Scores of volunteer firefighters and guests are expected to attend the 98th annual convention of the Volunteer Firemen’s Association of Cambria County & Vicinity, being hosted by Adams Township Volunteer Fire Company No. 2, St. Michael.
Fire companies from Cambria and neighboring counties are planning to attend the festivities from July 27 through Aug. 3.
“It’s a great privilege to host this for the county association,” said fire Chief Paul Kundrod. “Our fire department is very active throughout the county with training and fire schools and we have several members on committee, so it’s definitely an honor for us. This will be our fifth convention that we’re hosting.”
Throughout the week, there will be an array of activities for firefighters and guests who attend. Many of the events will take place in the fire company’s fire hall or at Berwind Wayside Festival Park along Route 869 across from the fire hall.
“It’s centered around camaraderie and a brotherhood of firefighters getting together, and it’s a week to renew your acquaintances with guys you haven’t seen since last convention or from fire school,” Kundrod said. “It’s good to get together surrounded by some friendly competition.”
Highlights include the battle of the barrel, bucket brigade and pumping contests and the firefighters’ proficiency contest, in which participants will go through four different mazes to test their skills and abilities. Kundrod said the grand firemen’s parade, which is scheduled for 5 p.m. Aug. 3, always is a crowd-pleaser.
“Everyone brings and shows off their equipment, and they’re proud of that,” he said. “That’s a great showing.”
The delegates’ meeting will be held Aug. 2, when county officers will be elected during part of the business sessions.
“We hold a memorial service to honor those who have passed since the last convention,” Kundrod said. “We have a delegates’ meal that’s held at the fire station, and in the evening we go back to some competition.”
Additional activities include softball and cornhole tournaments, a golf tournament at Sunnehanna Country Club and a bowling competition at Richland Lanes. Throughout the convention, there will be musical entertainment, food and refreshments in the park.
“We really have a good week of fun,” Kundrod said.
He said organizers’ hope is that the convention will generate some interest in becoming a firefighter among its attendees.
“We’re losing members throughout the firefighting ranks, so we’d like to gain the interest of people who are on the sidelines who might like to join and become a volunteer, not only at Adams Township, but throughout Cambria County,” Kundrod said.
All activities are free and open to the public. For a complete schedule of events, visit www.cambriavolfireassn.com.