Captain Oakes joined the District in 2000 and came to us as a former volunteer then career firefighter with Mid County Fire Protection District.

We finish out this series with a look at our third Captain promoting to Deputy Chief, Captain Oakes.  But first a final look at some of the projects the newly promoted group will be working on.

I am often asked about the changes in both the District and the area since I joined in 1989. The one response that clearly addresses this is the number of yearly calls, less than 300 my first year and more than 2,200 last year.  I think one of the most critical duties of any business, be it a privately owned or a Fire District, would be future planning. Future planning entails a wide area of processes that need to be considered from budget, growth, infrastructure, and staffing to name a few. These are the critical items that we will ask these officers to evaluate as we determine staffing needs for the future.

In our long range plan the District plans on adding additional staffing, 3 in 2019 and then 6 in 2022. So as we move towards 2022 the District will task these new Deputy Chiefs with determining what this new staffing model will look like and its likely effect on response models, response times, and apparatus replacement. The first two of these have a direct correlation to the health and welfare of public we serve. These three will have a lot on their plates however we are confident that they are up to the task.

Allow me to introduce you to our third and final Captain promoting to Deputy Chief. Captain Oakes joined the District in 2000 and came to us as a former volunteer then career firefighter with Mid County Fire Protection District. In 2010 the Fire District promoted Captain Oakes to the position of Engineer and then in 2015 he promoted to the position of Captain.

In other articles we have discussed that the Fire Service has a tradition of generational firefighters, Captain Oakes is one of these who has followed in his father’s footsteps. His father was a volunteer with the Tolono Fire Department in Illinois, upon moving to Lake of the Ozarks Captain Oakes joined Mid County Fire. But as we talk about tradition and its prominent role within the Fire Service, Captain Oakes has worked hard to remember and honor the traditions of the job. Captain Oakes is the founder of the Magic Dragon Pipes and Drums here at Lake of the Ozarks. Learning to play the bagpipes was a way to honor those police, fire, or military personnel who served in as much as it was to bring this long standing and rich tradition to the Lake of the Ozarks.

Fire Districts are here to provide a service, we are called when people are having their worst days and are asked to make their day better. Responding to the need is only a small part of this, seeing the need beyond the obvious emergency is another part. This is gift Captain Oakes has and it serves him and our tax payers well.  Captain Oakes will take over as Deputy Chief on B-Shift on June 9th. Congratulations to all three and we wish the best of luck in your new roles.