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13725 Olive Blvd.
Chesterfield, Missouri 63017
(314) 514-0900
(314) 514-0696 Fax
Robin Harris, President
Jane Cunningham, Secretary
Steven Swyers, Treasurer

Chuck Marsonette, Fire Chief

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, February 20, 2015
Contact Chief Chuck Marsonette at (314) 514-0900


Chesterfield, MO-Assistant Chief Cary Spiegel is not only a resident of the Monarch Fire Protection District, but he is actively involved in the community. It is not uncommon for him to represent the Fire District at Chamber events, Public Service events, or emergency scenes. Recently Assistant Chief Spiegel has involved himself with the Chesterfield Rotary.

Rotary Clubs bring together dedicated individuals to exchange ideas, build relationships, and take positive community action. Most recently the Chesterfield Rotary elected to partner with the Monarch Fire Protection District at the suggestion of Assistant Chief Spiegel. Rotary President Dan Thompson represented the membership, and on behalf of the Chesterfield Rotary, presented the Monarch Fire Protection District with a set of protective firefighter equipment as a community partner donation; the gear is valued at $2,207.00.

“We at Monarch are overwhelmed by the generosity of the members of the Chesterfield Rotary Club,” said Chief Spiegel. “This protective gear is especially timely with new firefighter crews coming on board.”

“The Monarch Fire Protection District Board of Directors is not surprised with the relationship building and community partnerships being developed by the new Command Team of Chief Chuck Marsonette and Assistant Chief Spiegel,” stated Monarch Board President Robin Harris. “The success of our Fire District and our community is dependent on competent, committed and involved leadership and we are most grateful to Dan Thompson, the Chesterfield Rotarians, and to Chief Spiegel,” Mr. Harris emphasized.


Attachment: Presentation picture from left to right: Assistant Chief Spiegel, Director Jane Cunningham, Chesterfield Rotary President Dan Thompson, and President of the Board Robin Har

Time to Borrow from Mark Twain

Time to Borrow from Mark Twain

To paraphrase Mark Twain (who borrowed the phrase himself), there are lies, darn lies and statistics.

Sadly, the website hosted by the union at Monarch has tried for two years to tell everyone the equipment at Monarch is poorly maintained. That seems incongruous since members of their union are paid to maintain that equipment. Each time a piece of equipment goes to our maintenance facility for scheduled or unscheduled maintenance; the union says the sky is falling. It is not and safety is not being compromised.

This is the same union whose vice president told the Board not to replace a 25 year old fire truck and, instead, give that money to union members as additional raises, when they are already among the highest paid firefighters in the country.

This is the same union that never comes to the Board with an equipment issue where they would have to explain the imaginary shortcoming but frequently provides misinformation to the public as a tactic to frighten people to vote for higher taxes.

These are the same union members who file legal action after legal action against the District only to complain that the District is spending too much money on attorneys’ fees.

The residents and businesses deserve better from the firefighters working for them. It is time they stopped misrepresenting the facts and stopped their scare tactics. They want a $33 million dollar bond issue to provide everything except pay and benefits. Then they will demand we spend 100% of our operational revenue on pay and benefits achieving hefty raises for firefighters who already make more than twice the national average.

By late summer, when our newest pumper arrives, 80% of the frontline fire trucks at Monarch will be less than six years old – these trucks last 15 to 25 years. The new rescue boat is the most versatile ever owned by Monarch and less than a year old. And yes, our rescue truck is the only staffed rescue truck in West County. When it went to the shop for a repair, we borrowed the one from Mehlville because they don’t staff it any longer.

The new command staff was able to generate a long range plan in less than six months after the previous chief and assistant chief could not provide one in a two and a half year period. Monarch is prepared to handle all those events we hope you never have to face. As we move forward, our equipment, training and response times will remain industry leading.

New Command Team Hits the Ground Running


Chesterfield, MO – The Monarch Fire Protection District (MFPD) has a new “Command Team” approved by the Board of Directors earlier this month.  This decision followed a national search for both positions.  Chief Chuck Marsonette and Assistant Chief Cary Spiegel are in place and ready to make necessary decisions to move the Fire District forward.  “I am a public servant with a mission and vision parallel to that of the Fire District”, said Chief Marsonette.  “We serve the community and strive to provide first class emergency services, while being advocates for our employees, and good stewards of our citizen’s treasure.  Our philosophy is reflective of the District’s motto, Integrity, Responsibility, and Accountability”, the Chief emphasized.

Results are already being realized under their previous interim leadership and with the new, successful Safety Incentive Program, unparalleled Safety Manual, Essential Functions…Fit for Duty Standards, Employee Handbook (under construction), employee Rules and Regulations, Policies and Procedures, equipment updates (new ladder, pumper, rescue boat, and three Command Staff vehicles) without a tax increase or bond issue, and a full transparency attitude.

This team fits well with the new Board of Directors majority led by President Robin Harris.  The current Board of Directors is all about public service, public trust, and public protection.  “They set the bar very high”. stated Assistant Chief Spiegel, “I believe that is why we are having a record number of firefighter applicants…they take pride in being part of a top notch, disciplined organization”, he continued.

“I am excited for the District’s future.  Chief Marsonette and his staff are coming together and leading the Fire District in the right direction, leading with vision, strong direction, and by example”, said Director Robin Harris


Monarch Fire Protection District purchases new apparatus

The Monarch Fire Protection District Board of Directors is pleased to announce the purchase of two state of the art pieces of Fire Apparatus. In the month of December, the Fire District acquired an E-ONE 95 foot aerial platform (pictured above). This well-equipped aerial apparatus is the longest ladder platform the District has ever owned, and will assist in better protection of our upward and outward growth. This aerial will be going into service in late February. The District is very excited to have this equipment for its taxpayers and visitors.
Our Second state of the art apparatus is a Smeal fire engine with additional rescue capabilities. This fire engine is just beginning construction and photos will be released as that process continues!
These two purchases increase the safety of our citizen’s and employees with no tax increase!


13725 Olive Blvd.
Chesterfield, Missouri 63017
(314) 514-0900

(314) 514-0696 Fax

BOARD OF DIRECTORS                                                                         Fire Chief
Robin Harris, President                                                                        Chuck Marsonette
Jane Cunningham, Secretary
Steven Swyers, Treasurer


Contact Chief Chuck Marsonette at (314) 514-0900


Chesterfield, MO-The Monarch Fire Protection District (MFPD) “Safety Incentive Program” was unveiled on October 1, 2014, and is off to a successful start. MFPD is pleased to announce two of the four shifts have already achieved their first 60-day safety incentive goal. Each of these crews has had no reportable injuries within a 60-day period.

This is the newest addition to an already robust emphasis on employee health and safety. The Safety Incentive Program was dovetailed off the recent introduction of the applauded District Safety Manual as part of the Worker’s Compensation Reform instituted by the Board of Directors. We have attempted to couple these programs with training in an effort to raise the bar on employee safety. “It is our intent that every employee of MFPD arrive to their shift safe and healthy and return from their shift safe and healthy”, emphasized Chief Chuck Marsonette.

“This is a significant achievement that demonstrates the cooperation between the staff and our new Command team of Chief Chuck Marsonette and Assistant Chief Cary Spiegel,” continued Board President Robin Harris.


Dear Neighbors, Santa and your Monarch Firefighters will be visiting neighrborhoods again this year:

MFPD Santa Schedule 2014


From the Desk of the Chief

We have been asked if emergency services to Monarch residents and businesses will be affected if and when there is civil unrest due to the announcement of the Grand Jury decision regarding the Michael Brown case. The Monarch Board of Directors and Command Staff want to assure you that our first and foremost responsibility and intent is to ensure the safety and welfare of the residents and businesses in the Monarch Fire Protection District. Emergency services in Monarch will not be diminished in any way if there is civil unrest. Monarch will maintain adequate staffing and resources to protect our District, while providing additional resources for assistance to other jurisdictions if needed.

Mail Survey

To all residents of the Monarch Fire Protection District:

The survey that you may have received in the mail from the Professional Firefighters is not an official communication from the Monarch Fire Protection District. The survey is from a firefighters union political action campaign committee.

The Monarch Fire Protection District does not endorse completing any survey that offers a monetary gift for its completion; and would not ask its valued residents to send correspondence outside of District boundaries.

Beware of that fact that there are unique numbers on each survey that will likely personally identify anyone who returns the survey.

Some questions on the survey would lead residents to believe the board is considering a tax increase and/or bond issue.  That is not true. Neither is needed to maintain Monarch’s excellent service.




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.


Director Cunningham’s Letter to the Post Dispatch


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