LAUGHLIN — The majority of Nevada firefighters are volunteers serving many rural communities throughout the state.
This week, about 200 of those firefighters and their families will be in Laughlin for the 84th annual Nevada State Firefighters Association training conference.
“Last year the Edgewater and Colorado Belle Casino Resort approached us,” said Mark Flesher, NSFA president. “Normally we have it up north, but we thought this is something new we can do. So far, putting everything together is working out great.”
The conference will be held Wednesday through Saturday.
The NSFA works with fire marshals and small, rural towns to get their volunteer firefighters the training they need to succeed.
This week’s training conference offers multiple classes led by instructors for the volunteers to take, including how to properly clean gear ,and how to control a fire scene. However, it’s not all about the classroom.
“Since a majority of the firefighters live up north, we pitched the conference as a family getaway,” Flesher said. “So, we are really backing off the river, casino pools, local entertainment, and doing a bowling tournament.”
Saturday, the public can come to the Colorado Belle parking lot at 1 p.m. to watch water fights between the different volunteer groups. It should last about an hour, depending on the number of participants.
“This will be a good time for the public to witness the camaraderie between different volunteer departments throughout the state of Nevada,” Flesher said. “They will battle between each other, showing their skills and techniques during the water fights and what we like to call monkey drills.”
The training conference concludes with a closing banquet that night.