THIS WEEKEND: State Fire Convention

Ashley Limesand
Staff Writer

Valley City is welcoming firefighters and their families from all over the state this Thursday, May 31 through Saturday, June 2 as Valley City hosts the 134th Annual North Dakota Firefighter's Association State Convention.

Valley City Fire Chief Gary Retterath says that this year's convention will be unlike any before it. While most of the convention is for firefighters only, this year has been rearranged slightly in order to make the keynote speaker presentation available to the public, Retterath explains with excitement.

On Friday, June 1 at 10 a.m. at the Hi-Liner Activities Center firefighters, Valley City residents and Barnes County residents alike are invited to hear John O'Leary share his story.

When O'Leary was 9 years old a fire exploded and burned 100 percent of his body giving him almost no chance to survive.

Despite those odds, O'Leary continued to push forward spending five months in the hospital and undergoing dozens of surgeries as he relearned how to walk, write and feed himself.

In addition to this opportunity, the convention will also host a parade to be held on Central Avenue on Friday, June 1 at 5 p.m. of which the public is encouraged to attend.