Oregon Fire Corps Holds Second Annual Conference

By Oregon State Advocate Stella Hickey

On June 20, Fire Corps programs from all over Oregon traveled to Coos Bay, OR, for a two day training conference that was held in conjunction with the Oregon Volunteer Firefighters Association Training Conference. 

Fire Corps members gathered to learn valuable tools for communication, marketing their program, engaging youth volunteers, and using parliamentary procedure to more effectively run organizational meetings.  Classes were free to anyone who would benefit. Many departments sent firefighters over to check out the program and see what Fire Corps has to offer.

During the conference, Oregon State Advocate Stella Hickey presented the Oregon Fire Corps Program of the Year award to the Estacada Fire Corps in recognition of the level of involvement by their members, current projects, and team successes. The program logged over 2,300 hours of volunteer time from the 17 active members. They continue to make many improvements to their Fire Corps including upgrading the rehab vehicle, developing a cookbook of quick and (fairly) healthy meals, adding heating equipment to rehab, adding cooling equipment for food on rehab, increasing their training level to include COMT, and much more. In the last year they also formalized a Chaplaincy Program by assigning a chaplain to each of the 24/48 shifts, as well as committed to taking on the role of PIO for incidents. The program provides for both internal and external needs of the organization and their citizens.

In all there were 22 attendees from 13 departments represented at the conference. Speakers came from a number of different places. Trevor Montgomery came in from Texas to explain how his youth organization, “Teen Advocates for Community Safety,” was benefiting both his department and youth in the community; Candice McDonald, Fire Corps Advocate from Ohio, gave a presentation on how to effectively market a Fire Corps program to prospective volunteers and supporters; and Paul Jenkins from Yakima, WA, showed how humor can help spread the fire prevention message. The conference was a success and we all look forward to next year.

If you'd like more information about Oregon Fire Corps Conference, please contact Stella Hickey at 541-561-8554 or oradvocate@firecorps.org.