St. Louis, MO (KTRS) Missouri has two new members to its public safety team.
Governor Eric Greitens visited the St. Louis Fire Academy on Wednesday. That’s where he announced before a crowd of first responders his appointment of Tim Bean as the new state fire marshal and Ernie Rhodes to serve as the State Emergency Management Agency Director. “These are men who have been tested and proven their ability over and over again.” said Greitens.
Bean brings 32 years of experience in fire safety and administration. He currently serves as the West Plains Fire Chief and the Howell County assistant SWAT Team Leader and a reserve deputy. Bean called this opportunity a “privilege and an honor.”
Bean also offered a challenge to his fellow first responders. “I wake up every morning and I say I want to be the best boots on the ground, so I would challenge you, the fire service here in the state of Missouri, let’s take that motto on. Let’s be the best boots on the ground and provide a great service for the state and our citizens.”
Rhodes has 32 years of experience in emergency management and law enforcement. He currently serves as the fire chief for West County EMS. Rhode is also the Operations Section chief for a FEMA Urban Search and Rescue Blue Incident Support Team. He previously served as director of Emergency Management for St. Charles for 10 years. Rhodes also was dispatched to New York to help with the rescue efforts following the terrorist attacks in 2001.
Rhodes said he is grateful for this opportunity. “I really want to thank the governor for this big opportunity, my family, my friends, and I definitely want to thank the Lord for giving me this opportunity.”
Rhodes also shared what he learned when he assisted with the 9/11 efforts. “I saw this country stand up to a lot of tragedy, but had the strength to push forward and it taught me a lot there and it grew a passion in me for disaster management.”
Greitens also thanked St. Louis first responders for rescuing a family of seven from a burning home in north St. Louis two weeks ago. “That is a result of extraordinary courage, extraordinary skill, determination, and a true testament to the training that these men and women put in so they can save lives.”
Following the announcement, the governor, Bean, and Rhodes participated in training exercises with city firefighters.