Isn’t that a powerful image – bankers and firefighters working together to protect communities. Does that really happen? You bet! (Well, we don’t usually get to hold the hose, but we do get to support behind the scenes). More on that in minute. First, a little about volunteer firefighters.
The Bank of Missouri is in cities with populations over 150,000 and in towns of 300 people. In our smallest communities, the closest professional fire department can be 30 minutes away. So the citizens in these small towns do what they always do, come together to help one another. Firefighters (the full time and the volunteers) across the state are our customers, our neighbors, our friends, our heroes. That’s how we knew there were some great stories of bankers and local volunteer firefighters working together, and we’ll share a couple examples here.
First we spoke with Troy Vaughn, commercial loan officer at our Martinsburg location. Troy recently served a nearby rural fire protection district as a board member and then president. As president, he focused not only on making sure the community was protected in the case of a fire, but also on ensuring the firefighters had the gear and training they needed. Troy explained, “The budget is tight, so you have to do the very best with it.” And if you need to stretch a dollar, you know a banker is the person to turn to!
We asked Troy about the importance of volunteer firefighters, especially in times of droughts. “There were a lot of brush fires during the drought in 2012. It’s important to contain those as fast as you can. We are fortunate to have the volunteer firefighters to help.”
We also spoke with Nancy Becker, loan servicing specialist in Martinsburg and treasurer of the Martinsburg Area Fire Protection District. While not always glamorous, the bookkeeping and reporting required for a tax-funded volunteer unit is complex and Nancy is up for the task. Why? Well, when we asked Nancy what would happen if the Martinsburg fire district didn’t exist, she said “Anything that caught fire in town would be a total loss.” Wow. That gave us chills.
Nancy and Troy are just two of many examples of Bank of Missouri teammates who care very deeply about their local communities. To us, it’s about being more than your banker; it’s about taking care of people. Whether we’re providing leadership for the local volunteer fire department, coaching the local youth sports team or fundraising alongside you, you can count on us to be committed to our communities.
Last, but certainly not least, International Firefighters Day is May 4. Be sure to join us in thanking the firefighters in your community. And, a very special thanks to the Waynesville Rural Fire Protection District for making the photo in this article a reality. You are true heroes and we thank you for taking time to showcase how the community comes together to serve.