Most little kids dream at one point in their childhood of becoming a firefighter and driving around saving people in those big red (or yellow) fire trucks.
Young people in Carthage and the surrounding area will get a chance this weekend at Memorial Hall in Carthage to see firefighters from across the state compete in a variety of games and contests, and might get to see some firefighting equipment up close.
Firefighters from across the state will be gathering in Carthage this weekend for the 2013 Firefighters Association of Missouri convention.
Carthage Fire Chief Chris Thompson said the annual convention will bring hundreds of firefighters and their families for educational seminars, traditional team and individual firefighting competitions and an awards banquet, slated for Saturday.
Thompson said the public is invited Saturday to Carthage's Memorial Hall for the firefighter competitions, which will be held from about 8 a.m.-noon in the Memorial Hall parking lot.
Teams of firefighters and individuals will compete in such contests as hose coupling, bucket brigade and a big water fight.
“Friday night there will be a social gathering for all the incoming departments, then on Saturday we kick off with a competition at 8 a.m. at the Memorial Hall parking lot,” Thompson said. “It's open to the public at no cost to come to the competition side of it. Firefighters will compete for about four hours in various events. Some are traditional like bucket brigades, putting water on a little house. There will be team competitions and individual competitions. Those will take virtually all morning.”
Thompson said the convention will bring hundreds of people to Carthage and benefit the economy, with all those people staying in local hotels and eating and spending their money here.
He said Memorial Hall will host vendors on Saturday and the public can walk through and see the latest in firefighting gear and technology.
He said Cindy Dagnan, an author, speaker and the wife of Carthage Police Chief Greg Dagnan, will give the keynote address at the banquet, scheduled for Saturday.
The Association will present a number of awards at the banquet, which is for registered attendees and guests.