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The Homepage of Hilbille
We shall not forget those which gave their lives for others. Nor shall we forget those which were taken from us without a choice.

updated 07/29/14

Everyone needs a little fun in their life!
Hillbilly (hil'bil'e), n., pl,-ies, informal. -n. a person who lives in the backwoods of a mountain region, expecially in the South.

Welcome to the Ozarks!! Or at least the 'Backdoor to the Ozarks'. The Back Door you may ask? Yep! Dad always told me, "Your good friends always come to the back door."

If you enter Missouri at St. Louis, you see the Arch, the "Gateway to the West". If you enter Missouri from the Southwest out to Oklahoma, Indian Territory, on U.S 60 Highway which heads east from Afton, Ok., off Interstate 44 (also known as the first exit to Branson, Mo.). You enter Missouri near the small town of Seneca. Now 15 miles east of there you run into Neosho the Country Seat of Newton County. We have no Arch, but we do have a Wal-Mart and a Couple of Arches. Neosho, also known as the 'Flower Box City', has a population of about 10,000 and is the largest town in the county. From Neosho, you can travel east on U.S. 60 or turn south on U.S. 71 and end up in the Ozarks. We are just at the edge of the Ozark Mountains on the northwest corner. Basically, the Ozarks are everything south of Interstate 44, from St. Louis to Joplin. There is a little bit of the Ozarks on the north side of I-44, in an area known as Lake of the Ozarks, but the largest part is south. See what the weather is doing and what's going on in the area and what's going on in the backyard.

Welcome to Neosho, the backdoor to the Ozarks.

HILBILLE?? Yep.. even if it isn't spelled right..born and raised in the same town. My oldest use to call it a boring town. She now has her MRS Degree, she and her husband and new grandchild, now live in Small Town Missouri after living in Tulsa, Oklamoma. Neosho isn't such a bad little town to live in after all. I want to THANK HER for getting this page started, now if I can just keep it up.. My youngest, who's the ,Tom Boy, doesn't say much about the area, although she does like Colorado, Florida, South Dakota, and a bunch of other states. And Mrs. H, is happy where we are. Or at least, for over 42 years, she hasn't told me we need to move to some other place. Although, she has told me where to go a couple of times....mainly out of the house.... ;-). Married to the same lady for over 42 years, that's a record by today’s standards. Even with me going into my second childhood. She loved working with kids even though she has retired, and she will tell you that I'm the biggest.

This Hilbille is a FIREFIGHTER and will ALWAYS BE ONE. I got started into firefighting at the old age of 15 by working for the Missouri Department of Conservation after school and on weekends for .90 per hour. I have to credit my big brother Kenneth (Tim, as some of you may know him) for getting me interested in Conservation. When I was 7, he went out west after graduating high school and worked in the big woods of Oregon . When he came home and told all the tales, I was hooked. I had to go out west and work one of the fires. I have to say one thing about my older brother, he had done a lot more than I will ever do and he went through a lot more than I could ever stand to..(LOVE Ya and MISS Ya BIG BROTHER)..
After I graduated high school, I went to the University of Missouri, majoring in Forestry. I couldn't handle the way of life at the University, so I came home. I attended our local Jr. College and went back to work for the Conservation Commission as a secondary (seasonal) towerman, still hoping to get my chance at a western fire. All dreams must end and reality set in, I got married to my high school sweetheart.

Now I had to get a real job. I started to work in a local factory, which lasted for 6 month, I needed the out-of-doors. I found a job with the Neosho Fire Department. Been there and done that for over 37 years. There are a few things that I would do different, but not many. I now carry the title of RETIRED CHIEF. I still get to carry the title of 'Chief', however, it is now the Chief of Operations for our county Emergency Management Agency. (Had to go back to work, since wife retired) The City of Neosho and the Neosho Area Fire Protection District is basically one department serving two areas. The response area is only about 92 square miles with populations of 10,000 City and about 7-8,000 in the District. Now I get to cover the entire county.

Never give up on your dreams...
It took me 35 years, but I did it!! In 1994, at the age of 43 years, I made my first western fire. I landed in Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness, near Challis, Idaho, and then onto the McCall Fire, which ended at over a 100,000 acres. It was a true learning experience. I thought I would die from: the heat, dust, long hours, long walks, and the altitude. Was it worth the wait? You bet!! Would I do it again? Done it again!! In 1996, the crew landed in California, on the Ackerson Complex. We actually got to blow the 'IT' out of Yosemite. We laid out 9000 feet of explosives and blew in a fire line anyone would have been proud of. But, they never used it. We even found gold in one of the folding tanks, which we were using to pump water out of. The views were great once we got out of the smoke and dust. Don't think I would like to go back to California to fight fire, but if I have to, they won't have to twist my arm to hard, Now Alaska would be real nice....:-)


As I said, "The People down there were great!!" It has been sometime since I have up dated this page and over the years since it was started I have had the fun of visiting several other states and areas of this great county on the Federal Dime. Each time I have been called out for fire-line duty, I get to meet a great group of individuals and some not so great. Anyone who has gone out on an assignment, know what I mean. Each and Every one of these trips have something special to remember. From an assignment of nothing more than sitting at a helibase with one helo (look for K-Max Pilot, really I'm just a 'Want-a-Be') to the shuttle recovery in Texas , each are memorable.

In 2000, I start on another childhood adventure and try some'n different. That childhood requires that I wear a new type of head protection, as if I really need it! And Yep..I've already got to use it several times. One favorite was in Idaho and several other locations throughout the west, including Yellowstone National Park. Since Missouri dosen't use this type of equipment, I have to go elsewhere, NOW ain't that Terrible. Since 2001, I've been to Wyoming, Colorado, Oregon, twice to Washington, New Mexico, Utah, Idaho twice, and a once in a lifetime trip (I hope) to Texas on the Columbia Recovery mission to the list. It has been interesting working as a Helicopter Crew Member (HECM) for the past few years and getting to meet new people, make new friends, getting to see some of these individuals in different places, and being able to see wildfire from another angle. Hang tight!! Maybe one of these days, I'll get the chance to go play and have a chance to work a new tail.

Our computer service has started this page, just wish I had that much time to kill and could get paid to do it.
Now the Official Neosho Fire Homepage.

On November 7th, 2005, Tim Hardy, one of my Engineers was killed in the Line of Duty. Tim was 1 of my 35 outstanding individuals within the department and will be missed by everyone.

On May 5th, 2006, our department lost another very dear friend. My Administrative Assistant Karyn passed suddenly away at the age of 42. She had been with the department for more than 10 years. Her loss left yet another void within the department.

Good Friends are Hard to Find, Harder to Loose, and IMPOSSIBLE to Forget.

Every now and then there is a Good Day, in what we do. We just do what we're trained to do and say it's just part of the job and others have to remind, us otherwise.

The following are some more of the places where I go get away from the real world. So enjoy!! U'ns come back and visit every now and again, cause I'm think'n that this page will be changing..and more pages are in the works...and if you wood drop down to the bottom of this hear page an sign my guest book, I'd appreciate it..

One of my Hobby's, WORK'N on OLD and CUSTOM Cars. WOOoops, didn't mean to use that DURTY 4 LETTER WORD.."WORK!!!!", more like PLAY'N....
Wish I had a Mercury!
Lord..I Wish I had a Mercury!

But I settle for a pickup truck!

A Ford would be nice.
inside Ford

Or a Chevy would be nice too.
Same Chevy different angle
Same Chevy another angle

But any Old Chevy would do

A True Classic
55 T-Bird inside


Smoke'n Up Front

A wood'n Bucket?

Here's Stolen

One Old Classic

It's not Thin Ice. It's Bad!
Inside of Bad Ice!

Want a Twist?

Another thing I enjoy doing..
..being a fire fighter. ]:-)

No Greater Award or Prize can be given than to see you page in a National Publication known as Wildland Firefighter now
FireRescue Magazine
Thank You Wildland Firefighter!!!

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  • Firefighter News Related Information

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    Click headline for top content from Firehouse.Com
    The Web's Community & Resource
    for Fire, Rescue, EMS & Safety

    I've got to add a few of interesting spots to visit...
    And the Fire Side of the Super Highway of Information grows even more.
    Would you like to
    Help your Fire Department
    If you think you would like to play in some fire and not get burnt. Give this one a shot.
    Living With Fire

  • Look'n to spend more than a while in the Area?

  • Red Carpet Real Estate

    "A penny saved is a penny earned." Hilbille's got very little change and No CENTS. But if you got some..
    Great Southern Banking, Neosho
    Neosho Community Bank and Trust
    Neosho Arvest Bank

  • Fire Fighting and Related Stuff

  • IAFF
    Women in the Fire Service
    Here's three placed that have been recomended by a Fellow Fire Fighter in Idaho give'm a look see. Thanks Dennis..
    Boise Fire Deparment and Firefighters Challenge

    Every now and then we all could use a helping hand and here's a place to find one. The Alliance of Southwest Missouri

  • Fire Pump and Equipment Information

  • Waterous Pump I sometimes feel like the Maytag Repairman.
    W.S.Darley Pump Trained here also.
    Hale PumpNot factory trained, but they still build a good product
    Wehr EngineeringFor a product that will really help you get through it!
    Leo's Gold Lion ProductsLet'rin Somethin?

  • Fire Training

  • Good place for educational programs dealing with Prevention and Public Education.
    Every good fire fighters gott'a learn somewhere.
    National Fire Acad.
    Oklahoma State
    University of Missouri Fire Training
    Swede Survival Systems
    Missouri StateFire Safety
    National Wildfire Suppression Associaton
    Wildland Fire Specialists
    Deer Valley Press, Wildland Fire Training Materials
    Global Fire Net
    Wildfire Training in Canada

  • Wild Landers Area. (Look'n to do some major changes here, so Bear with me..)

  • Wildfire Clips Another way I waste my time.
    National Interagency Fire Center Where we at in todays wildfires
    NIFC News on fires
    Fire & Aviation Management
    Wildland Firefighters Web Page Check out 'They Said' The way REAL Wildland Firefighters Talk..expect the unexpected.. I've been known to be seen in chat once in awhile.
    Southwest Area's Wildland Fire Operations
    Wildland Fire Analysis System
    "AVIALESOOKHRANA" National Forest Center of Russia

    U.S. ForestService
    Smokey's page The bear that started it all.
    National Wildland Fire
    Mitten Mountain Outfitters Radio packs and equipment holders
    National Fire Fighter Corp. Fire Art, Books, tapes, and neat stuff
    Some Hillbillies don't wear Boots. But this one does every once in a while and when I have to..
    Fire Cache Equipment and Sale Items
    Mallory Co.
    Aviation Safety

  • Around Home in the Ozarks

  • LITERALLY--Under my backdoor!

    Neosho Police Department or aka: Our Cop Shop

    Neosho National Fish Hatchery Oldest National Fish Hatchery in operation.
    George Washington Carver National Park
    Precious Moments
    Neosho Chamber Members
    Thanks Ya

    Since sometime in March of '98', You are Number