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Monroeville expo sure to spark firefighters' interest

- Firefighting equipment of all sizes, including trucks, will be on display at the Pittsburgh Fire Rescue & EMS Expo at the Monroeville Convention Center, which is Feb. 23 and 24, 2013. Submitted
Firefighting equipment of all sizes, including trucks, will be on display at the Pittsburgh Fire Rescue & EMS Expo at the Monroeville Convention Center, which is Feb. 23 and 24, 2013. Submitted
- An aisle at a previous Pittsburgh Fire Rescue & EMS Expo is packed with emergency responders and their families. The show is returning to the Monroeville Convention Center for this year's show, which is Feb. 23 and 24, 2013. Submitted
An aisle at a previous Pittsburgh Fire Rescue & EMS Expo is packed with emergency responders and their families. The show is returning to the Monroeville Convention Center for this year's show, which is Feb. 23 and 24, 2013. Submitted
- Turnout gear is among the items that will be on display at the Pittsburgh Fire Rescue & EMS Expo at the Monroeville Convention Center, which this year is Feb. 23 and 24, 2013. Submitted
Turnout gear is among the items that will be on display at the Pittsburgh Fire Rescue & EMS Expo at the Monroeville Convention Center, which this year is Feb. 23 and 24, 2013. Submitted
- Provident, an insurance company, that has been a vendor at the Pittsburgh Fire Rescue & EMS Expo in the past, will be back at the Monroeville Convention Center on Feb. 23 and 24, 2013, for this year's show. Submitted
Provident, an insurance company, that has been a vendor at the Pittsburgh Fire Rescue & EMS Expo in the past, will be back at the Monroeville Convention Center on  Feb. 23 and 24, 2013, for this year's show. Submitted
- Servpro, a residential and commercial restoration business that has been a vendor at the Pittsburgh Fire Rescue & EMS Expo at the Monroeville Convention Center in the past, is returnign for this year's show, which is Feb. 23 and 24, 2013. Submitted
Servpro, a residential and commercial restoration business that has been a vendor at the Pittsburgh Fire Rescue & EMS Expo at the Monroeville Convention Center in the past, is returnign for this year's show, which is Feb. 23 and 24, 2013. Submitted
- The Fire Zone, a vendor at the Pittsburgh Fire Rescue & EMS Expo in the past, will be back for this year's event at the Monroeville Convention Center, which will be Feb. 23 and 24, 2013. Submitted
The Fire Zone, a vendor at the Pittsburgh Fire Rescue & EMS Expo in the past, will be back for this year's event at the Monroeville Convention Center, which will be Feb. 23 and 24, 2013. Submitted
- As in previous years, a variety of firefighting and emergency-response equipment will be available at the Pittsburgh Fire Rescue & EMS Expo at the Monroeville Convention Center, which this year is Feb. 23 and 24, 2013. Submitted
As in previous years, a variety of firefighting and emergency-response equipment will be available at the Pittsburgh Fire Rescue & EMS Expo at the Monroeville Convention Center, which this year is Feb. 23 and 24, 2013. Submitted
Lillian DeDomenic | For The Times Express - Representatives of Monroeville's volunteer fire companies will be selling various items in the upcoming Pittsburgh Fire Rescue & EMS Expo at the Monroeville Convention Center, which will be Feb. 23 and 24, 2013. From left, James Roberts and Stephanie Katofsky from company No. 6 and and Josh Slagel from company No. 5 sort items they will have for sale at the show.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>   Lillian DeDomenic | For The Times Express</em></div>Representatives of Monroeville's volunteer fire companies will be selling various items in the upcoming Pittsburgh Fire Rescue & EMS Expo at the Monroeville Convention Center, which will be Feb. 23 and 24, 2013.  From left, James Roberts and Stephanie Katofsky from company No. 6 and and Josh Slagel from company No. 5 sort items they will have for sale at the show.
23 and 24, 2013 Lillian DeDomenic | For The Times Express - Monroeville firefighters Chris Grimes of company No. 5 and Joseph Clark of company No. 6 compare T-shirts that will be on sale at the upcoming Pittsburgh Fire Rescue & EMS Expo at the Monroeville Convention Center on Feb.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em> 23 and 24, 2013   Lillian DeDomenic | For The Times Express</em></div>Monroeville firefighters Chris Grimes of company No. 5 and Joseph Clark of company No. 6 compare T-shirts that will be on sale at the upcoming Pittsburgh Fire Rescue & EMS Expo at the Monroeville Convention Center on Feb.
Lillian DeDomenic | For The Times Express - Stephanie Katofsky, who's father is the chief of Monroeville Volunteer Fire Company No. 6, is reflected in a mirror while she tries on a cap the company is selling at the upcoming Pittsburgh Fire Rescue & EMS Expo at the Monroeville Convention Center, which is Feb. 23 and 24, 2013.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>  Lillian DeDomenic | For The Times Express</em></div>Stephanie Katofsky, who's father is the chief of Monroeville Volunteer Fire Company No. 6, is reflected in a mirror while she tries on a cap the company is selling at the upcoming Pittsburgh Fire Rescue & EMS Expo at the Monroeville Convention Center, which is Feb. 23 and 24, 2013.
Lillian DeDomenic | For The Times Express - Fire Chief Harold Katofsky (right) of Monroeville Volunteer Fire Company No. 6, and Josh Slagel of Monroeville Volunteer Fire Company No. 5 show off a T-shirt that will be on sale at the Pittsburgh Fire Rescue & EMS Expo at the Monroeville Convention Center, which will be Feb. 23-24, 2013.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>   Lillian DeDomenic | For The Times Express</em></div>Fire Chief Harold Katofsky (right) of Monroeville Volunteer Fire Company No. 6, and Josh Slagel of Monroeville Volunteer Fire Company No. 5 show off a T-shirt that will be on sale at the  Pittsburgh Fire  Rescue & EMS Expo at the Monroeville Convention Center, which will be Feb. 23-24, 2013.
Lillian DeDomenic | For The Times Express - Monroeville's volunteer fire companies will be selling various items, such as this T-shirt, at the upcoming Pittsburgh Fire Rescue & EMS Expo at the Monroeville Convention Center, which will be Feb. 23 and 24, 2013.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>   Lillian DeDomenic | For The Times Express</em></div>Monroeville's volunteer fire companies will be selling various items, such as this T-shirt, at the upcoming Pittsburgh Fire Rescue & EMS Expo at the Monroeville Convention Center, which will be Feb. 23 and 24, 2013.
Lillian DeDomenic | For The Times Express - Monroeville volunteer fire companies will be selling various items at the upcoming Pittsburgh Fire Rescue & EMS Expo at the Monroeville Convention Center, which will be Feb. 23 and 24, 2013. Clockwise from left, Chris Grimes, representing fire company No. 5; Joseph Clark, James Roberts and Stephanie Katofsky, representing No. 6; and Josh Slagel, representing No. 5, pose with T-shirts, caps, hats, travel cups, mugs and other items that will be on sale.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em> Lillian DeDomenic | For The Times Express</em></div>Monroeville volunteer fire companies will be selling various items at the upcoming Pittsburgh Fire Rescue & EMS Expo at the Monroeville Convention Center, which will be Feb. 23 and 24, 2013. Clockwise from left, Chris Grimes, representing fire company No. 5; Joseph Clark,  James Roberts and Stephanie Katofsky, representing No. 6; and Josh Slagel, representing No. 5, pose with T-shirts, caps, hats, travel cups, mugs and other items that will be on sale.

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If you go:

What: 26th annual Pittsburgh Fire Rescue & EMS Expo

When: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday

Where: Monroeville Convention Center, 209 Mall Blvd.

Admission: $5 for adults; children ages 16 and younger get in for free

Highlights: 300 exhibits, including 30 new companies; live demonstrations; and a presentation by the Point Breeze Fire Department from Breezy Point, N.Y., from noon to 2 p.m. on both days

Details: Call 800-747-5599, or go to www.simoneventmanagement.com, and click on Pittsburgh expo link.

By Melanie Donahoo
Thursday, Feb. 21, 2013, 7:44 a.m.
 

With more than 60 fire trucks, ambulances and other apparatus on display, the Monroeville Convention Center will give firefighters a chance to kick the tires on some new equipment.

“They can walk up to the fire trucks and see the construction,” said Harold Katofsky, 57, chief of Monroeville Volunteer Fire Company No. 6 and a helper at the Pittsburgh Fire Rescue & EMS Expo. “If they want to, they can stand or hang on the doors and see which one is better.”

Visitors to the 26th annual expo will get to see the newest equipment, learn about new rescue techniques and network with fellow responders among 300 exhibits. It's the third-largest such event in the United States, said Kelly Simon of Greensburg, owner of Simon Event Management and expo organizer.

“This is the show they come to and make their purchases,” Simon said.

Jason Burns, chief of the North Apollo Volunteer Fire Department, said he goes to the expo every year to see the newest technology and equipment.

“There is always something new out there,” said Burns, 26. “And when you get everything under one roof, you can compare it.”

The show provides exposure and a chance to network for Fire Force, a Butler County-based equipment supplier, said company vice president Robin Pittman. The firm also sells smaller items such as boots and gloves.

“We're always trying to give fire services what they want to see at the fire show,” said Pittman, of Seven Fields.

A group of firefighters from Breezy Point, N.Y., will make a presentation about their struggles during Superstorm Sandy.

“It's a really good learning experience for our volunteers,” Simon said. “So they can come to shop and also sit in on a presentation of lessons learned.”

Marty Ingram, chief of the Point Breeze Fire Department in Breezy Point, said he and his team have done presentations for churches, but this will be their first time talking to other firefighters and emergency personnel.

“We're not only going to talk about the events but also the recovery efforts,” Ingram said. “We were deeply involved in helping the whole community.”

A slide show will help people understand the fire department's obstacles, but they can't comprehend the damage and desolation unless they have been there, Ingram said.

The expo has hosted groups such as Hurricane Katrina volunteers and workers from 9/11's Ground Zero, Simon said.

“When there is a disaster and rescue attempts are successful and there are lessons to be learned, we do try to incorporate that into the program in addition to the exhibits,” Simon said.

Booth space also is set aside for fire companies at no charge so they have room for fundraising activities, including a used-equipment flea market at which specialized fire and emergency equipment can be bought and sold for good prices, Simon said.

Chris Grimes, vice president and lieutenant of Monroeville Volunteer Fire Company No. 5, said his department sells T-shirts to raise money and uses the event as a recruitment tool.

“You don't always need to buy something,” said Grimes, 38. “But the camaraderie and seeing old friends is what I always look forward to.”

Simon started the expo after her father, a volunteer firefighter for more than 50 years, suggested that Pittsburgh have a fire show.

It began at the former Monroeville ExpoMart in 1988 and briefly declined in attendance when the ExpoMart closed about five years ago, and Simon had to move the to the David L. Lawrence Convention Center, Downtown Pittsburgh.

It moved to the Monroeville Convention Center in 2010, and Simon said she plans to keep it there.

“It's a great place for these men to get together and talk about what they've learned and how they can help each other,” Simon said. “They are volunteers, so we try to do whatever we can to provide a great event for them.”

Melanie Donahoo is a freelance writer for Trib Total Media.

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