This was the first year that the SC Fire Chief's Conf. was held in conjunction with the firefighter's conference. This seems to be a great move as more vendors and educators were able to network with fire service leaders and firefighters all in one venue. This year brought many great speakers, such as Rick Lasky, John Salka, and keynote speaker Bobby Richardson, and beneficial hands-on courses available to everyone. Once again, the convention center was packed with fire equipment, apparatus and vendors showing off the latest and greatest in the fire industry. Our very own Chief Alan Sims relinquished his presidency to Butch Womack of Easley. Chief Sims had an outstanding year and was able to be "inside the ropes" on many important fire service issues. The Belton Fire Dept. also took home the 2012 Richard Campbell Award that recognizes fire departments that place a strong emphasis on fire prevention. On the firefighters side Chief Ken Kerber gave way to another local fire official, Billy Gibson. Gibson is the Fire Chief of the Anderson County Fire Department. Our upstate contingency has and is currently being well represented. BFD Lieutenant Luke Riddle was asked to be a presenter during the educational portion of the conference and delivered a program entitled "Recruitment & Retention of Millennial Generation Firefighters." Luke was able to make some good contacts and locate a piece of equipment he had been looking for! Belton and Friendship firefighters joined forces to compete in the Firefighter Combat Challenge. While no trophies were won, a personal goal was achieved and the guys had a great time. Hope to be more competitive next year. It was a great week and we appreciate all the behind the scenes work that was done in organizing this massive event. Those individuals spent countless hours preparing, setting up and making sure our vendor and presenters are taken care of. It was a great week and all involved should be proud to be a part of the fire service in South Carolina.
|Womack, Richardson, Sims|
|Friendship & Belton Combat Challenge Team|
(L to R: Maness, Epps, Riddle, Brooks, not pictured Mattison)
|Lt. Riddle conducting training class at SCFR12|