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Detroit Lakes to host fire convention in 2011

Detroit Lakes will host the Minnesota State Fire Department Association's annual meeting in 2011, according to Detroit Lakes Fire Department Secretary Steve Spaeth.

After the application and bidding process, Detroit Lakes was approved as the venue at this year's annual meeting in Owatonna.

The 2011 conference will be held June 2-4, hosting 450-500 Minnesota firefighters and their spouses, Spaeth said.

The Detroit Lakes Fire Department plans to use the hockey arena for registration, the middle school for general meetings, and the Pavilion for a dance, according to its bid paperwork. The last afternoon, a Saturday, will also feature a parade of fire trucks.

Spaeth said they've done this kind of planning before - Detroit Lakes hosted the conference in 2006, 2001, 1993, and 1984 since Spaeth has been there.

Still to plan, he said, is lodging details, entertainment for the dance, arrangements for the dinner banquet and a memorial service for firefighters who have died, and promotional vendors during registration.

Spaeth said the Minnesota State Fire Chiefs Association will also hold its board meeting during the weekend, and the Volunteer Firefighters Benefit Association will also hold its annual meeting and board meeting.

Spaeth himself is a director on the VFBA board and DLFD Chief Jeff Swanson is a past president of the MSFCA, the only volunteer fire chief to ever chair the group.

The conference will be held in Grand Rapids in 2010.