It's business and fun for state firefighters
Hundreds gather at Eastern Mich. Fairgrounds for MSFA conference
June 27, 2007IMLAY CITY — It was a hot time at the Eastern Michigan Fairgrounds this week for about 300 firefighters and their spouses.
With cloudless skies and temperatures rising to the mid- to upper-80s, the group convened June 21-24 for the 132nd Annual Michigan State Firemen's Association Conference and Tournament Games.
Whether it was a day of golf at Holly Meadows Golf Course, feasting at area restaurants, camping on the grounds or convening for a host of workshops and meetings, the MSFA members made the most of the chance to get together and celebrate their shared brotherhood.
|Jim Dowe and Teri Edick of Saginaw Township cavort with twins Trent and Tristen, along with ‘Spotz,’ the Berlin Township Fire Department’s remote control fire safety dog. photo by Tom Wearing.|
Besides hosting meetings devoted to emergency protocol, firefighter response and Homeland Security matters, the participants still had plenty of time to let their hair down.
On Saturday, the various departments beat the heat with competitive events such as water ball, truck pulls and bucket brigades. For the kids (and the kids at heart), there were games and puppet shows, while "Spotz," Berlin Township's remote-control fire dog, offered an occasional cool spray for the visitors.
Later, firefighters and wives convened for a catered dinner dance, followed Sunday by a memorial service and the installation of new MSFA officers.
Current MSFA president, John White of the Almont Fire Department, was re-elected to serve through 2007-08. Others elected to MSFA posts were: William Pearsall (Southwest Emergency Service in Laingsburg) first vice president; Brad Harris (Sandusky F.D.) second vice president; Ronnie Emerson (SES-Laingsburg) third vice president; and directors Daniel Zarodkiewicz (Kinde F.D.) Blaine Howell Sr. (Columbiaville F.D.) and Daniel Pearsall (Corunna-Caledonia F.D.).
White offered accoldades to his fellow firefighters from across Lapeer County for their assistance, offering particular praise to Imlay City Fire Chief Kip Reaves and firefighters from Imlay City who hosted the event. He also credited Mike Burke and George Scrimger of the Elba Fire Department for their support.
"All of the Lapeer County departments made this happen," said White. "I give them all the credit. They were all fantastic and they did all the work. They bent over backwards to accommodate my needs and requests."
White said some in the crowd suggested that Imlay City be the site of next year's MSFA conference. He hedged on that possibility.
"It's a lot of work, it might be best to go somewhere else next year," said White. "I can't say enough about how much work and effort was put into this event. I want to thank them all."