Fire Protection District Governance

The Metro West Fire Protection District is Governed by an elected Board of Directors. Directors are residents of the Fire Protection District and serve six year terms.

In Missouri each fire district is controlled by a board of directors consisting of 3 or 5 persons.  These persons are elected to office at the April (Municipal) election. The terms are staggered so there is an election every 2 years. 

Many people often ask what benefits there are to a "Fire Protection District. In Missouri, fire protection can be provided to the public by

  • (1) an association or company organized to assist its members,
  • (2) a city fire department, or
  • (3) a fire protection district. 

As a general rule, the advantage of an FPD over association-provided service are (a) the ability to retain fixed boundaries, and (b) having a source of funding that everyone contributes to support.  The main advantage of an Fire Protection District over a city fire department is that most city fire departments end up having to "subsidize" rural fire service because of the inability to generate enough voluntary membership contributions.

In our County Fire Protection Districts benefit the public served by directly funding their services. Without funding competition in other areas such as municipal organizations such as Parks, Public Works etc. tax revenues, grant funding and fees for services can be directly allocated back to the Fire, EMS, Rescue and other Services that Fire Protection Districts provide. The ability to control, forecast, and plan for purchases of essential equipment and manpower needs is improved through the Fire Protection District model.

Board of Directors

Tim Flora

Chairman, Board of Directors

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Tim B. Flora, Director has over 30 years of public safety experience. Director Flora served as a Volunteer Firefighter with the Ballwin Fire Protection District (now Metro West) for three years. Director Flora has worked in federal law enforcement, as an investigator with the Greater St. Louis Major Case Squad, and as an investigator and supervisor with local law enforcement. Director Flora holds a Master of Arts degree in Legal Studies from Webster University, a Bachelor of Science degree in Management, and a two year certificate in Criminal Justice.  Director Flora is a graduate of the Academy of Polygraph Science, and is a certified / licensed Polygraph Examiner. Also Director Flora has received training from such entities as the Greater St. Louis Police Academy, Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, U.S. Secret Service, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.
 
Director Flora also currently services on the Board of Directors of the Greater St. Louis Major Case Squad and the Central County Emergency 911 Dispatch Center.
Director Flora is a past recipient of the law enforcement Medal of Valor, and Director Flora has received numerous distinguished awards and commendations during his extensive service in public safety.
 
Director Flora is President of a St. Louis based private investigative and security agency.

Ralph Starck

Vice Chairman, Treasurer

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Ralph Starck is the Treasurer of the Board of Directors for the Metro West Fire Protection District.  He is the brother of former Assistant Chief of the Fire District Leroy Starck.

Ralph is a life-long resident of West County having lived in the Ballwin Ellisville area all of his life. Ralph was a Master Carpenter and Millwright and was assigned to work on many major projects throughout the St. Louis area. Mr. Starck has worked on power plants and dams and even Busch Stadium. Ralph was President of the Carpenters Local 185 for 28 years.

Ralph Starck was in the Army and Army Reserve and attained the rank of Supply Sergeant for the 21st General Hospital Unit. 

Ralph has kept involved over the years with the local community. He was a volunteer with the old Community Volunteer Fire District, the Ballwin Volunteer Fire District, and the Ballwin Fire Protection District, which was incorporated in 1957. Mr. Starck maintains his community service by being a member of the Ballwin Historical Commission, the Old Trails Historical Society, and the Wildwood Historical Society. Ralph presently lives in Wildwood with his wife Karen.  He has three grown children who live within the fire district

Mark Maciniski

Secretaray, Director

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Director Mark Macinski has served on the Board for two years. Employed as  the Director of Operations /Security and Safety for a firm located in St.Louis he has an extensive background in construction project and facility management.As part of this position he worked extensively on the recently completed Museum expansion, facility upgrade and outdoor improvement projects. Prior public service includes a career in law enforcement with the St. Louis County Police, Chesterfield Police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation as a Special Agent and member of the tactical team. As a volunteer with Missouri Task Force One, a FEMA Urban Search and Rescue asset, he served as Safety Officer for four years.

Director Macinski  has a B A in Business from Maryville University and an M A in Business and Organizational Security Management from Webster University .He  has completed additional graduate studies through  Central Missouri State University (Occupational Safety and Health) and  at Saint Louis University (Urban Planning and Design)

He is a graduate of the Greater St. Louis Police Academy and the FBI Academy in Quantico, Va.

Director Macinski is a long time District resident.

Command Staff

G. Michael Krause III

Chief of Fire & EMS Services

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Chief Mike Krause is a fourth generation firefighter who began his career with the Ballwin Fire Protection District in 1990 as a reserve firefighter. He was hired as a career Firefighter / Paramedic in 1993, Mike has since served the district in many capacities. He was promoted to Engineer in 1997, Lieutenant in 2001, Captain in 2005, Battalion Chief in 2009. In 2011, Mike was promoted to the rank of Deputy Chief of Operations & Chief of Training and in April of 2015 he was promoted to lead the organization as Chief of Fire & EMS Services.

Chief Krause has a Bachelors of Science in Business Administration from Lindenwood University. In addition, he holds numerous fire, rescue, and EMS certifications and has been awarded many citations during his career.  His primary organizational goal is to continue to identify and develop the abundance of talent within the ranks of Metro West, ensuring a continuum of excellence in service.

Throughout his career, he has always placed a premium on training and has been instrumental in the development and delivery of the district’s comprehensive, in-house fire training program. In his role of Deputy Chief of Operations & Chief of Training he was responsible for administration of the fire suppression, rescue, HAZMAT, and training of all staff with regards to services delivered. These critical assignments ensured that all expectations were met, projects are accomplished in a timely manner & within budget parameters which prepared him for the position of Chief of Fire & EMS Services.

Born and raised in the Ballwin area, Chief Krause resides in Wildwood with his wife and three children.

John D. Bradley

Assistant Chief Fire & EMS Services

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Assistant Chief John Bradley began his fire service career with Metro West Fire Protection District in 1992 as a volunteer firefighter. In 1998, Chief Bradley was hired as a Firefighter / Paramedic. He quickly rose through the ranks from Lieutenant and then in 2009, he was promoted to Captain and Battalion Training Officer for “A” shift.  In July of 2012 he was promoted to the rank of Battalion Chief & Shift Commander for "C Shift".  Then in February of 2013, he was promoted the rank of Deputy Chief, Chief Medical & Human Resources Officer. In April of 2015 he was promoted to the rank of Assistant Chief of Fire & EMS services.

 He serves as a member of the elite Missouri Task Force 1 sponsored by the Boone County Fire Protection District in Columbia, Missouri. Within the specialty federal team, Chief Bradley utilizes his skills as a Safety Officer. He has been on multiple federal deployments including hurricane relief in multiple states.

Chief Bradley is a graduate of the FEMA / Emergency Management Institutes Advanced Public Information Officer program and several National Fire Academy classes, both located on the National Emergency Training Center in Emmitsburg, Maryland. He is an Instructor for the State of Missouri’s Public Information Officer training. In 2016 he started his studies in the elite “Executive Fire Officer” four year training program at the National Fire Academy.

His strengths and skills are supported by a solid higher education that benefits the community he serves. He holds a Master of Science in Human Resource Management, a Bachelors Degree in Fire Science Management from Lindenwood University, and an Associates Degree from St. Louis Community College in Fire Science. He is an avid endurance athlete completing several marathons and Ironman competitions.

Chief Bradley is married, has three children and resides in Wildwood.

Brad Shelton

Deputy Chief Chief Medical Officer

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Deputy Chief Brad Shelton began his fire service career with Metro West Fire Protection District in 1997 as a volunteer firefighter. His first career position was working as a Firefighter/Paramedic for the Maplewood Fire Department where he served for two years. In 2000, Chief Shelton was hired as a Firefighter / Paramedic. He quickly rose through the ranks as Lieutenant in 2007 and then in 2009, he was promoted to Captain. In April of 2015 he was promoted to the rank of Battalion Chief, Chief Medical Officer and in 2017 he was elevated to one of three Deputy Chief’s for Metro West.

Chief Shelton was instrumental in shaping and developing the public education, public relations, & injury prevention programs. His background in elementary education uniquely prepared him for community risk reduction program leadership. In addition, he served over 10 years as Shop Steward of the Metro West Firefighters Union shaping positive relations with management and labor.

Chief Shelton is a graduate of Murray State University and holds a Bachelors degree in Elementary Education. He has an Associates degree in Fire Science, is a nationally certified “Incident Safety Officer” and “Health Safety Officer”. He has many certifications and many advanced levels of training and education in Emergency Medicine and pre-hospital emergency medical treatment. He serves Metro West as the Chief Medical Officer responsible for all aspects of our pre-hospital advanced life support service. He is a trained Safety Officer and is the chairman of the Firefighter Health and Wellness Committee for Metro West.

Deputy Chief Shelton is married, has three children and resides in Wildwood.

Edward M. Beirne

Deputy Chief, Operations & Training

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Deputy Chief Edward Beirne began his fire service career in 1980 as a volunteer for the St. Charles County Fire District. In 1982 he was hired by Normandy Fire District and served as a firefighter and paramedic until 1988. In 1988, he was hired with Metro West as a firefighter paramedic. He climbed through the ranks progressed to Captain in 1998. In addition to his rank of Captain he was also tasked with the role of Battalion Training Officer and the Rescue Squad Captain for “A” Shift. In 2003, he was promoted to the rank of Battalion Chief / Shift Commander.

Following 9/11, Metro West took aggressive steps to ensure that the public served was properly prepared for natural and human created disasters. The district appointed Chief Beirne as the Director of Emergency Management services to oversee this critical task. Under his leadership the district developed a plan that addressed the districts “Continuity of Operations” for business and operational services as well as a “Disaster Response Plan” to address gaps and expectations from our local, county, state and federal government partners.

In 2007, he led the districts first Special Operations Division. Carrying forward his expertise in project management his tasks in this role included the management of the process for International Accreditation. This process (3.5 years for candidate agency review) examined ALL areas that Metro West is responsible for from governance to service delivery. In, 2012 Metro West became one of only a few hundred organizations worldwide to achieve and maintain this prestigious accreditation.

Throughout Chief Beirne’s career he has been awarded three Phoenix Awards for life saving actions performed. He is a member of the UASI Heavy Rescue St. Louis County Strike Team 3 and the S.O.A.R. Helicopter Rescue Team. He earned his Bachelors Degree in Fire Service Management from the University of Cincinnati and his Masters Degree in Executive Fire Service Leadership from Grand Canyon University.  He is a graduate of the Department of Homeland Security/United States Fire Administration's Executive Fire Officer Program.

Deputy Chief Beirne lives in Ellisville with his wife and three children.

J. Rodney Cook

Deputy Chief, Fire Marshal Division of Community Risk Reduction

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Deputy Chief Cook began his career with the Ballwin Fire Protection District in 1984.  He was hired in 1987 as a Firefighter / Paramedic and served in this position until being promoted to the position of Engineer in 1991.  In 1996, Rod was promoted to Captain on "B" Shift at Station 3. In 2007 he was promoted to the position of Battalion Chief / Shift Commander. In 2016 he was promoted to the position of Battalion Chief, Fire Marshal then in 2017 his rank was elevated to Deputy Chief, Fire Marshal.

Chief Cook has earned many awards during his service with Metro West, including Reserve Firefighter of the year in 1987, Firefighter of the Year in 1995, Outstanding Young Firefighter by the West County Jaycee's in 1997, four Lifesaving Phoenix Awards, three unit citations and the Medal of Valor.  Rod has earned two Associates Degrees one in Fire Science and his second in Paramedic Technology.  He holds a Bachelors of Science in Business Management.

As the leader of the Division of Community Risk Reduction he is responsible for codes, ordnances, inspections, investigations, public education, public relations, and any community orientated efforts. These programs are a large part of our mission. The strategic goals are to connect with our community and educate them on preventable emergencies that can cause injury.

Chief Cook is also responsible for the management of the Information Technology systems of the fire district. Technology is used constantly at Metro West. From lifesaving information being transmitted to doctors & hospitals, to critical information related to preplans of every business in Metro West the networks that manage that data are essential. He has been at the forefront of this process his entire career and serves as a leader for many in this forever evolving process.

He currently lives in Wildwood with his son.

Joseph Haefer

Battalion Chief, Shift Commander – “A” Shift

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Battalion Chief Joe Haefer began his fire service career with the Shrewsbury Fire Department where he served for three years as a Firefighter/Paramedic. In 1999, he started with Metro West Fire Protection District as a volunteer Firefighter/Paramedics then, in 2000 he was hired as a career Firefighter/Paramedic. He was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant in 2009 and then to the rank of Captain in 2013. He was then promoted to the position of Battalion Training Officer in January 2016 for "A" Shift. His most recent promotion was in May of 2016 to the rank of Battalion Chief.

Chief Haefer is currently completing his undergraduate degree at Lindenwood University in Business Administration. He has an Associate in Applied Science for Fire Protection and Paramedic Technology. Throughout his career he has attended multiple leadership trainings through the National Fire Academy and FEMA. He is a certified Fire Officer, Fire Instructor, Fire Inspector, and Fire Investigator through the state of Missouri Division of Fire Safety.

He is a member of the St. Louis Area U.A.S.I. (Urban Area Security Initiative) and is a technician in structural collapse, rope rescue, trench rescue, confined space, and swift water rescue. Chief Haefer is a proud recipient of the "Chief's Commendation" in 2013. He is very proud of the Metro West Honor Guard that he has served on and led until his most recent promotion to Battalion Chief.

Chief Haefer and his wife Linda reside in Wildwood with their four children

Travis Bauer

Battalion Chief,Shift Commander – “B” Shift

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Battalion Chief Travis Bauer started with the Metro West Fire Protection District in 1994 as a volunteer Firefighter. In 1999, Chief Bauer started as a career Firefighter/Paramedic with Metro West. In 2011, he was promoted to Engineer/Paramedic, then, in to the position of Lieutenant in 2011. In 2015, he was promoted to Captain then in May of 2016 he was promoted to the rank of Battalion Chief, Shift Commander of “B” Shift.

Chief Bauer has received two Unit Citation awards presented by The Greater St. Louis Area Fire Chief’s Association. He was also selected by the Knights of Columbus as Firefighter of the Year in 2015. Chief Bauer presently has six Lifesaving Phoenix Awards which means he has participated in over 18 clinical saves in his career.

He has earned and Associates Degree in Fire Science from Columbia Southern University and currently completing a Bachelors Degree in Fire Administration.

Born and raised in the Ballwin area, Chief Bauer resides in Wildwood with his wife and four children.

Michael S. Digman

Battalion Chief, Shift Commander – “C” Shift

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Battalion Chief Mike Digman serves Metro West as the “C” Battalion Chief / Shift Commander. Mike has been serving the Metro West Fire District since 1997, and during his time with Metro West has been a fervent proponent of professional training and development in the Fire Service.

Mike earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Fire Science and a Masters’ Degree in Human Resource Management from Lindenwood University.

  Chief Digman serves the St. Louis County Special Operations Team, USAR group as an Operations Section Chief. Chief Digman is a 10 year member of FEMA’s Urban Search and Rescue Missouri Task Force 1. Mike has been deployed to several hurricane disasters, Colorado flooding, the Republican National Convention, and the Joplin, MO tornadoes since joining the team in 2008.

  Mike is the CPSE International Accreditation Standard of Response Coverage (SOC) manager for Metro West. The SOC is an active data process that analyzes the District response performance, community risk/hazard assessment, and critical tasking to continually improve service delivery of Metro West to the community we serve.

Chief Digman serves on a National advisory committee for research and development of firefighting personal protective equipment. Mike also works as a member of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 1710 Standard, developing the on the national standard for resource deployment and response guidelines.

 Mike and his wife Amy make their home in Wildwood with their two daughters

Administration

G. Michael Krause III

Chief of Fire & EMS Services

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John D. Bradley

Assistant Chief of Fire & EMS Services

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Edward M. Beirne

Deputy Chief Operations & Training

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J. Rodney Cook

Deputy Chief, Fire Marshal Division of Community Risk Reduction

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Brad Shelton

Deputy Chief Chief Medical Officer

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Michael D. Thiemann

Coordinator of Emergency Management, PIO

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Mike Speakes

Fleet Manager

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Cindy Boydston

Administrative Assistant

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Rob Peterson, CPA

Direct Accountant

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Kathy Paluzzi

Administrative Assistant

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Jason Dewert

District Mechanic

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Inspectors & Investigators

J. Rodney Cook

Deputy Chief, Fire Marshal

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Bill Starck

Inspector/Investigator

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Christopher D. Thiemann

Inspector/Investigator

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Patrick McDermott

Captain/Inspector

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Greg Shelton

Lieutenant/Inspector

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Todd Godefroid

Firefighter/Inspector

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Paul Holtmeyer

Engineer/Inspector

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METRO WEST IN THE COMMUNITY