A pair of American flag design wall plaques sit on stage Friday night at the Alaska Fire Conference in the Kenai Center mall. (Photo by Joey Klecka/Peninsula Clarion)

A pair of American flag design wall plaques sit on stage Friday night at the Alaska Fire Conference in the Kenai Center mall. (Photo by Joey Klecka/Peninsula Clarion)

Alaska Fire Conference ends with celebratory banquet in Kenai

Friday night saw the culmination of a weeklong study in firefighting techniques, and the event brought in the big names.

The Alaska Fire Conference closing banquet, held at the Old Kenai Mall, capped the weeklong event with a flourish, inviting the state’s top chiefs and professional firefighting workers to a lavish dinner that included Alaska Gov. Bill Walker, who addressed the audience. The proceeds went to benefit the family of Levi Doss, a Nikiski firefighter and paramedic who is battling brain cancer.

Alaska Fire Chiefs Association President Jeff Tucker praised the support and turnout of the state’s biggest fire conference.

“This is the culmination of a great week,” Tucker said. “And Gov. Walker was nice enough to join us.”

Tucker, who has been Kenai fire chief for four and a half years and has more than 37 total years of firefighting experience, said that more than 225 firefighters showed up for the weeklong event. Forty seven different vendors coming out to support the happening, making for about 350 total people involved in the event.

“This is a night we recognize the folks here in Alaska,” Tucker said.

Tucker said this is third time in the past 15 years the conference had been held in Kenai, with the most recent being 2014.

The evening included an outcry auction of several valuable art pieces, including a custom metal American flag art design that was adorned with a firefighting axe.

Last week’s conference served as a learning opportunity that allowed firefighters and others in the industry to sharpen their craft, as well as participate in events and games to refuel their passion of the job.

Kenai Chamber of Commerce President Johna Beech added that many of the firefighters also ran in Thursday’s Cameron Carter Memorial Run, a 3.43-kilometer run to memorialize Cameron Carter — who was killed along with three others when the paramedic helicopter he was riding in crashed near Whittier in 2007 — and to honor the 343 firefighters lost in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

A crowd of statewide fire station employees enjoy a stand of dessert glasses and the festivities Friday night at the Alaska Fire Conference in the Kenai Center mall. (Photo by Joey Klecka/Peninsula Clarion)

A crowd of statewide fire station employees enjoy a stand of dessert glasses and the festivities Friday night at the Alaska Fire Conference in the Kenai Center mall. (Photo by Joey Klecka/Peninsula Clarion)

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