Planning for our 2021 MSFA Convention and Conference
The time has come to begin planning for our 2021 Convention and Conference. Hopefully, we will be able to, once again, travel to the beach and we must begin planning in anticipation of any possible COVID restrictions and what we would do if the restrictions are limited or reduced. Dates for the next six conventions have been set and they are:
2021, June 19 – 24
2022, June 18 – 23
2023, June 17 – 22
2024, June 15 – 20
2025, June 14 – 19
2026, June 20 – 25
The Maryland State Firemen’s Association (MSFA) Convention and Conference Committee has already been at work planning the many activities needed to support our annual event. This year, we intend to, again, use the MSFA Convention Website to promote all the weeklong activities and training programs to be offered at the beach. The website is live currently and please check it out to make sure you know what we are planning for June 2021 in Ocean City and Virtual Options should they be needed. Your prompt attention to these matters is vital to a successful annual Convention and Conference and there are specific deadlines for some activities.
Annual Dues Reminder – This will serve as a reminder that annual dues invoices have been sent to every member company as required by the MSFA By-Laws. Dues for member departments are $200.00 and associate members are $50.00. All checks should be made payable to the Maryland State Firemen’s Association and mailed to the Office of the Financial Secretary, P.O. Box 401, Jarrettsville, MD 21084. Email email@example.com if you have any questions. All dues must be paid by April 1, 2021.
Member Company Credentials – The MSFA has implemented an online credentialing and registration process via our website. We are requiring that all member companies utilize this application to register their delegates and alternates for the convention. Your company must be registered for the convention by May 1, 2021, in order to be eligible to vote. Please pay close attention to the statistical questions asked during the registration process. Accurate information is vital to the success of the Association. Each member company is entitled to five (5) delegates and five (5) alternates who represent your department at the business sessions. This registration form should be completed even if you do not intend to send delegates to the Convention and Conference.
Preliminary Convention Program – A draft program schedule is posted on the website and a final program will be released after the new year once special topic speakers have been confirmed. Please note the location for each event as changes may result from the Ocean City Convention Center construction that is planned for A/B Hall and the removal of the Sunset Room or impacts from the COVID Pandemic.
Seminars and Training Opportunities – The Convention Committee has been working to provide you with some of the very best educational opportunities available. You will note on the convention website that all the training opportunities are being posted much earlier this year than in the past. We want to make sure you know what is available and that you will plan appropriately to take advantage of this excellent learning opportunity. The Convention Committee has again partnered with the Ocean City “FOOLS” to provide more class sessions and hands-on training opportunities should we be able to meet in person at the beach. More topics and nationally recognized instructors will be available for these educational opportunities.
Joint Memorial Service – The Joint Memorial Service will recognize fire service members who have passed away during calendar year 2020. Please complete a separate recognition form for each deceased member of your department. The forms can be found on the convention website and on the MSFA Memorial web page. Insert a photo of each deceased member with each electronic form you complete. If for some reason an individual was omitted in a prior year, please include a separate completed form and photo of that member, as well. Clearly identify the year in which the member’s death occurred. Memorial service forms will be received by Chief Chaplain Reverend John F. Long, Jr., at firstname.lastname@example.org. Memorial recognition forms must be received by March 1, 2021, for inclusion in the Memorial Service and Commemorative Book.
BINGO Sponsorship – The Convention Committee has completely reorganized the Monday Night BINGO event and is asking for your support in making this a successful event. Please consider donating to the MSFA Convention BINGO so that we may offer the finest prizes to our participants. Donations will be accepted from individuals, member companies, auxiliaries, or from local businesses in your area. For additional information, contact Gloria Lewis by email at email@example.com, or call 410-693-0020.
MSFA Golf Tournament – Again this year, we will be planning a Golf Tournament as a part of the Convention on June 25, 2021. Questions about the tournament, including sponsorship opportunities and team registrations should be sent to Past President Steve Cox at MSFA96@gmail.com.
Convention and Conference Exhibitor Opportunities – Member departments can acquire exhibit space, both in the exhibit halls and outside the convention center for a discounted price. Any questions should be directed to Past President David Lewis at firstname.lastname@example.org or call him at 443-694-9113. There is a separate rate for businesses and corporations, that information is available upon request. Please try and help us locate vendors who may want to show their products and services at the convention. We need your help with this.
Convention and Conference Program Book Advertisements – Please show your department’s support of the many opportunities we offer at the convention by placing an advertisement in this year’s Convention and Conference Program Book. New ad opportunities are available and any questions should be forwarded to Past President C. Daniel Davis, Jr. at email@example.com. We highly encourage commercial entities to place ads in the program book, so please share this with any business establishment who may be willing to support the MSFA, especially any in the Greater Ocean City area.
Convention and Conference Lodging – With the current economic impacts we are seeing, increased hotel rates for the week may be an issue for us in Ocean City. The Convention Committee will again be providing information through the website on special hotel rates we can develop to be offered to the MSFA. We are working with the Ocean City Hotel, Motel and Restaurant Association and the Ocean City Chamber of Commerce to get you the best possible lodging deals available and to take steps to deal with a possible pandemic impact. We encourage you to take advantage of these rates as it builds our partnership strength with the management of the hotels and thank them for their support. Remember, when making your reservation, ask for a MSFA special rate.
Fire Prevention Ambassador Recognition – Once again, the Maryland State Firemen’s Association wishes to acknowledge all the hard work and dedication put forth in the area of Fire Prevention and Life Safety. This year, during the Miss Fire Prevention Program we will again be recognizing the many individuals that support Community Risk Reduction throughout the State of Maryland.
MSFA Annual Awards – One of the most important things that you can do as a leader of a volunteer organization is recognizing the contributions and accomplishments of your membership. Please take the time to review the requirements and submission guidelines for each of the awards that the MSFA offers and consider nominating a deserving member. A listing with the established award rules and due dates for entries are included in this document and available on the MSFA Website. Contact Past President Doyle Cox, Chair, Awards Committee, 29132 Superior Circle, Easton, MD 21601 with any questions regarding the MSFA Awards Program. Doyle’s email address is firstname.lastname@example.org or call him on his cell at 443-532-1416.
The Convention Committee is again working to provide an array of family activities in Ocean City to include discounted events at Jolly Roger Amusement Park, Splash Mountain Water Park, the Inlet Amusement Rides, along with Movies on the Beach and fireworks. Antique apparatus displays at the convention center and, of course, our annual parade is being planned for again. Please remember that there are new parking requirements with automated systems in Ocean City and trailers parked on public streets requires a special permit issued by the town. The Air Show will be the same week of our convention, so plan appropriately.
2020 has been a year that has created much change and turmoil to our fire service community, the State of Maryland, our nation, and the world. So far, we have weathered the storm and I know that we will continue to push forward for a better 2021. I appreciate your understanding and efforts to make this past convention the best that we could and only hope that we never have to go through that scenario again. Thanks for helping us address our convention requirements in the way we did.
Finally, we ask that you do not put these reminders aside but give them your earliest possible attention. Visit the MSFA Convention Website often. Our convention will be here before you know it and the committee wants to make sure it is a most enjoyable experience for everyone. Thank you for your cooperation and assistance.
See you at the beach,
Ronald Jon Siarnicki
Convention and Conference Chair