTH!”

The Monarch Fire Protection District has been busy this month with Fire Prevention Month activities including fire drills in schools and businesses, and spreading the message of fire prevention throughout the community.

According to “Smoke Alarms in U.S. Home Fires“, a report published by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) in March of 2014:

● Three out of five home fire deaths result from fires in homes without working smoke alarms.

● The risk of dying in a home fire is cut in half in homes with working smoke alarms.

● Smoke alarm failures usually result from missing, disconnected or dead batteries.

● In 1/5 of all homes with smoke alarms, none are working according to a CPSC study.

● People 55 or older are more likely to have smoke alarms that are more than 10 years old.

The Educational Messages Advisory Committee (EMAC) to NFPA’s Public Education Division developed the following tips for the testing and maintenance of smoke alarms.

● Choose a smoke alarm that bears the label of a recognized testing laboratory.

● Install smoke alarms in every sleeping room, outside each separate sleeping area, and on every level of your home, including the basement.

● Interconnect all smoke alarms throughout the home for the best protection. When one sounds, they all sound. Make sure you can hear the sound of the smoke alarm.

● Replace all smoke alarms, including alarms that use 10-year batteries and hard-wired alarms, when they are 10 years old or sooner if they do not respond properly when tested.

● Test your smoke alarms at least every month, using the test button.

● Smoke alarms with non-replaceable (long-life) batteries are designed to remain effective for up to 10 years. If the alarm chirps, warning that the battery is low, replace the entire smoke alarm. For smoke alarms with any other type of battery, replace batteries at least once a year. If that smoke alarm chirps, replace only the battery.

● An ionization smoke alarm is generally more responsive to flaming fires and a photoelectric smoke alarm is generally more responsive to smoldering fires. For the best protection, or where extra time is needed to awaken or assist others, both types of alarms, or combination ionization and photoelectric alarms, are recommended

A complete list of safety tips from NFPA’s Educational Messages Advisory Committee can be found in the 2013 edition of NFPA Educational Messages Desk Reference. NFPA also provides additional resources, including safety tips for consumers and tool kits on various topics for educators.

Remember, WORKING SMOKE ALARMS SAVE LIVES – TEST YOURS EVERY MONTH!

Director Cunningham’s Letter to the Post Dispatch

THE CALAMITY IS THE FIREFIGHTERS UNION VS. THE TAXPAYERS

Since Deborah Peterson redefines disclosing confidential security measures as “complaining about the boss” (“Fair or Foul?” July 28), I call on the Post-Dispatch to be transparent about all security measures or equipment they have in place to protect its staff.

My guess is if Ms. Peterson gave out keys to locks at the Post-Dispatch or security entry codes to the public and called the Post “absolutely ridiculous” for installing them, her boss would react in an appropriate manner as did a unanimous Monarch Fire Board when safety measures were compromised.

Your editorial has key inaccuracies that you use to take pot shots when you know elected officials cannot comment on personnel issues.

The point is, the government employees fire union No. 2665 that rules over most of St. Louis County, into St. Charles County and beyond, is like a shadow government. They demand donations to their political action committee from all members and use that money, typically in the $30,000 to $100,000 range per candidate, to elect union-controlled directors to public fire boards. Citizens who just want to serve cannot compete with that kind of machine. The union-backed directors ensure the union owns both sides of the bargaining table, allowing the union to dictate their own salaries, benefits and time off and who gets hired and fired.

When individuals with a high school education can earn a compensation package of close to $130,000 for working 2.25 (24-hour) days per week, with three months off annually, it should sound an alarm to the Post-Dispatch and to voters of who is watching the hen house. The Monarch Fire Protection District is one of the few governments to be totally open with salaries and expenses, which can be found on our website on our Transparency Portal.

Speaking of inaccuracies in your editorial, you will not find an expenditure of taxpayer dollars for bulletproof vests. You should check your facts before you report.

Additionally, amid much complaining from the fire union, Monarch may be the only government that opened collective bargaining negotiations to the public and press. You would expect the Post-Dispatch to be praising that unprecedented access.

It is interesting that the Post-Dispatch defends inappropriate union behavior in one instance and in a back-to-back publication reports on the same kind of bullying tactics to intimidate fellow firefighters who do not take orders from the union (“Ex-marshal in Wentzville claims union firefighters forced ouster,” July 29).

Jane Cunningham • Chesterfield
Monarch Fire Protection District board member

Pink Heals to Visit Monarch

PINK HEALS TO VISIT MONARCH
 
Chesterfield, MO-The Monarch Fire Protection District is delighted to amend the planned arrival of the Pink Heals. Dave Graybill requested the original schedule of 4 to 7 pm be changed to 4 to 5 pm. Mr. Graybill explained the Pink Heals had been offered an additional opportunity for later in the afternoon. “We are pleased to have the Pink Heals for a short visit and wish them every success in additional stops that further their mission,” stated Board President Robin Harris.
 
Dave Graybill was a professional baseball player for several years and then became a firefighter. He has a vision to demonstrate the love men have for their mothers, wives, daughters and all women in their lives. His vision has resulted in funding for cancer research and other medical issues affecting women. Pink Heals was founded in 2007, is a nationally recognized organization, which seeks to raise awareness of issues affecting women’s health and also serves as a fundraising entity for a number of recognized women’s health charities.
 
The public is invited to this family event at Monarch Fire Protection District’s Headquarters where the Pink Heals Fire Trucks will be stopping for a visit. The event will start at 3:30 p.m. and last until 5:00 p.m. Monarch Headquarters located at 13725 Olive Boulevard in Chesterfield will also have staffed Monarch fire trucks and ambulances on display.

Monarch Fire Protection District Hires an Interim Chief

MONARCH FIRE PROTECTION DISTRICT
13725 Olive Blvd.
Chesterfield, Missouri 63017
(314) 514-0900

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, June 20, 2014
Contact Acting Chief Cary Spiegel (314) 514-0900

MONARCH FIRE PROTECTION DISTRICT HIRES AN INTERIM CHIEF
WHILE DIRECTORS ENGAGE IN A COMPREHENSIVE SEARCH FOR A PERMANENT CHIEF.

Chesterfield, June 19, 2014 – The Monarch Fire Protection District is pleased to announce the appointment of Interim Fire Chief Wayne Charles (Chuck) Marsonette. Chuck has a diverse public safety background with 23 years of experience in fire, emergency medical services, and law enforcement.

Most recently Chuck has worked with Reliant Care Management in their Risk Management Division. His contribution has resulted in a reduction in employee injuries and workers’ compensation claims. In addition, he has extensive knowledge of incident command and emergency planning/management.
Chuck understands the importance of public safety and has the leadership skills and experience needed to lead in an effective and efficient manner. His focus will be to manage operations and ensure the community receives quality emergency service.
When advised of his selection, Mr. Marsonette responded, “I am looking forward to joining the Monarch Fire District staff to work with all employees providing the best Emergency Service possible to all of our residents, businesses and individuals in need”. Chuck resides in the St. Louis area with his wife and son.
Board President Robin Harris stated, “The Board was delighted to find an administrator with such an extensive background in emergency services to cover the gap between the departure of our previous chief and our permanent replacement. I am sure Chief Marsonette will prove to be an asset to Monarch. On behalf of the Board, the staff and all of our employees, I would like to welcome Chuck to the Monarch Fire Protection District.”

You are invited to contact Assistant Chief Cary Spiegel at spiegel.c@monarchfpd.org with questions or concerns.

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Monarch Revenues Fall

Monarch Revenues Fall

Monarch experienced an unexpected decrease in revenues for 2013 when tax figures from the county were finalized in early March. The Monarch staff advised the Board of this variation between what was budgeted for the year and what was actually received, and indicated it was from a combination of factors with the major contributors being unpaid and protested property taxes. The District’s biggest concern is that residents are still struggling to pay their bills in the current economy, an issue that will need to be addressed going forward as revenues are budgeted.
Fortunately, due to proper planning, the District has reserves designed for this type of unanticipated fiscal event. Monarch has made a budget adjustment and still has reserves that exceed 44% of the operating budget.
Regrettably there has been misinformation distributed to the press that the District was “over-budget”. The 2013 budget was based on revenue levels projected and provided by St. Louis County based on formulas used for many years. Had revenues matched projections, there would have been no shortfall. The Board will be addressing the decrease in revenue at upcoming meetings in anticipation of setting the budget for 2014 later this year.

Monarch Fire Protection District seeking applicants for the job of Assistant Chief

The Monarch Fire Protection District covers a geographic area of almost 62 square miles in West St. Louis and service more than 60,000 people that live in portions of Ballwin, Chesterfield, Clarkson Valley, Creve Coeur, Maryland Heights, Wildwood and parts of unincorporated St. Louis County. The District operates 5 Engine Houses, a Maintenance Center, an Administration Facility and a Training Tower and has a staff that is made up of more than 125 Firefighter/Paramedics, Fire Prevention Specialists, Officers and Administrative Personnel.

The Monarch FPD is currently searching for an Assistant Fire Chief at its HQ facility at 13725 Olive Blvd. in Chesterfield, MO. Salary will be commensurate with experience. Resumes of candidates are due no later than 4:00pm on Friday, March 14, 2014.

Responsibilities Include (but are not limited to):
• Establishes, within policy guidelines, appropriate service and staffing levels.
• Coordinates, administers, and monitors fire and emergency response activities, personnel, and programs.
• Supervises and participates in the development and administration of the fire department budget.
• Directs the selection, supervision, training, development, and discipline of department personnel.
• Assumes personal command at multiple alarm fires.
• Coordinates mutual fire protection plans, emergency responses, and other department activities with surrounding jurisdictions, other departments, and organizations.
• Confers with officials and community groups and conducts public relations campaigns to present need for changes in laws and policies and to encourage fire prevention.
• Directs investigations into causes of fires and inspections of buildings for fire hazards.
• Makes final interpretation of fire and building regulations, ordinances, codes, and applicable laws to ensure compliance and consistency.
• Coordinates and prepares a variety of plans, reports, presentations, and records.
• Participates in employee relations activities related to the fire department, including providing advice and assistance for management negotiations.

Qualifications/Skills Required:
• Master’s Degree (Business or related field) Preferred
• Bachelor’s Degree Required
• 3+ Years as Staff Officer
• St. Louis County Fire Academy Or willingness to attend
• 20+ years’ experience in the fire service
• Experience working in a large multi-firehouse District
• Paramedic license required
• Ability to work odd hours as needed

Benefits for the Monarch Fire Protection District Include:
• Excellent medical, dental and vision coverage
• Fully paid life insurance (with option to purchase more)
• Paid Vacation (after 1 year)
• Sick days (8 per year)
• Employee Assistance Program (EAP)
• 11 Paid Holidays
• Tuition reimbursement
• Pension plan
• + MORE!

Please send resume with cover letter AND salary expectations on or before 4:0pm, Friday, March 14, 2014 to Lexow.l@monarchfpd.org or to address below. Interviews are initially scheduled to be conducted on March 19th and 20th 2014.
Monarch FPD, Attention: Human Resources Director
13725 Olive Blvd.
Chesterfield, MO 63017
The Monarch Fire Protection District is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Monarch Fire Protection District to Roll-Out Unparalleled Transparency Portal

Monarch Fire District receives grant from Missouri American Water

The Monarch Fire Protection District is pleased to announce it has received a grant of $1,200.00 from Missouri American Water. The grant will be used to purchase fire-fighting water supply equipment that will enhance the delivery capability of water to structure fires in the rural area of our District. The equipment will be carried on Pumper 2220 at Station #2 at 18424 Wildhorse Creek Road, and Pumper/Tanker 2253 at Station #5 at 155 Long Road.
Making the presentation is Bradley T. Brown, Manager of Government Affairs from Missouri American Water. Receiving the grant check is John Borgmann, Assistant Chief of the Monarch Fire Protection District.

Monarch Fire Protection District Holds Open Contract Negotiations

For Immediate Release, December 16, 2013

Contact: Thomas Vineyard 314-514-0900

Monarch Fire Protection District Holds Open Contract Negotiations

In a historic step toward transparency, The Board of Director’s hold open Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) negotiations for all taxpayers to witness.

Chesterfield, MO – December 16, 2013 – The Monarch Fire Protection District Board of Directors have just completed their third month and sixth meeting in historic open, public Collective Bargaining Agreement negotiations with representatives of the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) Local 2665 union despite strong protests against the transparency from union leaders

The reason this process is historic is because open union negotiations have never been done at the Fire District and Monarch officials are unaware of any union contract negotiations anywhere being open to the public. “We have even heard from residents of neighboring taxing districts who are making inquiries about the process and are demanding their local government does the same” commented Monarch Board President Robin Harris.

Former Senator and Monarch Director Jane Cunningham stated, “Even though Collective Bargaining negotiations between public boards and the union have always been behind closed doors, we believe taxpayers

should have the right to witness the give – and – take on how their money is being spent and should have all the proposed documents available to them.” “It’s your money!” She emphasized.

Harris noted, “We were surprised and pleased to note that not only do residents want to observe the process; many union members are attending to see what their union leaders are doing during the negotiations. The union negotiators vehemently objected to the open sessions, as it appears they wanted to keep the process closed to their own members and not just the residents. This certainly validates the Board’s decision to hold negotiations in an open setting.”

Anyone interested in these negotiations are invited to visit the Fire District’s website at www.monarchfpd.org where they can see side by side comparisons of what the current Monarch Board and Union Collective Bargaining Agreement proposals spell out in pay, benefits and working conditions as well as when upcoming open Labor Agreement workshops are scheduled. The Monarch Board

welcomes residents, union members and the press to observe this historic (and expensive) statutorily required process.

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Monarch Fire Protection District Lowers Work Comp Premiums with New Carrier

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, December 26, 2013

Contact: Chief Thomas Vineyard (314)514-0900

Monarch Fire Protection District Lowers Work Comp Premiums with New Carrier

Chesterfield, MO – Over the last several years, the Monarch Fire Protection District has been plagued with out-of-control workers compensation expenses. In a recent report it was brought to the District’s attention that half the staff had multiple claims, employees earning more while off on a work comp injury than while on duty and premiums up to four times where they should be. At the height of this problem, Workers Comp premiums sky rocked to over $1.2 million. The board, management and staff are committed to solving these issues as demonstrated by the Board’s unanimous decision to switch their Work Comp Carrier to Missouri Employers Mutual Insurance Company with a bid of $995,996 from The Missouri Fire and Ambulance District Trust with a bid of $1,039.601. This switch provided the district with more resources and services at a $44,000 savings and a $200,000 reduction already over the recent high mark.

Through a collaborative effort the District will continue to work hard to reduce costs, improve firefighter safety and continue to deliver the highest quality of emergency services to the citizens of the Monarch Fire Protection District.

According to Director and Board President Robin Harris, “While the Board has been trying to address the high workers compensation premiums for some time, Senator Jane Cunningham brought an expansive knowledge on the subject to the Board. Jane’s tireless efforts and the firm commitment by the entire Board have allowed the District to gain the information needed to push forward with true improvements in our workers compensation program. I am delighted that we were able to get a reduction of approximately 4% in our premiums by going out to bid which brought the premiums under $1,000,000 for the first time in years. We will continue to work on changes to provide even lower premiums next year.”

Monarch’s new partnership joins Smith McGehee Insurance Solutions and Missouri Employers Mutual Insurance (MEM). Director Jane Cunningham reports, “MEM writes more work comp insurance than anyone in the state and would not consider writing coverage for Monarch last year.” She continued, “Missouri is the Show-Me-State. Smith McGehee Insurance Solutions showed effective advocacy on the turn-around story happening at Monarch that resulted in lower premiums and improved service from new partnerships.”

Michael J. Hennessey of Smith McGehee Insurance Solutions said, “Jane Cunningham has delivered on her commitment to reduce Monarch’s excessive cost of workers compensation insurance. As a direct result of Jane’s efforts, Missouri Employers Mutual delivered a cost and service proposal that will be the foundation for sustainable claims and significant premium cost reductions for years to come. This is a great win for the District and its stakeholders.”

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