Certificate of Attendance issued for all completed sessions.
All session times are listed in Eastern Daylight Time (EDT)

Conference Sessions

Note: Additional classes are being added

8:00 AM - 9:00 AM
AFG Strategies for Success
Are you frustrated from receiving turndown notices? Is your brain fried from trying to interpret the rules in the Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO)? Are you tired of sitting in classes and webinars that repeat the same “helpful hints” over and over but provide no substance as to how to actually improve your AFG application? Are you pretty good at AFG applications already and just want to get better? If you answered yes to any of those questions, then come join us for a discussion on real strategies for AFG success. The presenter is NOT a paid grant writer, but simply a fire chief who has been fortunate to fund some amazing projects through the AFG programs. Additionally, the presenter has been an AFG peer reviewer since 2016. This course is not going to waste your time with making sure your name is spelled correctly and walking through the steps to obtain a DUNS number and SAM registration. Those things are important, but that information is easily obtained with a web search. What we will do in class is dive deep into data collection and presentation. Instead of telling you to just “tell your story,” we will go over how to tell your story using the data you have collected within the parameters of the grant rules and with the added perspective of someone who reads and scores these stories. We will spend a significant amount of time determining what constitutes Strongly Agree, Agree, Neither Agree nor Disagree, Disagree, and Strongly Disagree in the four main narrative categories of Financial Need, Project Description, Cost/Benefit, and Statement of Effect. Additionally, we will examine other areas of the application that may not technically be scored in peer review, but that sets your application up for success through professional appearance, computer score justification, and flow when read by a peer reviewer. If you are ready for a down-and-dirty grant writing class that is specific to the AFG program and that will provide you with real substance to take back to your department, bring your pen and notepad! You don't want to miss this session!
Brandon Fletcher
Could YOU Rescue You?
Could YOU Rescue YOU will examine multiple real world scenarios and situations that personnel, Chiefs, and Departments have found themselves in. We will discuss the tools necessary and the remedies involved, and students will be taught the skills necessary to to rescue themselves (self, crew, organization) from bad situations. Using mind/body/spirit building blocks to form better decision making processes, we will endeavor to Improve outcomes while maintaining public trust - a key takeaway from this program.
Documentation Pearls and Pitfalls: Protecting Yourself on High-Risk Runs
Over the years, prehospital documentation has become more complex. From paper charting to basic electronic patient care reports to complex systems that automatically report to the state and perform quality improvement reports, the amount of documentation required on a run has increased. Medical documentation has become as important a skill for a prehospital provider to learn as operating a monitor or assessing a patient, yet the time spent learning the foundation and nuances of medical documentation is a one-chapter lecture in school. Often, preceptors do not provide much feedback on run reports and although, from an administrative perspective, documentation is of high importance that importance is often minimized in the field. In this talk, the presenters will discuss basic documentation pearls and pitfalls and how they apply to high-risk scenarios such as the agitated patient and refusals using real-life scenarios.
Engine Company Basics
The purpose of this class is to provide and demonstrate practical drills that members of an engine company can perform to be proficient at one of the most important jobs at a fire scene: PUT THE FIRE OUT! Attendees will learn to provide practical information to be proficient at your duties as a member of an engine company; to establish a baseline method to practice and perform engine company work regularly using proven techniques to overcome challenges on the fireground; and to learn the duties and skills of an engine company member correctly and efficiently through interactive discussions and video demonstration. The course ideology is based on the principle that no matter what size fire department you are a member of (volunteer, paid, large or small) a fire engine is your core apparatus. The engine company is the foundation of a fire department utilized to mitigate a fire incident.
Firefighters and Cameras: Managing the Problem
From cellphones to helmet cams, digital imaging technology is everywhere. The availability of inexpensive high-quality digital imaging devices offers the fire service an unprecedented opportunity to document, capture and share information. Along with the opportunities comes an enormous risk of misuse. The problem is so bad, a growing number of states are considering legislation to join the three states that already make it a criminal offense for first-responders to take and/or share emergency scene photos. The program will look at case studies where digital imagery created legal nightmares for fire departments and firefighters and pull from them the lessons learned. On-duty photo taking can be managed without having to resort to a total photo-taking ban.
Curt Varone
Improving Fireground Performance and Resilienc
You and your crew are dispatched to a multi-unit dwelling with a reported fire on the second floor. As you arrive, your incident commander does the size-up and tells your crew to pull a hoseline and prepare for a fire attack. The driver immediately works to establish a water source as you and your partner pull a hoseline to the front door. As you begin your task, there are a lot of things to consider—what size line, how much hose you will need, what obstacles you will encounter, etc. The one thing that often isn’t considered is the amount of energy and the fitness level required to carry out the task of fire attack. One of the most physically demanding things a firefighter must do is advance a charged hoseline, on-air, under extreme stress. How do we train for this event? And how do we know we are physically and mentally ready? This seminar will focus on the physical and mental preparation needed to perform better on (and off) the fireground. Attendees will learn the six essential components that every firefighter needs to incorporate into their training to ensure positive outcomes on the fireground. And the seminar will give examples of how to incorporate them into drills, workouts, and everyday situations. This seminar is a must-attend for any firefighter, company officer, and/or chief who wants to improve physical and mental performance on and off the fire/rescue scene.
Aaron Zamzow
Incident Command: Defining the Expectation
This class will identify the specific duties of the incident commander, including conducting an initial size-up and risk assessment. We will evaluate “risk vs. gain” and forecast the needs and direction of an incident. We will also discuss the skills needed to monitor and answer radio traffic effectively during an incident. We will examine the importance of tactical worksheets and how they help organize tactical objectives, obtain benchmarks, and anticipate the need for crew rotation. Real life examples will be used throughout the class using information garnered from NIOSH Fatality Reports.
Maximize Your Impact Within the Fire Service: Learn Effective Methods to Achieve Change and Become an Influence Among the Nation's Fire Service
This presentation will provide fire service leaders with an understanding of their individual ability to influence and empower them to achieve change and success. The combination of the presentation and small-group discussions will provide examples of successful implementation and influences among fire service agencies and organizations. Successes and failures both will be revealed, and each will be applied to the attendees’ understanding of how to overcome barriers and challenges. Opportunities that are available by working at the local, state, regional, and/or national level organizations will be highlighted to inspire leaders to become involved. The National Fallen Firefighters Foundation 16 Fire Life Safety Initiatives will be reviewed and applied during the presentation. Challenges and barriers faced in leading change among people, along with experiences and lessons learned, will be discussed, and tools to achieve change will be given to the attendees. Group discussion and feedback will be used to guide the presenters to meet the needs of the participants. Once the helpful steps are covered, the participants will be given information and examples of how they can become involved in fire service organizations and opportunities to become an influence in the fire service. Each participant will leave knowing that they can be successful in achieving change and be inspired to seek opportunities to become active in the fire service.
9:15 AM - 10:45 AM
Death by Rescue: Managing Crush Injuries
Whether caused by a vehicle, piece of equipment, building material, or soil, crush injuries are common in all disciplines of technical rescue. Gone are the days of rescuers dragging patients out to waiting EMS. Modern medicine and technical rescue require medical providers to be involved from the onset and throughout the rescue. This presentation focuses on techniques and strategies for methodical treatment and patient removal following crush injuries.
Douglas Hexel
Decades of Leadership: Success on and off the Fireground

Drawing from more than two decades of leadership during his career spanning over 30 years in the FDNY, and 40 years of volunteer experience in the East Farmingdale Fire Department, Leeb will deliver real-world lessons he's learned and related best practices. Each of the examples presented will be from his personal experience. Leeb will emphasize the importance of training, teamwork, and the how the winning mindset is coupled with fireground strategy and tactics and large-scale emergency response, and how they co-exist for optimal outcomes. He'll look at problem solving, leadership development, decision-making, how process drives outcome, understanding and working with the media, health wellness and cancer in the fire service, improving soft skills, the power of knowing what you don’t know, staying learnable and motivating your team. Leeb will emphasize how a passion for the job, paired with continual improvement in skills and knowledge, are the keys to a winning on the fireground. Are you prepared for the possible? Because, on game day, the time to prepare has passed. From the chief to the probie, you will leave this lecture motivated and better prepared for any emergency response.

Frank Leeb
Engine Company Operations at Apartment Fires
Fires in apartment buildings present unique challenges that require specific tactics to ensure rapid water application to the seat of the fire. Engine companies must be proficient at promptly selecting, stretching and advancing the initial attack line. Although these priorities are the same at every fire, apartment fires add potential complexities of long stretches to upper floors and lengthy advances down smoke-filled hallways. In addition, engine company personnel may encounter numerous other variables including imminent rescues, clogged hallways and stairwells, and building systems. It’s essential that engine companies preplan and develop tactics that work in these challenging buildings.
Jonathan Hall
Lessons Learned from a Firefighter Line-of-Duty Death: Company Officer Edition
A lot of lessons can be learned when a firefighter dies in the line of duty, from the technical aspects to the effects on personnel, and this presentation will look at a line-of-duty death incident to examine what happened. From the personnel aspect, the Company Officer is one position within the organization that can become isolated through the grieving and recovery phases due to a wide range of unique emotional, personal, political, social, legal, and relational aspects. Only someone who has experienced such an event can truly relate to these situations. To address the distinct need to support these individuals in their healing and recovery, and in an effort to ensure no one has to “walk alone” after a line-of-duty death, the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation has developed several uniformed peer support program initiatives. This presentation will also discuss the Chief to Chief, Incident Commander to Incident Commander, Company Officer to Company Officer and Coworker to Coworker programs. Speakers will include personnel who have experienced a line-of-duty death in their department to share their story, discuss lessons learned, and relate to the importance of the peer support programs.
George Simko George Simko
Mentoring: Founded on Failure and Fueled by Regret
In today’s job, it’s common for fighters to gain the knowledge, skills and abilities needed to successfully navigate an emergency incident through repetitive acts on the fireground. Beyond the fireground, there is a thirst for knowledge that has everyone traveling the nation in the pursuit of innovative training opportunities. While training has evolved to cross multiple media, there has been little to no growth for training opportunities that will help us succeed with the other 60 percent of the challenges we face. That’s why this class will focus on mentoring. Mentoring is the most underrated aspect of the job today. In this class, we will take lessons learned from personal failures and how to use them when it comes to being a mentor. Far too often it’s becoming a common occurrence to open your email and discover a resignation letter in your inbox. You might find yourself asking, “where did we go wrong?” Mentoring drives the soul but seeing others succeed defines the mission.
Jacob Johnson
No Excuses: Tactics for the Understaffed Department
Many fire departments are understaffed, but that is no excuse not to be prepared. If you have items such as thermal imaging cameras, piercing nozzles, and high-flow/low-pressure hoselines, you must use them to their fullest potential. The presenter will discuss building a tactical playbook for your response. Just as a quarterback will read a defense to ensure the play called meets the situation, your playbook sets expectations but allows responders to pick the best tactic or “play” for the current conditions. Attendees will gain a greater understanding of how to develop tactical options that fit in the context of the understaffed department. After reviewing the suggestions from the students in my 2022 presentation, I am creating two proposals. This class will focus primarily on the strategies and tactics understaffed departments can utilize once they arrive on the fire ground and will not cover much of the information from my program the involves training and preparation in the firehouse. Throughout the class I will use simulations and actual fire videos to allow the students to put their decision making to the test.
Joseph Baxa
RHABDO – Not Just for Wildland Firefighters
Rhabdomyolysis, or “rhabdo” for short, is not only experienced by wildland firefighters. Anyone working in extreme heat is at risk of heat stress and subsequent illness or injury. In this presentation, we will discuss rhabdo – what it is, what it’s not, and why it is important for firefighters to recognize its signs and symptoms. We will discuss high-risk activities as well as other high-risk behaviors for firefighters to consider that impact the body's ability to work for prolonged periods in the heat. We will also discuss ways to monitor hydration and proper progression for training to avoid developing rhabdo.
Roadway Incidents: An Update on Strategies, Tactics, & Innovations
Emergency responses to roadway and highway incidents are some of the most dangerous work faced by firefighters and emergency medical personnel nowadays. Blocking with fire apparatus helps protect fire and EMS personnel but that's only one aspect of an overall system for roadway incident response. Technological innovations are helping to provide additional safeguards. This session will review the strategies and tactics that have successfully protected emergency personnel and will also review innovative ideas and equipment that have been introduced within the past few years to help make roadway incident scenes better protected. Emergency responders continue to be struck and injured or killed by vehicles at all kinds of roadway incidents. Firefighters need to take defensive measures to protect themselves, other emergency personnel, victims and other drivers near the incident scene. Strategies and tactics need to be developed, documented, trained and utilized when responding to roadway incidents. In 2021, the Emergency Responder Safety Institute (ERSI) recorded 65 emergency responder fatalities including nine fire and EMS personnel who were struck by vehicles while working highway incidents. The hazard is serious and requires very specific strategies and tactics to protect personnel. This session will summarize the state of the art in highway incident safety and also look at emerging hazards that we should prepare for now.
Jack Sullivan
Significant Incidents and Lessons Learned Since the First Firehouse Expo
The presentation reviews significant fire service events and their impacts on the fire service over the last 4 decades. Besides significant events, a focus will be on the trends, technology, safety measures, public perception, and response considerations since the inception of the very first Firehouse Expo.
The Aggressive Mindset
Statistically fires are down across the country, but civilian fire fatalities continue to climb. We must change our mindset, training and culture to ensure we are ready to make the grab when the call comes. You don’t think we are making grabs daily? Head on over to Firefighter Rescue Survey and read the numbers. Aggressive search wins…change my mind. Our mindset drives our preparedness, our culture, and our performance. In this class, we will discuss taking back time in our readiness, search statistics, creating a culture of excellence and empowering the aggressive mindset to your entire crew. The decisions we make on a daily basis can be the difference in whether someone lives or dies. We must ensure that we are performing as professionals and aggressively. We are here for THEM! Aggressive firemanship saves lives! Do you have the mindset?
11:00 AM - 12:30 PM
Commanding the 1st 30 Minutes & Beyond
This class was assembled to help create a step-by-step breakdown of an emergency incident from the before the incident has begun until the after-action review. The first 30 minutes at a working fire or emergency incident will set the stage for success or an uphill battle. This interactive class takes the attendees and places them in the front right seat of the first-due apparatus and walks them through the steps to successfully handle the emergency.
John Hayowyk Jr.
CPR for the Volunteer Fire Service
The heart of volunteerism in the fire service is not dead, but there is a need to revive retention and recruitment tactics to ensure effectiveness. This workshop will offer participants proven tools and tactics to reduce turnover and increase recruitment. Join Ohio Fire Academy Chief Jack Smith and National Volunteer Fire Council Deputy CEO Dr. Candice McDonald as they offer strategies not based on costly recruitment campaigns and incentives, but rather on practical professional applications.
Fireground Strategies: Size-Up for Suppression and Survivability
Updated research and data done in Fire Behavior and Compartment Fire Dynamics require a fresh look at the application of strategy and tactics on the fireground. How fire companies address fire control within a structure and potential victim survivability requires a thorough knowledge of the science behind combustion and applying efficient tactical steps for suppression to be achieved. This program has been developed with the intent to answer the question of “How” this data will result in the implementation of strategic considerations and tactical solutions for fireground operations. Topics to be covered in this program include the following: Bringing fire behavior science to the scene; clues and considerations for size-up from the exterior; actionable intelligence for fireground decision-making; strategic considerations based upon construction and occupancy; making the space survivable; and fireground operational considerations for successful mitigation.
Mike Daley
Gallons Per Second “Saving Lives”
The focus of this session is on exceeding fire flow needs and still managing water during the crucial initial hoseline advancement in an interior offensive attack. Learn why it is necessary to think in terms of gallons per second at this time. Strategies are presented for managing the booster tank supply until sustainable water supply has been established. The class is especially relevant for engine companies that commonly engage with the booster tank and deploy suburban tactics. All aspects of first-due fire tactics at your most common structural fires and how to quickly and effectively suppress them are covered.
Curt Isakson
Healthy You = Healthy Crew. How to Create a Fit and Healthy Culture
The fire service today is not very conducive to a healthy lifestyle. Poor eating and sleeping habits and little emphasis on “functional” fitness have created an unhealthy culture. This culture can be changed but requires an efficient and effective plan and proper education. The first element of changing the culture requires departments to educate their members on what “functional fitness” is and how to create proper workouts. The second element is to provide and promote a training environment that promotes and supports a fitness culture. Attendees of this seminar will first learn how to define functional fitness and what the essential fitness components are that our departments should be promoting. Next, attendees will utilize these components and learn how to create an effective crew and team workouts for all levels of fitness. Lastly, attendees will learn strategies and ideas for creating a more fit culture. The session is perfect for those who want to make a difference in the health and fitness culture of their department.
Aaron Zamzow
Operating Elevator in Fire Service for Fire Condition
Do you know the proper way to operate elevators in a high-rise fire? Do you take the elevator directly to the fire floor when it is “only an alarm ringing”?
Pediatric Emergencies
This case-based discussion will focus on many of the pitfalls in caring for pediatric patients. Pediatric runs are infrequent and high-acuity patients are few and far between. Pediatric airways can be difficult to manage when experience is limited. We will discuss the different options for airway management in kids and provide the evidence behind endotracheal intubation in this population. Cardiac arrest in pediatrics can also be a stressful event. We will review causes for cardiac arrest in children and review the most up-to-date literature in this field. This talk with conclude with a discussion of pediatric shock and the subtleties of identifying shock in young children.
The Rescue Mindset
While certification classes undoubtedly serve as a foundation for all technical rescuers, what is it that sets apart the “really good ones?” How does a rescuer become the person who always seems to be three steps ahead with solutions for problems you didn’t even know existed and the person who both chiefs and their fellow rescuers turn to for advice? This interactive session strives to answer these questions by sharing advice from respected rescuers across North America. Development of a “rescue mindset” is discussed from both personal development and incident response perspectives. Fire departments often treat high-risk/low-frequency technical rescue incidents like the average house fire, but this can be a recipe for disaster. Size-up and tactical decision-making differs on a rescue scene, making a “rescue mindset” even more important. The “rescue mindset” is also key to successfully determining an appropriate course of action on the scene, so it is imperative that rescue leadership NOT be rank dependent but should rely heavily on subject-matter experts. Concepts such as the “100/50/25 Rescue Plan” will be introduced to help attendees rapidly and effectively develop a plan on their next rescue incident. As the modern fire department is an all-hazards agency, details of one discipline are often overlooked during training in the interest of time or inadvertently forgotten as the department pivots to the next rescue discipline. This sad reality often leaves rescuers dangerously unprepared for real-world rescues where sayings like “it should be good enough” can be deadly. By developing a “rescue mindset,” rescuers are better prepared to make informed decisions when presented with complex and challenging situations that may require equipment and techniques to be pushed to their limits. Attendees will leave this class with training topics, props ideas, and other information that will help them to develop their own “rescue mindset” at their own department.
Jake Hoffman
Training Mayday: I Was Not Ready for This!

On June 7, 2022, the presenter headed out to assist in a live burn exercise. It was a day that changed his life. During the last burn of the day, he and his students were caught in a unilateral flow path. Due to inadequate water application and window failure, rooms in front of them flashed over and they found themselves in a 100 percent exhaust path. He was able to recognize the conditions and remove his students from the environment, but immediately returned quickly for a thermal imager and that’s when it went bad. He uttered the three words that makes everyone’s hair stand on end, “Mayday, Mayday, Mayday!!!” Having attended hundreds of hours of training and many conferences, he thought he knew what to do, but he was not ready for this. He gave a textbook LUNAR radio transmission and did not panic…until the pain started. He was not prepared for the extreme pain brought on by the severe heat. As he finally regained his composure, he heard the words no trapped firefighter wants to hear…the IC ordered the abortion of the rescue efforts due to the extreme conditions. Luckily, he was able to self-extricate and is alive to share his story in hopes of saving someone else.

2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Opening Ceremony & Keynote Presentation - Firefighting: The Family Business

Not everyone gets to do a job they love, let alone have it be the family business. However, it isn’t a surprise when family members end up as firefighters in the same agency or in the same area. To share some stories, lessons and their love for the job, Rob Moran, Danny Moran, John Lewis and Walter Lewis will take to the big stage at Firehouse Expo in Columbus, OH, to talk about Firefighting: The Family Business.

Robert Moran John Lewis Dan Moran Walter Lewis
8:00 AM - 9:00 AM
Apparatus Operators Role in a Safe & Efficient Fireground
This interactive class is about challenging the role of the driver operator on the fireground. With manpower shortages facing most fire service agencies in the county it is vital to have an all-hands-on deck approach to fireground tasks for the safety of our members and the public we serve. This class looks at fireground support task that can be completed by the driver operator outside the IDLH space. These tasks will improve the safety and efficiency of the company. Training for the driver operator beyond pumping and driving is often overlooked by the fire service. The driver operator can be a vital safety and efficient link for the initial arriving companies. The driver operator is often an underutilized resource on an incident scene. As an instructor, a firefighter, and now as a company officer I get frustrated as organizations set low expectations for the Driver Operator. Interior crews press into a structure for task completion in an ultra-high hazard environment, their safety relies heavily on an individual standing outside at a pump panel. An efficient fireground relies on all players to be highly trained and highly engaged in the incident.
Brian Gettemeier
Civilian Rescue: Removing the Occupant
Locating the victim is only half the battle, it is in the act of removing them where the rescue truly takes place. There are many tactical considerations searchers must evaluate and understand to increase the survival odds of trapped occupants. Maintaining situational awareness of not only the incident, but the location of the victim in relation to the best removal point, will guide rescuers in making the appropriate decisions that will ultimately increase the victim’s odds of surviving the environment they are in. Knowing how and when to implement certain tactics is of great benefit to both civilians and firefighters. This lecture will not only discuss best practices but will also cover information found during extensive research on various situations that contribute to our victims' outcomes and better prepare rescuers to make appropriate decisions during the removal process.
Sean Duffy
Courage Under Fire Leadership: Tips To Be The Best Fire Officer You Can Be!
Attendees will be exposed to numerous tips, suggestions and best practices for the fire officer of today and most importantly, of the future. Regardless of whether you are a current or future company officer or chief officer, you will benefit from the information being shared and discussed. Fire departments of all sizes and types need top-notch teamwork, leadership, and followership to ensure they are meeting and exceeding the mission they promised to the community they are expected to serve and protect. Current and relevant topics will be shared and discussed in a positive manner so that attendees are able to go back to their respective departments and create an action plan for success!
Steve Prziborowski
Flying into a New ERA: Building a Drone Program and Utilization in the Fire Service

Drones are becoming more prevalent within the fire service. There are many examples of successful utilization of drones and programs throughout the country. This program demonstrates how new technology is not always a bad thing and drones may be utilized in a variety of different capacities to assist incident commanders, other emergency agencies and beyond. The sky is the limit when it comes to drone utilization within the fire service (no pun intended!). This program will demonstrate and outline key factors associated with building a drone program within a fire department along with necessary training and equipment. Additionally, the program will provide case studies outlining the various uses of drones in the Western Berks, PA, Fire Department drone program and how the program has been built from the ground up.

Jackson Memorial Middle School Shooting: Lessons Learned
On Feb. 20, 2018, Jackson Memorial Middle School in Ohio was the scene of a fatal, self-inflicted, shooting involving a 13-year-old male student. This immediately made the middle school, and all Jackson local schools go into lockdown mode. Fire, EMS and law enforcement agencies converged on the scene and began operations. The initial intelligence reported that this was the first step in a planned mass school shooting. The event went from a suicide to a large-scale operation. This class will explain the course of events of handling the school shooting emergency to all skill levels. Lessons learned will be examined, with each layer of the event, as they unfolded.
Kai Rieger
Leadership & Lessons From a Senior Man

The fire service as we know it is changing fast, and the idea of a young person with little time on becoming the senior person is here. We are now at the point where the young generation are the ones who are our senior members and our officers. The best thing that we can do to help them is to share what we know with them. This class is an interactive class that shares thoughts from a retired “senior person.” With lots of engaging topics and discussion, this program is designed to spark ideas and share some insights on how to be that successful, respected senior leader in your department or company.

Preventing and Managing Human Error Using Crew Resource Management
Both firefighting and EMS are in the business of doing a dangerous job safely. Not many other occupations put employees in austere environments with the job of saving a person’s life. In the aviation community, it was discovered that human error was the main cause of most aviation mishaps. Because of this, Crew Resource Management (CRM) was created and remains one of the pillars behind aviation safety. In this lecture, attendees will learn the fundamentals behind human error and how human errors occur. The focus will then shift to learning the guiding principles of CRM and how to implement them to reduce errors in patient care.
The Power of Sleep for Physical and Mental Health
According to a recent study, over 40 percent of law enforcement officers have a diagnosable sleep disorder, more than doubling the general population. The effects of sleep deprivation can range from simply feeling aggravated to chronic diseases and mental health disorders. While law enforcement has done a great job promoting two pillars of health (i.e., nutrition and exercise), it has fallen woefully short on promoting the third pillar: sleep. This presentation provides an interactive format to discuss what sleep cycles are and why they are important. It evaluates basic sleep hygiene practices that people often overlook. Finally, it discusses Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-I) and how officers can utilize CBT-I to get remarkably better sleep in six weeks.
The View of a Female Fire Chief and the Challenge of the Firehouse Life
This session is designed to educate individuals in public service and help them understand the hurdles, and also the advantages, to being a minority/female in the fire service. The fire service has for so long been a "brotherhood" but you don't need to be a man to be a member of that elite group of firefighters. Being a minority, whether it be your gender or race or otherwise, is no longer to be looked at as a fault but as a gift. Using the trials and tribulations associated with being a female in the fire service, especially as a ranking officer, the presenter will attempt to help others overcome or even avoid those same hurdles. Firefighting is not just a career, but a lifestyle that can affect more than some of us would like to admit. Being promoted is a tough road for any firefighter. Finding your way through the ranks can cost you friends, other employment, marriages and even sometimes your own identity. This session could make a big difference in the way people view not only women in officer/chief positions, but in the ranks in general.
Training Strategies: A Comprehensive Approach to Increase Performance
How are you measuring training success in your organization? Are you just checking the boxes to show credit for the training or are you truly meeting standards and then measuring the retention and performance of those skills? While there are deep, historical roots of training methodologies in the fire service, we must balance the best traditions of the past with new methods available today to enhance the delivery and retention of skills to continually be successful and increase performance. This presentation will cover tips and tricks that will help attendees be successful in the future when defining their training programs. This presentation is appropriate for all officer experience levels as well as future instructors.
9:15 AM - 10:15 AM
Behind the 8 Ball: The First 15 Minutes
Fire departments across the country are experiencing staffing shortages. The problem, fire will continue to grow, people will continue to be trapped, and the overall incident will not stand still regardless of how understaffed you are. You can be behind the 8 ball in the first 15 minutes. What can we do about it? Does this mean the only thing we can do is fight fire from the outside? This program will highlight training, crew efficiency, collaborative mutual aid, and realities faced when looking at fire department challenges. Have you ever heard the term, do more with less? This does not mean that we are accepting lower standards. Quite the contrary, we need to become more efficient at every level within the fire department. This interactive presentation will review incident priorities and how a lack of staffing can make all the difference in winning and losing on the fireground. This presentation will also discuss staffing studies that have been completed and how to utilize them to your best advantage. We will also review NFPA 1710 and 1720 and the OSHA standard for two in and two out.
Tim Cowan
Did you ever think of breaking the word “brotherhood” into smaller segments? Let’s start with “Bro.” As a person of color, does it refer to brother that looks like me or shares my political or religious beliefs? Are we brothers because we live in the same area? Or share the desire to help anyone? The “T” drops into all of the breakouts—Training, Tolerance, Tact, Temperament and also Turbulent and Trying (especially in these times). “HER” of course is for the female members in the fire service. It is no longer a Taboo (another “T”) topic. The “HER” has many similarities to the “BRO” when it comes to race, religion, etc. The “HOOD” refers to “street knowledge.” An example was a conversation about a cadet’s inability to handle and work with a chain saw. The cadet was from an inner city, which reminded the speaker about his own upbringing. Coming from an inner city did not expose him to the same life needs as a person from a suburb or rural area. He was behind in that particular skill, but was able to show an ability in “street knowledge” that his co-workers did not have.
Down & Dirty Urban Forcible Entry
Forcible entry tools and tactics have been around for ages. The need for keeping up with the ever so-changing game of forcing our way through things on the street is changing on us fast, and we have to be prepared. This interactive, forcible entry program is designed to teach the firefighter no matter the level of experience the main, basic and advanced principles of street-smart forcible entry. This program focuses on new and older, but safe, street approved methods and techniques for conventional forcible entry tactics. During this time, we will discuss and show techniques for making entry through challenging locks, added security features, steel roll gates and different types of garage doors. Because this class is an interactive class, attendees will be faced with forcible entry skill stations as well as scenario based training to hone in on the tactics learned in the program in a stress-induced environment.
Robert James Charlie Hendry
Everything Fireground
This comprehensive course will cover everything from the receipt of the initial alarm to the response to operating on the fire floor. This presentation will lay out the officer’s role in regards to the response and guide the driver to size-up to the attack. We will cover the various structures we respond to across the nation and some tips and tricks to mitigate fires.
Intelligently Aggressive Fire Attack
The environment known as the fireground is a dynamic, deadly, and increasingly complex arrangement of almost limitless variables. Firefighters are facing even greater challenges with the advancement of lithium-ion batteries in homes and cars, and more synthetic fuels being used in the construction and contents of the building itself. It is of the utmost importance that firefighters do not enter a structure without a plan based on training, experience, and fireground data. We remind the public each year to water their Christmas tree to prevent a possible fire but firefighters fail to water the couch (or any furniture) as they pass this potential fuel source that is rapidly off-gassing highly flammable vapors. There are many firefighters who are opening the nozzle on the way to the fire, but our research has shown that the majority of these fire suppression efforts are brief short bursts or improper penciling techniques. This course will provide factual data about the value of an open and flowing nozzle. Firefighters need to understand that our efforts should be improving conditions. Proper water application applied early and consistently moving towards the seat of the fire reduces overall temperatures, increases chances for victim survival, and reduces the risk of rapid fire development. This presentation provides data, research, and video demonstrations to open up the attendees’ paradigm about "fire attack" and how we can better fulfill the oath of saving lives and property.
Andy Starnes
Management MAYDAY, the Why, When, and How to Call One

Mayday, Mayday, Mayday!! The radio transmission no incident commander wants to hear, and one that no firefighter wants to make. A mayday scenario is one that is usually reserved for the fireground, or another type of an incident scene, when a firefighter or firefighters are in trouble and immediate help is needed. This same concept can be applied to a chief officer who is not on the fireground, but is facing an administrative or operational crisis that puts their position as chief in jeopardy. This interactive presentation will address some of the common, and not so common, challenges and issues, that a chief officer will likely face during their career. It will also cover the well-known L.U.N.A.R. acronym, which is typically reserved for the firefighter in distress to relay pertinent information to the incident commander, but when modified accordingly can aid the chief officer by giving them the tools to rescue themselves and salvage their careers.

Jared Renshaw
Street Smart Extrication
This is not your normal basic vehicle rescue class! There is no 10-step checklist prior to getting tools off the rig. What is included is real-world tips to gain access to victims in the quickest manner possible with regards to today's ever-changing technology. While the conditions on scenes have changed, the goal has remained; extricate the pinned victims in the quickest and most direct manner possible. This goal needs to drive our operations and drive us to rethink vehicle extrication. Staffing isn't what it used to be, and manufacturers are building cars to withstand greater force without compromising occupant safety. These upgrades in vehicle components actually make it harder for us to get in when we need to. Does this give us an excuse for when things don't go well? NO! The public expects us to come to their aid and remove them from harm. They don't care that their vehicle is hard to get in to. The golden hour doesn't magically become the golden hour and a half just because you hit snags. We will touch on stabilization, overturned, underride, rapid extrication scenarios and patient removal. Discussions will also be had on vehicle construction materials and techniques and how they help and hurt us during extrication.
The Most Expensive Training Exercise: Lessons in Community Relations
The City of Bloomington, IN, Fire Department spent months planning an acquired structure live burn which included a lengthy process through the State's Environmental Management Department, work with the building owner to remove known hazards, and community wide notifications. The week of the live fire training went well until the final live burn to demolish the home was conducted and a citizen identified lead contamination in the ash that rained down on the adjacent neighborhood. The training exercise and planned community event quickly turned into a multi-operational period incident. From the initial complaint that occurred while the live burn was still in progress to the lingering complaints a month after the incident, the department focused on rapidly containing the issue, crisis communication, adaptive care and community engagement. Community and political demands directed the process to mitigate this incident and required some out-of-the-box solutions to meet expectations that the department was not tooled to fulfill. The department turned to environmental testing and cleanup companies to help mitigate the situation and avoid litigation from the community, however, this training exercise cost the taxpayers nearly $160,000 by the time it was over. The actions of the department following the incident created stronger ties to the community and serve as an example of how a department can turn a negative into a positive. This interactive lecture will review this training exercise turned incident from beginning to end, go over lessons learned, and will help attendees understand the components needed to establish and maintain strong community ties following a poor interaction with the residents. In addition, a review of this case study will showcase options that can be used to provide detailed communications relatable to other incident types such as a hazardous materials release or large fire with harmful byproducts. Beyond the incident's lessons learned, this class will also look at the cost versus benefits of live fire training in an acquired structure and provide some tips to help minimize the risk of conducting this valuable training.
9:15 AM - 10:45 AM
Tackling Cancer in Today's Fire Service

Details coming soon! 

Frank Leeb
2:00 PM - 3:30 PM
A Fire Officer’s/Chief’s Guide to Navigating Media Interviews

Most fire officers and chiefs would choose root canal over performing a media interview. But spreading our message via the media is an important part of being a fire service leader. In this highly interactive session, participants will learn how to manage media interviews and use the media to help carry their fire department's message to the public. Examples of strong media performances by fire chiefs and officers will be reviewed, helping prepare attendees for the next time they are met with a camera or a microphone – whether it be at a fire scene or back at the fire station.

Basement Fire Operations: The Dangers Lurking Below
Fires in below-grade areas are unlike any other fire to which we respond. The numerous dangers associated with advancing hoselines into these confined spaces while companies operate on the floors above have been linked to multiple firefighter fatalities, injuries and RIC deployments over the past few years. Valuable information from recent scientific studies by UL and NIST have pointed to intensified heat release rates, increased use of lightweight wood construction, wind-driven fires, improper fire suppression tactics, a lack of adequate ventilation, and inadequate water flow (gpm) as potential factors contributing to this rise in fatalities, injuries and RIC operations. Topics to be covered include incident management, size-up, search, ventilation, attack line selection and advancement, pre- and post-control overhaul, firefighter safety and rapid intervention.
Robert Moran John Lewis
First Due Tactics for the Urban Truck Boss
This class will cover initial arrival considerations (first-due tactics) for urban-based company officers. The class content will cover assigning resources, managing truck company crews during emergency incidents and debriefing calls and other major events. The instructor will describe methods for capitalizing on various experience levels within the ranks to successfully mitigate incidents and other company-related tasks and activities. Attendees will discuss the importance of preplanning and quick decision-making and explore first-due tactical options for assigning and managing truck company resources. Attendees will be given tools to assist in deploying firefighters with various levels of experience and tools to assist in developing their thought process for first-due tactics for urban-based company officers. The class facilitation will focus on assigning resources and managing crews during emergency incidents. The discussion will describe methods for deploying various experience levels within the ranks to successfully mitigate various incidents.
Sean Eagen
Improving the Company Level Drill
This workshop is designed for fire service instructors, fire officers, and anyone else who conducts company-level training sessions. The presenter will first provide attendees with an overview of the characteristics that make a “good” fire instructor before presenting the relevant research and best practices that promote student learning and engagement. The presentation will focus on the following key concepts: exemplary instructor characteristics, training drill preparation and execution, student engagement, learner attention span and learning retention. The session will conclude by recommending multiple engaging instructional practices and asking the attendees to identify ways to improve their own professional instructional practice.
Moneyball for the Fire Service
The movie “Moneyball” wasn't just a study of the fallacies of a baseball scout's intuition, it was a study into behavioral economics. Many of the same concepts of behavioral economics can be used for the fire service as well. We all exhibit the same irrational behaviors, but we continually apply a rational methodology when developing new policies and fixing problems (or missing the undervalued players who get on base). Applying the study of behavioral economics, fire service leaders will understand why vision statements work, how targeting can reduce turnout times, and how to reduce sick time. This presentation will allow attendees to understand the behaviors required to lead and affect change in their organizations.
Resilience: A Holistic Approach to Self-Care and Prevention
Due to stress, trauma and elevated cortisol levels, many of us live in a continuous state of “high alert.” If left unmanaged, this continuous stress can lead to psychological and other health problems. In order to reduce stress and build resilience, we must deliberately activate the parasympathetic nervous system. This presentation will discuss how Polyvagal Theory can be used as a prevention tool to enhance mental wellness. Beyond the science, attendees will learn techniques to activate the parasympathetic nervous system. Some of these techniques will even be practiced in the classroom so attendees can experience how easily and effectively the strategies can be employed.
RIT Team Operations: A Top- Down Approach
This program was created based on multiple, real- life incidents that identified the need for RIT teams to be better prepared for activation with a particular focus on potential rescues from elevated areas. This class will discuss various ways to approach non- routine training for RIT Team operations. Topics include performing effective scene size- ups, techniques for performing rescues from a roof top or elevated area, understanding the decision-making process, and roles of the company officer and incident commander during a mayday. We will identify and evaluate actual mayday situations that may and did go unnoticed and how to take a realistic approach to recognizing future mayday situations. We will also review real life incidents and discuss how a domino effect of fireground issues often occurs leading up to the mayday.
Greg Obert
Utilizing ‘Controlled Aggression’ To Become ‘Default Effective’

You’ve heard it many times before: “We’re default aggressive!” But what does that really mean and how exactly do we live up to that mantra? ‘Aggressive’ is one of the most over and mis used words in the modern fire service, and because of that, confusion has been created in some people’s minds on how to live up to or exist around the many misrepresentations of what an aggressive firefighter or operation is or should be. This program looks at some of those misrepresentations, how they came to be, and how we can move past them to develop fire-ground doctrine that more effectively meets our sworn obligation to the public and each other. It outlines strategies and tactics that can be utilized by firefighters and fire officers to plan, organize, train for and execute safe and efficient fire-ground operations, becoming ‘default effective’, while not compromising our mission values personally or as a service in order to do so. Specifically, this program applies proven ideology, applied to the fire service, that allows us to gather incident intelligence, develop and maintain situational awareness, exploit available opportunity, gain and maintain control of critical territory, develop an effective incident tempo and maintain that momentum, gain control of fire development and limit its growth and how we can build upon those accomplishments to effectively and efficiently bring an incident under control and to a safe conclusion.

Brian Bastinelli
8:00 AM - 9:30 AM
20 Training Props on a Shoestring Budget (and the drills that go with them)
Funding is getting harder and harder to come by, and fire departments are forced to stretch their precious dollars to the limit each year. Unique funding sources are out there, but figuring out how and who to approach is often a lesson in futility. Timing of requests is also paramount in the successful acquisition of funds and materials for training props. These 20 training props—and the drills that go with them—won’t break the budget but will afford quality training to your department. This program will not only supply the attendee with 20 outstanding training props that may be constructed with little to no financial outlay, it will also identify some unique, outside the box funding and materials sources that many departments overlook.
James Jester
Engine Company Tactical Traps
We have all been there, the fire that goes sideways; we struggle to get it back on track. When tactical mistakes happen early in a fire, things tend to continue down that path. These fires happen all too often, yet we fail to address the real issue, bad tactical decisions. Tactical traps are all over the place on fire scenes and are often overlooked. This class will discuss several common traps, such as discount auto part stores, dollar stores, and all Type II construction buildings. We will discuss fortified rear doors, partition walls, and heavy fire loads. Also covered will be access to balloon frame void fires and cockloft and attic fires and basement fires to electric cars, hoarders conditions to vertical stretches. Your initial tactical considerations will dictate the outcome of the fire. None of us are perfect. We all make mistakes. It's how we recover from those mistakes. Unfortunately, no one on the fireground is coming behind you to fix your problem. The presenters have 33 years of experience riding an engine company and 21 from the right front seat. Experience matters! We only get one chance to set the tone for the entire fire.
Steve Robertson
Fully Involved Leadership
This class is geared toward professionals who wish to expand their abilities in leadership. It is aimed at anyone who wishes to lead at any level and is rooted in improving team performance and has application in both the public and private sectors. Thousands of fire service professionals have attended the Fully Involved Leadership Seminars and are now among the involved. Getting team members to pull towards a common goal is a key component in successful operations. This class gives attendees the tools to create a pact that is applicable to all levels of the organization.
Passion in Leading: Motivational Professional Development
The purpose of this course is to prepare upcoming leaders, while also refreshing current leaders, for why incorporating passion into their leadership is important. It discusses team building, the importance of honesty and good communication while creating awareness of bad traits like gossip, malice and ego. It is designed to be a journey of lessons learned through understanding tradition, dedication, mutual trust, humility and the importance of family. It teaches you how to eliminate complacency and strive for success, how to achieve goals in both life and your career. The difference between pride and ego and most importantly the different sides of the passion sword. The presenter will discuss how using passion for good things will help you become a great leader or by using passion in a close-minded blind way will make you lose your following. The main objective is to motivate leaders to incorporate passion in their leadership style while inspiring their people to love the job as much as they do. Passion is our fuel, it’s what makes us go where we go, but unfortunately, we sometimes lose that fuel and we become complacent. This course will help bring you back to that day when you first became a firefighter and remind you of that love and eliminate the complacency that has set in over the years. Passion is the difference between doing things because you WANT to and doing things because you HAVE to. The best leaders have the drive and passion to make themselves and their people better every day.
David McGlynn
Rescue Company Tips and Tricks
Whether your department runs a dedicated rescue company or not, fireground search and rescue, rapid intervention, vehicle extrication, and other heavy rescue skills must be refined before they are needed on an incident. This fast-paced session will introduce and discuss a variety of tried-and-true tips and tricks for training, fireground operations, extrication and technical rescue operations. Whether a department is just beginning its journey into rescue operations or has had a rescue company for decades, all attendees will leave this presentation with ideas that can be easily and quickly implemented at their own department.
Jake Hoffman
Resiliency Is the Way
Have we done a good job of developing resilient firefighters? Have we given them the tools to succeed over 30 years in a profession where we respond to the worst day of someone's life? Unfortunately, the research on mental health and suicide rates of emergency responders indicates that we have an issue that must be addressed. Therefore, during this class we will focus on why post-traumatic stress, acute stress disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder affect emergency responders all over the world and how we as leaders can provide resiliency training to combat this. Quite often emergency responders do not understand why they are feeling a certain way mentally and physically from the trauma witnessed on emergency scenes. This creates many challenges both personally and professionally. Unfortunately, responders may not know where to go for help or are afraid to ask for help due to the stigma and the "suck it up" mentality plaguing emergency services. During this workshop, the presenter will discuss the signs and symptoms of post-traumatic stress, acute stress disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder from clinical research and from his own personal experience. Then we will discuss and practice self-help tools that can be utilized in the firehouse for self support and for peer support. These tools and techniques have been used for more than 100 years to combat stress and require no funding. It only requires a willingness to learn and take the information back to your department to help save those who save others.
David Griffin
that may be conducted in order to work on these skills. From the probies to the chiefs, everyone should understand the vital need for a strong RIC culture within a department and furthermore within the individual firefighter. There seems to be a stigma associated with RIC teams; that these companies have a hurry-up-and-wait ideology when it comes to operating at a fire. Why must this be? Why can’t we as a fire service understand that the RIC team has one of the most important roles on the fireground, firefighter safety and if needed, rescue. This presentation dives into the why and how we can get to that level of understanding. One of the key concepts that is discussed is softening the building and being able to think steps ahead. RIC work isn’t about being a lawn shepherd but rather about being an educated and trained problem solving firefighter. RIC continues to be a vital element of the job that lacks attention overall. In some areas, the RIC team is known as those who arrive on scene to stand around, in some areas it’s an engine company that brings a RIC pack up to the scene and then proceeds to operate as an engine company. In the firefighter one program, the curriculum barely discusses the topic and in the firefighter two program, there are three to four sessions that address the Nance Drill, the Denver Drill, and how to convert an SCBA. We are setting our own up for failure. As a mutual-aid RIC chairman, the topic is gaining support to continue developing the topic both physically and mentally. RIC operations involve everything from being prepared, knowing emergency operations, and understanding how to think ahead at an incident. RIC training doesn't have to be high end; you can do it every day using everything you have. If you need to train on a budget, we'll show you what you can do to take advantage of that opportunity. Some of the trainings discussed include entanglements, SCBA conversations, RIT packs, and more. This presentation also briefly discusses RIC teams and interoperability at different incidents like complex rescue and water incidents. If you’re not thinking about RIC operations as a rookie, you’re behind the ball, and cheating yourself and your brothers.
Search Techniques for Extremely Cluttered Environments
Firefighters worldwide are responding to an increased number of fires that occur inside cluttered conditions. Cluttered environments are found in every type of occupancy. From single-family mobile homes to multifamily dwellings, the number of cluttered environments is increasing. With this increase, the need to adjust search techniques for both fire and victims requires firefighters to think outside the box from the “normal.” During this highly interactive class the attendees will learn lessons from successful rescues, near-miss events, and tactics that will increase the chances of making a rescue inside cluttered environments.
Ryan Pennington
The Hat Dance: Realities of the Short-Staffed C.O.

As adequate staffing continues to become more of a fantasy than a reality for many departments, the modern company officer is asked to wear many hats ranging from tailboard firefighter to command level officer. With a strong company officer often being the difference between fireground failure and success, we must reconsider what we are asking of our company officers and how they carry out their duties. This class aims to empower and encourage company officers battling the realities of limited manpower armed only with strategies found in formal training and education designed for staffing models that are no longer realistic for the average fire department. We will break down how to balance firemanship and leadership, adapting leadership and managerial responsibilities to low staffing environments, the delicate balance of mentor and boss, proper approaches to delegation, the importance of humility, and strategies for accomplishing mission critical tasks early in the incident without the manpower to do so. By bridging personal and departmental expectations with the realities of limited manpower, current and aspiring company officers will leave with the tools and attitudes necessary to successfully lead their teams both on and off the fireground!

Marc Aloan
The Rural Challenge: The First 10 Minutes
The rural incident commander faces many challenges within the first 10 minutes on an emergency scene. Responding to fire and other emergency incidents in rural areas vastly differ from those in the urban environment. Low manpower, limited resources, and the need for efficient tactics are some of the challenges faced by the incident commander. Over the next 90 minutes, the attendee will embark on a journey as an incident commander in a rural environment. During the journey the attendee will see the similarities and differences between rural, suburban, and urban firefighting from the viewpoint of the incident commander. The attendee will then be able to navigate the challenges that a rural incited commander may face.
Justin Bailey
11:00 AM - 12:30 PM
Transparency, Integrity, Consistency: The TIC for Leadership

The transition to company officer can be challenging. Reassignment to a different response zone or shift can set back years of relational chemistry and trust due to unfamiliarity. The challenges that need to be overcome in order to build a high-functioning cohesive unit can’t be overstated when the incoming officer is “the newbie” in the unit. With the understanding that trust is built more on action than words, new officers have their work cut out for them. Actions in the station speak volumes about the character of the company officer, and to lead a crew successfully on the fireground there must be trust.

1:00 PM - 2:30 PM
Leadership From the Bottom Up!
This fun and engaging personal leadership development class is designed to inspire, educate and motivate attendees on caring for the organizational spirit! As firefighters, we typically sit back and wait for the leaders at the top to move our organization forward when the momentum we need is actually located at the bottom. To build and/or maintain a winning organization we need everyone to bring their “A” game! Take control of the things you can change and let go of the things you cannot. If you are a firefighter, stop complaining and start doing; if you are an officer, stop protecting and start correcting; if you are a chief officer, stop talking and start listening. It is time we all come together, shed the negative narrative, and become part of the solution. If you love the job, want to have fun, and be the change, then this class is for you!
Candace Ashby
Out of Air, Can YOU Make It to Safety?
In 2005, the events that took place in the first 15 minutes of a large church fire would become a life-changing event for the crews involved. This fire would result in a “near-miss” for the first-due fire crew when the officer and firefighter became separated, disoriented and lost on the second floor with rapidly changing fire conditions. With the air in their SCBAs depleted, a mayday was called. Heavy radio traffic, the incident commander changeover, and an unaccounted-for crew member caused the mayday to go undetected, along with communication errors as interior operations were being conducted. This class is a first-hand account of the lessons learned from the perspective of a then-firefighter, a promoted fire officer, and current instructor who have become valuable teaching tools for the entire department. All levels of leadership and operational personnel will learn the importance of knowing that rehearsing basic firefighter skills can save your life.
Shaping Your Volunteer Fire Department to Fit Today's Expectations
Is your volunteer fire department struggling to maintain relevance in our changing society? Does your current service delivery model meet the needs and expectations of your community? Are you struggling to recruit, train, and retain members? Each day, it seems that the news feeds contain a story about a volunteer department closing its doors, in financial trouble, or even worse legal trouble. There seems to be a nationwide panic about the critical shortage of volunteers. Does it have to be this way? In this class, we will: examine how industry and societal trends impact today's volunteer fire service, take a hard look at the way we've always done it, as well as share and develop alternative ways to recruit, market, lead, train, and manage our departments and members.
Brandon Fletcher
Tactical and Strategic Decision Making on Garden Apartment Fires
Every aspect of a response to a structure fire should be built around operating with an aggressive mindset and maximum efficiency. Operational tempo must speed up to keep pace with the rapid fire spread, uncertainty, and danger present on the modern fire scene. The ability to view an active fire scene, draw rapid conclusions, make rapid decisions, and monitor outcomes requires skill and practice and often is the key to successful operations. When the pressure is on, great fire company officers remain laser-focused, confident, and fully in charge of their crews. In short, these great officers are successful because they have a superior decision-making process. This workshop will present a process designed to assist fire service personnel with quickly interpreting information presented on the fire scene, improving situational awareness, identifying and analyzing risk, and making rapid decisions while operating on the most chaotic of incidents. Topics covered include preparation, fireground tactics, fireground risk factors, rapid risk assessment, personal development, situational awareness, and avoiding common pitfalls and mistakes. Participants will be provided with the tools and information that will enable them to develop their own rapid decision-making model. How prepared are you, your crew, and your department to respond to this unique and growing challenge adequately and safely?
The Art of Reading Smoke
Today’s structure fires are more dangerous than ever before. Lightweight construction, low-mass synthetics and open-space floorplans have created a perfect storm for rapid, prolific fire growth and extreme behavior. It is imperative for firefighters of all ranks and experience levels to be prepared for this new battle. The Art of Reading Smoke, developed by Dave Dodson and continued by Rob Backer, provides the knowledge necessary for first-arriving firefighters, officers and chief officers to determine the fire’s location, progression and future “from the seat” before seeing any flame. This knowledge ensures that the correct tactics are implemented for the best possible outcome. Through the extensive use of actual fireground videos, first-time attendees will develop, and returning attendees will refine their knowledge and skills to become INTELLECTUALLY aggressive firefighters, rather than ARBITRARILY aggressive. The next generation of Reading Smoke brings new research, a new library of videos and discussions on cancer prevention, tactics and strategies to develop the next generation of aggressive interior firefighting!
Rob Backer
Urban Water Rescue Considerations

Lives and critical infrastructure are more vulnerable to floods today than they have ever been. Flooding events are becoming more common in our communities. The “300-year flood” has been happening every 2–5 years, with smaller floods occurring multiple times per year. Rescue teams are increasingly challenged by the dynamic environments and unique threats encountered when our streets and towns turn into raging rivers and lakes. Specific training and planning are keys to a successful operation! In this non-traditional class, rescue professionals will gain new insight into the types of urban flood rescues they are now routinely called to perform. Attendees can expect to walk away with a comprehensive understanding of urban water hydrology, hazards, scene size-up, the rescue sequence, patient contact and assessment, patient transportation, vehicles in water, specialized resources, and nighttime operations.

Andrew McIntyre