By MELINDA WILLIAMS
Dublin Fire Department recently hosted the 66th annual Southwest Virginia Firefighters Association convention.
Jeff Saunders, who was 2011-12 president of the association and is a captain with Dublin’s department, said the convention was hosted in Roanoke because “it has gotten so big it’s hard to bring it to our department and have enough motel rooms” to accommodate everyone. “We had right at 350 people registered.”
The four-day convention consisted of a variety of activities, vendors and the presentation of $300 scholarship awards to Bethany Anderson of Dublin and Erica Rakes of Elliston.
The convention kicked off with a golf tournament Thursday. On Friday, firefighters took part in training exercises and attended a business meeting. That night, there was a memorial service to honor the 12 Southwest Virginia firefighters who have passed away since last year’s event.
Dublin firefighters Doug Irvin Jr. and Curtis Whitt were in charge of the memorial service.
“We had a lot of praise on that; it was probably one of the best memorials services we’ve had,” said Saunders.
In addition to a continuation of business meetings, Saturday’s activities included three to four hours of competitions between departments and installation of the Association’s new officers at an evening banquet.
Saunders said Joe Rakes of Elliston Fire Department is the new president of the Association for 2012-13.
The convention concluded Sunday following breakfast and a morning church service with Kenny Hancock of Draper.
“Everyone we talked to said we did an excellent job” on the convention, Saunders added.