MCFRS News Release

Thousands will Convene at 115th Annual Convention and Conference Maryland State Firemen's Association

Former Wheaton Volunteer Rescue Squad Chief to Lead Association

Thousands of fire and rescue personnel from across the State of Maryland, in addition to hundreds from Montgomery County will assemble in Ocean City, Maryland for the annual convention and conference of the Maryland State Firemen's Association (MSFA) and Ladies Auxiliary. Various members of the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service are expected to be recognized for outstanding service.

The 115th Annual Convention of the Maryland State Firemen's Association and Ladies Auxiliary will take place June 16 to June 22, 2007 at the Roland E. Powell Convention Center, in Ocean City, Maryland. The MSFA represents the State's fire and rescue departments. Montgomery County Fire Chief Tom Carr will be attending and participating.

Many education, training seminars and exhibits are scheduled to take place at the Convention Center. Several firefighters and personnel from Montgomery County assist with training, logistics and planning for the annual convention. There are numerous training and seminar opportunities available dealing with subjects such as recruitment and retention, health issues, terrorism, technology, emergency medical services, and more.

On Monday, June 18 Chief Gregory Cade, United State Fire Administrator Elect will deliver a keynote address. This will be Chief Cade's first major address since being confirmed by the Congress several weeks ago. Also on Monday, Dennis Rubin, Fire Chief, District of Columbia Fire/EMS Department will provide a special presentation on "Protecting America's Treasures-Fire at Washington's Georgetown Library and Eastern Market". On Tuesday, June 19, Chief Rick Kane, Eden Fire Company, Lancaster PA, and South Central Pennsylvania Regional Terrorism Task Force will talk about "The Nickel Mines Amish School Shooting - Overview of the Incident Management Team" and on Wednesday, June 20 Chief Charles Handley, Independent Hose Company #1, Frederick, Maryland will provide information on "Taney Village - A Multistory Senior Center Challenge". Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley is expected to attend during the opening ceremony on Monday, June 18, 2007.

Other social and business activities take place during the week long event. In addition to MSFA elections and other official business numerous awards will be presented for Firefighter of the Year, the Hunt EMS Award, Stathem Safety Award, Amoss Legislation Award, Zembower Training Award, Marbury-Gates Service Award, Colburn Cup Heroism Award, Gladhill-Thompson Award and Hall of Fame Inductions are made. Miss Fire Prevention is also selected during the convention. There will also be an Honor Guard demonstration on Sunday, June 17th featuring, among others, the Howard County and Montgomery County award winning Honor Guards. The annual "Firemen's Parade" will take place, rain or shine on Wednesday. The newly formed Montgomery County Firefighters Pipes and Drums will also be performing throughout the convention.

Past Wheaton Volunteer Rescue Squad Chief Paul Sterling, age 56, was elected as Second Vice President to the Maryland State Firemen's Association (MSFA) during the 113th Annual MSFA Convention and Conference that was held in Ocean City, Maryland in June, 2005. The past year he served as First Vice-President and in 2007 during this year's convention will be inaugurated as President.

Chief Sterling is a life-long Wheaton resident and has been a fixture in Montgomery County. He has nearly 40 years of fire and rescue service. He recently retired from the Montgomery County Department of Police after 34 years of service. He has been a member of the Wheaton Volunteer Rescue Squad for over 40 years and had served as Chief since 1979 until 2004 - 25 years. He has held several key positions while serving the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service, including four terms on the former Montgomery County Fire Board, served two terms on the Montgomery County Fire-Rescue Commission and is a Past President of the Montgomery County Volunteer Fire-Rescue Association and he has served on numerous MCFRS committees.

Chief Sterling is a Past President of the Maryland Fire Chief's Association. He has been active with the Maryland State Firemen's Association for about 30 years and has been on the MSFA Executive Committee for 16 years. He was the Chairman from 1999 - 2000, a position selected by the president of the association. He has received many awards and commendations in Montgomery County and the State of Maryland.

Many Montgomery County persons are involved with the MSFA and serve on various committees. Montgomery County Fire Chief Tom Carr, who along with Chief Sterling once served on the Montgomery Fire-Rescue Commission together says, "Many are called and few are chosen. The members of the MSFA have chosen Paul Sterling as an officer of their Association. He has represented the MSFA well. We expect a superb performance from him in the year ahead."