WESTFIELD - The Volunteer Westfield Fire Department is hosting this year's convention of the Southwestern Association of Volunteer Firemen.
The convention consists of member fire departments and companies from the four counties of Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua and Erie. One of the major responsibilities of the host department is to secure enough "dugouts" for the visiting fire departments and companies.
Dugouts are places the visiting firefighters, or "tenants," can call home for the duration of the convention, which this year takes place from Wednesday, July 31 through Saturday, Aug. 3. The dugouts are usually a homeowner's garage and/or some property. In exchange for use of the property, the "landlord" is paid a rental fee based on the property provided. Most tenants bring and prepare their own food, and the landlords are always welcome to join them. Tenants make their own sleeping arrangements, whether it is tents, campers or staying in a motel.
The Dugout Committee will be showing prospective dugouts to fire departments on Saturday, April 27 and Sunday, April 28 and again on Saturday, May 11 and Sunday, May 12. If any Westfield property owner is interested in hosting a fire department during this year's convention, contact Dugout Chairperson Cheryl Smith at 753-6081. More information regarding the 2013 convention will be made available in future articles.