Today, Governor Eric Greitens announced his picks for State Fire Marshal and State Emergency Management Agency Director at the St. Louis Fire Academy. The announcement followed a meeting with the firefighters who conducted the rescue of seven St. Louis residents on January 24th. The Governor thanked each firefighter for their bravery and service.
The Governor and his picks for SEMA Director and Fire Marshal then participated in a training exercise. They conducted a search and rescue, retrieving a 180 lbs dummy from a simulated disaster scene.
SEMA director- Ernie Rhodes has 32 years of experience in emergency management and law enforcement. He currently serves as the Fire Chief for the West County EMS and Fire Protection District, the Operations Section Chief for FEMA Urban Search and Rescue Blue Incident Support Team, and is a member of Missouri Task Force-1. For ten years prior, Mr. Rhodes was the Director of Emergency Management for St. Charles, MO.
Mr. Rhodes has also been a firefighter, paramedic, and instructor at the University of Missouri Fire and Rescue Training Institute. He was part of a Missouri urban rescue team dispatched to New York two days after the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center in 2001 and has been deployed to other disasters around the country.
State Fire Marshal- Tim Bean is the Fire Chief for the West Plains Fire Department and also serves as the Howell County Assistant SWAT Team Leader and Reserve Deputy. He has a combined total of 32 years in fire safety and administration. Prior to becoming Fire Chief, Mr. Bean started as volunteer firefighter. He also served as the West Plains Public Safety Officer, Assistant Fire Chief, Reserve Police Officer, and SWAT team member.
Mr. Bean is the President of the Howell County Fire Chiefs Association, President of the South Howell County Ambulance Education Committee, and First Vice President of the Fire Fighters Association of Missouri.