Carbon County firefighters are already preparing for the 2011 state firemen's convention, which will bring in thousands of emergency personnel from across the state.

During a recent Carbon County commissioners' meeting, Ralph Lennon, fire chief of the Lake Harmony Fire Company and vice chairman of the upcoming state firemen's convention, gave a brief presentation on what the group is doing to get ready for the 132nd Firemen's Association of the State of Pennsylvania Convention. The convention, which will be hosted by the Albrightsville and Lake Harmony fire companies, will take place at Lake Harmony from Sept. 21 through Sept. 24, 2011.

Lennon explained that Carbon County hosting next year's convention is going to be a big economic boom for businesses in the area.

He also thanked the commissioners for their support of the convention by awarding a $4,000 grant to help offset advertising costs.

Lennon said that the four-day event will highlight a few new events in the hopes of interesting the younger generation.

"What we're trying to do is involve the county as much as possible. We want to bring all of Carbon County Fire and ambulance on board," he said, adding that new additions to the convention will be an antique fire apparatus show; live, hands-on training sessions; and a fire expo.

Other activities firefighters can experience include a golf tournament, dinners, an open house at Lake Harmony and Albrightsville fire companies, awards, and a firetruck parade.

He also noted that the group hopes to have a Carbon County division in the parade, which will take place on Sept. 24.

The committee is now looking for sponsorship for the event. To learn more on how to become a sponsor, contact Steve Lilick, chairman, at (610) 937-0940 or steve_lilick@klenzoidinc.com [1] or Lennon at (570) 722-8248 or xchief1@verizon.net [2].

Lennon said that more information on the convention, including a full schedule, hotels, places to eat, the golf tournament, sponsors, and more, can be found on the group's website at http://2011pastateconvention.com [3].

The Firemen's Association of the State of Pennsylvania Convention is hosted by different fire companies across the state each year. This year, the Hanover Township Fire Department in Wilkes-Barre hosted the convention in late September.