Wood River firefighters discuss issues facing members at national convention

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(KMVT/KSVT) - A Ketchum firefighter among others in the Wood River Valley and across the nation are attending a week-long convention in Seattle, Washington.

Ketchum firefighter Lara McLean said it's the International Association of Firefighters.

"We organized the international in 1918, so it's a pretty big deal this year," she said.

While the association is 100 years old now, the convention itself meets bi-annually, she said.

"To go over policy.... and community safety issues," she said. "We cover a large scale of things."

Topics range from disaster relief for the crews whose members lost their homes in the current wildfires and more.

"We provide relief to that, or we talk about that funding," she said, adding that many members of the association lost their homes to recent hurricanes too. "We talked about the issues of how we affect community safety and how we do our jobs," detailing that they talked about the Stop the Bleed program.

She said the most touching and remarkable part so far was the Muscular Dystrophy Association segment.

"Since the 1950s, firefighters across the country have taken part in raising funds for Muscular Dystrophy Association. It appears, at this time, have raised over half a billion dollars for research and supporting the MDA," she said.

McLean said attendees also met a child with muscular dystrophy who received an FDA approved drug.

Other topics they went over at the convention included the high incidents of cancer among firefighters because of what they are exposed to.

"Unfortunately the high incidents of PTSD of firefighters, EMS, law enforcement and all first responders and how to address those issues," she said.

For more information on the convention, visit the International Association of Firefighters website.

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