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The U.S. Exercise Tiger Foundation will present this wreath to the Boone County Fire Protection District in Columbia on Wednesday (July 9, 2024 photo courtesy of the U.S, Exercise Tiger Foundation)

(LISTEN): Two wreaths to be placed at Boone County Fire Protection District headquarters today

The U.S. Exercise Tiger Foundation will present this wreath to the Boone County Fire Protection District in Columbia on Wednesday (July 9, 2024 photo courtesy of the U.S, Exercise Tiger Foundation)

Boone County Fire Protection District assistant chief Gale Blomenkamp praises the outpouring of support during Tuesday’s procession of fallen district assistant fire chief Matt Tobben from Columbia to eastern Missouri’s Union. That’s more than 100 miles away.

Mr. Blomenkamp says every single I-70 overpass between Columbia and Warrenton had emergency service organizations recognizing Mr. Tobben. Many carried American flags. Mr. Blomenkamp tells 939 the Eagle’s “Wake Up Mid-Missouri” that the drowning appears to be a tragic accident, as Tobben and a Columbia firefighter saved two pedestrian civilians stuck in trees near Bear Creek:

“These people are trapped behind a trailer court, stuck in trees actually. And so we made it to them. They got those people (civilian pedestrians) out of the trees into the boat. They’re going to continue upstream to where one of those Columbia fire trucks is parked and off-load these people and make the successful rescue. Unfortunately, the motor on the boat quit. Something, we lost power on the boat. They immediately called a Mayday,” Mr. Blomenkamp says.

The U.S. Exercise Tiger Foundation will be placing two wreaths at Boone County Fire Protection District headquarters in Columbia this afternoon at 2 to honor Mr. Tobben. The U.S. Exercise Tiger Foundation praises assistant chief Matt Tobben.

Meantime, district assistant chief Blomenkamp tells listeners that the Missouri State Highway Patrol’s investigation began on Monday:

“They interviewed two of our members that were on-scene in command roles with the city of Columbia. And so they’re getting all of that background information. They’ll look at the boat, they’ll look into the motor of the boat. They’ll look at the records of all of that stuff to try to figure out exactly what happened,” Blomenkamp says.

Mr. Blomenkamp praises Tuesday’s big turnout along the procession route from Columbia to eastern Missouri’s Union for Mr. Tobben. Mr. Tobben served the Union fire department for 19 years, before starting the Columbia job in May. Mr. Blomenkamp tells 939 the Eagle that the procession turnout was unreal, saying every town had tons of people and first responders along the route.

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