Union Fire Fighters Team with Union Sportsmen’s Alliance for Annual Chillicothe Fish with a Fire Fighter
by Kate Nation
Members of the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) Local 300 held their annual Fish with a Fire Fighter event on April 15, hosting approximately 100 anglers at Yoctangee Park in Chillicothe, Ohio.
The free event, designed to introduce local youngsters ages 2 to 15 to conservation and the joys of fishing, has a rich history in Chillicothe. Though the name of the event has changed, local fire fighters have hosted some sort of community fishing derby for 80-100 years, according to IAFF Local 300 President Jason Ferryman.
The Union Sportsmen’s Alliance (USA) teamed up with Local 300 to provide participating youth with free fishing rods and reels to continue to pursue fishing after the event.
About 25 IAFF Local 300 members along with some of their family members volunteered their time to help youngsters rig their new gear, hone their casting skills, and reel in the rainbow trout stocked the previous day by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.
“Community events like this one are what the fire service is all about—doing something good for the community and interacting with the public in a better situation than we normally see them in,” said Ferryman, who added that his favorite part of the event was when they awarded the two youth who caught the largest fish with tackle boxes full of gear and really nice fishing poles.
After fishing, youth and their family members enjoyed a picnic-style lunch.
“The USA’s mission is to unite the union community through conservation to preserve North America’s outdoor heritage,” said USA Conservation Coordinator Cody Campbell, “and we are proud to support longstanding events like this one that help connect youth with the great outdoors through activities like fishing.”