115th Firemen’s Convention Returns This Weekend

OCEAN CITY – The Maryland State Firemen’s Association, which represents 392 fire and rescue departments and related associations across the state, will hold its 115th Annual Convention and Conference in Ocean City starting this weekend and ending next Friday, June 22.

More than 30,000 volunteer firefighter/rescuers and emergency medical service workers and their families are expected to attend. Current President Bobby Balta, of the Ridge VFC in St. Mary’s County, will open the proceedings at 8:30 a.m. on Monday, June 18 at the Roland Powell Convention Center.

Throughout the convention and conference, attendees will be offered a variety of free seminars covering a myriad of subjects related to fire and rescue operations, which will help teach fire and rescue leaders new administrative and operational skills. Delegates from each member department will vote to elect new officers for the coming year and to approve changes to the by-laws of the organization. The various state agencies whose duties impact on the fire service, such as the State Fire Marshal’s Office and the Department of Natural Resources will make reports on their past year’s actions and future plans.

All attendees will have the opportunity to visit displays of the newest types of firefighting and EMS equipment, and to view some of the newest apparatus that has been purchased by the Maryland fire companies. Fire, Rescue and EMS members who passed away during 2006 will be honored at a memorial service on Sunday night, and service awards for fire prevention, emergency medical services, training and safety activities will be given out on Monday and Tuesday.

The convention will culminate on Wednesday with one of the largest fire department parades in the area through the center of Ocean City, featuring bands, marching units, majorettes and fire apparatus from Maryland and the surrounding states.

For more information, go to the MSFA website at www.msfa.org, or contact Convention Chairman Leonard King at 410-867-3658.