For Immediate Release
The West Virginia State Firemen’s Association met in Oglebay Park in Wheeling last week for their 82nd Annual Convention. Topics of discussion were the recent broad form liability issue (deliberate intent) and recruitment and retention of viable fire fighters throughout the State.
Other important topics of debate included pending worker’s compensation issues and the special committees appointed by Gov. Joe Manchin’s office to review compensable injuries, deliberate intent and risk management. The convention also discussed efforts being made toward scholarships awarded to volunteer firefighters attending trade, technical and college level courses related to the fire service, the junior fire fighter’s camp offered by the West Virginia University Fire Service Extension and safety seminar’s offered by the National Volunteer Fire Council. Volunteers from around the State representing a majority of Volunteer Fire Departments were delegates to the convention.
State Senator Kessler, a potential gubernatorial candidate, addressed the convention on Thursday and Friday. Several area House of Delegates members were also in attendance.
On Friday, Gov. Joe Manchin addressed the convention. Manchin and Senator Kessler both assured attendees that legislation would be in the works to obtain the immunity that VFD‘s are seeking.
The following firefighters were elected to officer positions within the association: Chief Jim Oldaker, Alum Creek Volunteer Fire epartment, elected as President of the West Virginia State Firemen’s Association; Brian Malcomb, Chief of the Springfield Volunteer Fire Department elected as 1st Vice President; Lee Goodwin an Officer in the Vienna Volunteer Fire Department elected as 2nd Vice President; Chief John Holstein, Danville Volunteer Fire Department, was chosen as 3rd Vice President; Harry Shockey an Officer at Morefield VFD elected as Executive Secretary; Assistant Chief Larry Goodwin of Vienna VFD, elected to Sgt. at Arms; Sandra McDonald from Charles Town elected as Financial Secretary; Tim Evans, Chief of Keyser VFD, elected as Assistant Secretary; Colleen Beauchesne, a Lifetime Fire Service Member, elected as Treasurer; Lou Richmond from Glen Dale elected as Historian; and David C. Harman elected as Parlimentarian.
The convention continued through Saturday where members discussed various issues pertaining to the fire service in West Virginia along with regular business meetings to discuss issues within the association. Holstein emphasized that the WVSFA encourages all fire fighters in the State to attend the convention and for all fire departments in the State to join the association.
Over the course of 2010, many legislative issues were addressed, several of these issues ended with positive steps taken by the legislature that directly affect every volunteer fire department in the State and several issues that affect all fire departments, paid and volunteer. The association actively lobbies the legislature during all sessions. The organization wishes to thank all sponsors and volunteers that made the 2010 convention a success and especially the Marshall County Fire Fighter’s Association for hosting the event.