ALL HOT Classes are offered on Tuesday, October 8 and Wednesday, October 9, except for "What's Really Cooking: A Firefighter's Strategic Approach to Clandestine Labs (offered Wednesday only)

Classes begin at 8:00am and end at 5:00pm

Aggressive Fire Control, Flow Path, and VES Tactics (Live Fire)

Instructors: Kevin Lewis, Battalion Chief, Cobb County, GA, Fire and Emergency Services and Chad Christiansen, Captain, Los Angeles County Fire Department

The course will focus on controlling the flow path in a smart, safe and aggressive manner. Attendees will learn to control, isolate and understand live-fire behavior with specific focus on fire control, fire behavior and vent-enter-search operations. Live-fire behavior experts will work together to provide the attendees with a peak skill set for the modern fireground. This course will have three live-fire rotating stations and will be physically demanding. Several course handouts will be provided.

About Lewis

Kevin Lewis is a 23-year veteran of Cobb County, GA, Fire & Emergency Services, currently serving as battalion chief assigned to Battalion 2. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Delaware and is on the State of Georgia Incident Management Blue Team and the NFPA 1931/1932 Committee on Ground Ladders. Lewis has instructed both classroom sessions and HOT sessions at Firehouse Expo, Firehouse World, and extensively throughout the United States.


Tactical Thermal Imaging: Enhancing Fireground Performance

Instructor: Andrew Starnes, Battalion Chief, Charlotte, NC Fire Department

Today’s fireground places stringent demands on firefighters. Modern structure fires develop faster and are predominantly ventilation-limited with heavy, turbulent, black smoke that reduces visibility. With the addition of PPE that provide higher levels of thermal protective performance, firefighters must be able to diagnose thermal severity. Tactical thermal imaging enhances a firefighter’s decision-making skill set by providing thermal data. Attendees will receive a classroom portion covering the key attributes of thermal imaging, contraindications of thermal imaging and additional uses of tactical thermal imaging, then will be grouped in teams of 5–7 with two instructors to complete a series of stations.

About Starnes

Andy Starnes is a battalion chief in a large career department in North Carolina. He has been involved with the fire service as a volunteer since 1992 and as a career firefighter since 1998. Starnes is a fire service website contributor on the topics of thermal imaging, fire behavior, leadership, behavioral health, and faith-based devotions. He also is the founder of bringingbackbrotherhood.org, a nonprofit organization designed to encourage and provide guidance for firefighters in the area of behavioral health, counseling, and more. Starnes has presented tactical thermal imaging courses at numerous fire service conferences across the U.S., Germany, Canada, and Poland.


University of Extrication NFPA-Compliant Vehicle Rescue Skills Training

Instructor: Ron Moore, Training Officer, Prosper, TX Fire Rescue

Participants in this hands-on extrication class are organized into working crews and spend the entire day conducting relevant NFPA 1006- & 1670-compliant operations and technician-level vehicle rescue skills that may be required at real-world incidents. Timely and essential skills updates on over 50 common extrication assignments will be presented. All the major rescue tool manufacturers will provide their latest tools and equipment to use during each day and a new-model vehicle is provided for allowing participants to experience working with Boron steels and all the new vehicle technologies that are out there.


About Moore

Ron Moore serves as training officer with Prosper, TX, Fire Rescue and has over 40 years of fire service & rescue experience. He authors the monthly University of Extrication column in Firehouse Magazine.


Big Rig Rescue and Stabilization Skills

Instructor: Spec Rescue International / Blue Collar Training Network

This 8-hour program is designed to deal with the complexities of commercial vehicle accidents with an emphasis placed on separating the commercial vehicle from the passenger vehicle in order to expedite patient extrication. This class is designed to encourage rescuers to establish an incident action plan, establish working relationships with tow operators, stabilize and prevent movement of the commercial vehicle in all directions, and utilize a 5-step process to separate the passenger vehicle from the commercial vehicle. This program meets/exceeds requirements listed in NFPA 1006 (2017 Ed.) for Vehicle Rescue Technician Level.


Modern Truck Company Operations

Instructor: Kevin Larkins, Emergency Vehicle Driver, Baltimore City Fire Department

The days of just showing up with the ladder truck and throwing the occasional portable ladder or members stepping off the rig with an assortment of useless tools has faded away. It’s 2019 and there’s much more to truck company operations now. This 8-hour class digs deep into the truck company pocket and is designed to look at the primary functions of the truck company, including skills stations focused on ladder placement, forcible entry techniques, independent search and vertical ventilation. Whether you are on an over staffed or under staffed truck company, this program covers all the aspects for the modern-day ladder company.


About Larkins

Kevin Larkins has 18 years in the fire service and is currently an Emergency Vehicle Operator with the Baltimore City Fire Department Truck Company 8 in the Southwest section of the city. Larkins started his career as a volunteer with the Savage Volunteer Fire Co., Howard County, MD. He has held several officer positions up to the rank of assistant Chief, where he was responsible for company level training and drills. Larkins is a certified State of Maryland adjunct instructor as well as an instructor with Capitol Fire Training.


The Initial Engine Company Operations

Instructor: Jonathan Hall, Captain, St. Paul, MN Fire Department


The tactics executed by the initial engine company are critical to the success of any fireground. Plans and systems must be in place to ensure the crew's deployment efforts are maximized. This course will focus on developing techniques, designing attack packages, and implementing tactics that work for limited staffed engine companies. Attendees will be divided into small groups to ensure each student has the opportunity for multiple sets and reps as they rotate through six skill stations: Know your flows; 1 ¾” and 2 ½” hoseloads and stretches; 1 ¾” applications, nozzle control techniques, and hoseline advances; 2 ½” applications, nozzle control techniques, and hoseline advances; advanced fire conditions/transitional attack tactics; and long stretches/apartment fire tactics.


About Hall

Jon Hall is an 18-year veteran of the fire service, currently serving as a captain with the Saint Paul, MN, Fire Department. In addition, he serves as a lead instructor for the department’s Training Division teaching recruit academies and company-level training. Hall helped develop the department’s Truck Company and Engine Company apprenticeship programs. Previously, he served as a firefighter and a training and safety officer for the Township Fire Department in Eau Claire, WI. Hall is a certified fire instructor and has presented at conferences throughout the country. He is the co-owner of Make The Move Training, LLC.


Down and Dirty Forcible Entry

Instructor: Robert “RJ” James, Firefighter, Capitol Fire Training LLC

This interactive, forcible entry program is designed to teach firefighters the main, basic and advanced principles of street-smart forcible entry. The presenter will demonstrate techniques for making entry through and around locks, for both residential and commercial structures. Students will also learn quick access into urban steel roll gates and how to defeat the locks and locking mechanisms for them. Overcoming street hatches, additional security features like drop bars, slide bolts, burglar bars and modified locks will be covered as well. Because this class is an interactive class, students will be faced with forcible entry scenarios and explain how they would overcome the challenges.


About James

Robert James is an 18-year veteran of the fire service, currently serving as a firefighter with the Frederick County, MD, Fire Rescue Division. He started as a volunteer firefighter with the Cromwell, CT, Volunteer Fire Department before relocating and joining the Rockville, MD, Volunteer Fire Department, the second busiest fire station in Montgomery County. In 2004, he received a unit citation and medal of valor for rescuing a mother and child from an apartment fire in Rockville. In 2013, he helped to free a Metro worker who was trapped underneath a Metro car.




What’s Really Cooking: A Firefighter’s Strategic Approach to Clandestine Labs (offered Wednesday only)

Instructor: Michael Wilkerson, Captain, Nashville FD

This clandestine lab training will be broken down into four groups: one-pot processing; BHO extraction with butane; fentanyl responses; and iodine-based labs. Students will gain hands-on experience with both a production lab and milling operation and will be able to talk about the toxic effects of these labs as they pertain to the fire service. A Red-P lab will be set up for students to process in learning how to deal with these labs. Along with the hands-on training will be and extensive study on PPE, air monitoring and other detection equipment needed to safely mitigate clandestine labs.


About Wilkerson

Michael Wilkerson is a 40-year veteran and captain in the Nashville Fire Department Special Operations Division. He has 38 years studying hazardous materials, the last with the Special Intelligence Division of the Nashville Police Department dismantling clandestine labs. He has developed several programs for different agencies in dealing with labs of all types, including air monitoring and decontamination procedures, while concentrating on the chemical and physical properties that make meth labs so hazardous. Wilkerson is a hazmat specialist with the Tennessee Emergency Management Association and has trained more than 1,500 fire and police personnel in lab recognition.