This week there has been a 3-day conference and training happening here in Sturgeon Bay titled the “Great Lakes Regional Marine Firefighting Conference”, the first conference of its kind on the Great Lakes. Present were representatives from various port city fire departments from around the Great Lakes, as well as Coast Guard representatives from all 4 sectors of the Great Lakes. Attendees shared information, experiences, and tactics for firefighting on board marine vessels. The initiative for the conference started after a recent handful of fires in the port of Sturgeon Bay and other Great Lakes ports. Sturgeon Bay Fire Chief Tim Dietman explains some of their conference objectives…..
Another conference spokesperson was Duluth Fire Chief Shawn Krizaj. He explains here his department’s search for more information after they acquired a firefighting boat in 2018……
There was also some shipboard training for the attendees as they broadened their knowledge and experience with maritime firefighting. Also involved were representatives from the US Coast Guard to share their approach to these fire situations and to help strengthen communication between the different agencies. Lieutenant Josh McElhaney of the US Coast Guard 9th District mentions their concerns as well as the importance of cooperative action…..
During this week’s conference there were 35 in-person attendees as well as 10 to 15 more who participated via Zoom. They now plan on holding the conference annually in various port cities of the Great Lakes, but this week’s inaugural conference is taking place right here in Sturgeon Bay.