The Conrad Volunteer Fire Department sent four members and their spouses to the 57th Montana State Volunteer Fire Fighter’s Convention.
This year’s convention was in Hamilton. The Convention’s theme was “Montana Fire Service – Motivating From Within” and was hosted by the Hamilton Volunteer Fire Department.
Chief Kevin Moritz, Keith Hruska, Joel Farkell, and retired fireman Carroll Klette attended the business meetings and trainings. The firemen attended a basic fire investigation class, toured the new Fire Service Training School Smoke Trailer, and met with various fire fighting equipment vendors to get updated on what’s new. Hruska and Farkell even went up in the basket of Hamilton’s 100 foot ladder truck for a spectacular view.
The main training session highlighted Montana’s major fire incidents.
Chief Lance Taylor of the Worden Fire Department gave a presentation on the Huntley School Fire. Chief Taylor went through step by step how his department and others handled the fire from the first call through mop up. The Chief provided numerous pictures of the entire life of the fire. He discussed what they did right and what they did wrong and fielded questions from the audience.
Chief Jason Shrauger of the Bozeman Fire Department gave a similar presentation on the natural gas explosion in downtown Bozeman.
Chief Shrauger provided both audio clips and pictures from the whole incident. He went over how their department worked with the police and sheriff department, ambulance personal, and the city water personal. Shrauger stated that when it was all said and done his department used 4.7 million gallons of water.
While the firemen were in meetings and trainings the spouses (Colleen Moritz, Helen Hruska, Kody Farkell, and Gayle Klette) had their own agenda.
Friday was filled with a shopping poker run around Hamilton and then a bus tour to Chief Victor Days in Victor for more shopping. Saturday consisted of an open shopping period in the morning and then “fun and games” in the afternoon.
The finale of the weekend was Saturday night with a parade of fire trucks through Hamilton to the Driscoll Park.
At the park, the firemen and families attended a nice picnic and watched the annual Water Games.
This year’s games included a bucket brigade, and keg shoot (two teams try to shoot a keg across a zip line with a 1-½” water line – like tug-of-war), and SCBA Dodge Ball (teams of fire fighters play dodge ball with their full gear on including air packs).
The Conrad Volunteer Fire Department sat this year’s games out but still had a lot of fun.