Blazing the Trail

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Lianne Stone

State Fire Inspector, Division of Fire Safety

Where Are They Now?

Lianne Stone followed her heart when it came to her love for firefighting and today, she holds a special position in the state's Division of Fire Safety.

A 2005 graduate of Ozarks Technical Community College's Fire Science program, Lianne is the only woman and the youngest person to hold the statewide position of fire inspector.

The 29-year-old is responsible for inspecting all licensed care centers including day cares, long-term care facilities, foster-care homes, early childhood centers and mental health centers in a 14-county area that spans from the Kansas border in the west to Jefferson City in the east and south to Lebanon.

In addition to inspections, Lianne also conducts a large number of educational fire safety programs for children.

"I enjoy little kids. I like the public education part of my job. We do the first prevention stuff like 'Stop, Drop and Roll' or 'Get Low and Go.' I have a lot of fun with the kids," she said.

Lianne was a kid herself when she first felt the tug of becoming a firefighter. Her father, brother and brother-in-law are all firefighters. When Lianne was a teenager, her father signed her up for the junior firefighters program with the Mid-County Fire Department in Camdenton, where her father worked.

"Dad was in charge of the program and he said, 'You're coming along.' I would go with him on fire calls but never went into a fire," she said.

While taking classes at OTC, Lianne originally wanted to go into firefighting but then a class on fire inspection and investigation changed her plans.

"I was intrigued by the chemistry of how fire works. That was totally where my heart was. That's what I wanted to do," she said.

Shortly before graduating from OTC, she got a job with her hometown fire department as an inspector and stayed there until 2008 when she joined the state fire safety office.

Before the new OTC Lebanon Center opened, Lianne conducted an inspection of the buildings. While she didn't attend the OTC Lebanon Center, Lianne did find the experience a little odd.

"It was a little bit different to go back where you started and tell people there what to do," she said.

Still, she has fond memories of her time at OTC and what it did for her career.

"It opened my eyes that there was something different in that field that I could do. Preventing fires and putting in devices that will lower death rates changed me," she said. "Coming to Springfield took me out of my element. It was a real life experience."

"We do the first prevention stuff like, 'Stop, Drop and Roll' or 'Get Low and Go.' I have a lot of fun with the kids."

Blazing the Trail: Photos