8:00 AM - 9:30 AM
Highway Incident Operations for Fire & EMS

Distracted, drowsy, drunk, drugged and disgruntled drivers are striking firefighters, EMTs and emergency vehicles at roadway incidents with increasing frequency. We can’t change their “D” behavior, but we can change how we do things to protect our personnel. Roads and highways are the most common immediately dangerous area of operation for firefighters and EMTs and it is critical that personnel safeguard themselves during roadway operations. This session will offer defensive strategies for roadway incident scene management and provide an overview of the emerging hazards of semi-autonomous vehicles. The benefits of new technology like digital alerting devices will also be reviewed.

Jack Sullivan
Intelligently Aggressive Search Operations, Enhancing Decision-Making Ahead of the Line

This class will combine modern technology and modern fire science and research, with time tested and proven aggressive search operations to make your fireground, more intelligently aggressive. This class will explore topics from sizing up the search, managing your crew inside the structure, VEIS, RIC and more. The presenter will discuss thermal imaging and how to use the information gained from it to assist your decision-making process and cut your search times in half. The focus of this class will be identifying searchable space, controlling the environment to make it better, creating more searchable space, and setting your search operations up for success.

Thomas Anderson
Social Media Challenges in the Fire Service

Social media has been both a blessing and a curse for the fire service, but one thing is undeniable: social media is here to stay. The laws that apply to social media continue to evolve, with new cases and considerations arising daily. This program will focus on the latest social media cases affecting the fire service. Learn how to avoid digital media problems and develop sound, defensible social media polices while still having access to needed fireground photography for training purposes. Real-life cases are analyzed including the legal consequences to firefighters and departments arising from posting photos and videos.

Curt Varone
The Hat Dance: Realities of the Short-Staffed Company Officer

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. 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. The presenter will break down how to balance firemanship and leadership to overcome the challenges facing company officers who routinely operate as members of crews with three or less personnel.

Marc Aloan
Water on the Fire

The old adage “put the wet stuff on the red stuff'” still stands today. Even though we have made tremendous advances in apparatus, gear, and thermal imaging, water is still the most widely used and most effective extinguishing agent at the majority of structure fires. This class will examine how to maximize hydrant flows, booster tank efficiency, proper hose size and final delivery. When utilizing master stream devices, you must understand the tip size, its flow, and all the variables. These most efficient fire extinguishment possibilities can only be effective if you have a complete understanding of how to get WATER on the FIRE!

Curt Isakson
9:45 AM - 10:45 AM
Company Officer Promotion: Right Tools, Right Choice

The importance of the company officer cannot be overstated. Therefore, the process of candidate preparation and selection is extremely important for success at all levels of the department. How do we know that we're making the best choice for the job? This interactive discussion identifies a variety of methods used in promotional processes, including pros and cons of each. Bring your ideas and experiences and let's learn from each other.

Brian Collins
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.

Joseph Baxa
Staying Aggressively Positive

How can anyone hate going to the firehouse? It might be because of the people found inside. Sometimes we let our opinions and thoughts get in the way of our chosen profession. One way to fix that is to stay aggressively positive. In this highly interactive session, the presenter will dive into the why, how, and where firefighters can focus their attention to stay positive around the firehouse. How can you deal with the downers while building your circle of influence? This session will engage all the attendees to participate in a fluid, non-scripted discussion.

Ryan Pennington
Stroke Management for the Fire Service

This class dives into the pertinent assessment tools, and information that needs to be relayed to EMS as they arrive on scene. The presenter will discuss how to recognize large vessel occlusion stroke, which patients meet criteria for diversion to a comprehensive stroke center, the difference between a comprehensive stroke center and a primary stroke center and the latest trends in stroke care. Attendees will also learn how the 2018 AHA/ASA guidelines affect EMS care and transport.

James Closser
Traffic Management Apparatus

Working traffic accidents is extremely dangerous for first responders. With major highways running through busy cities, numerous accidents occur daily. Following a horrifically close call for three Irving, TX, firefighters in 2015, Chief Victor Conley developed a lifesaving, cost-cutting plan—the blocker program. He repurposed retired fire apparatus, retrofitting them and using them as blockers—the first line of protection for fire, EMS, police and wrecker operators on accident scenes.

Victor Conley
Workplace Bullying: Awareness for Today's Fire Service

Approximately 60 million U.S. workers are affected by bullying in the workplace. Unfortunately, 80 percent of this incivility and abusive workplace behavior is legal in most states. This program will define what workplace bullying is and what it is not; distinguish between uncivil/abusive and illegal behavior; illustrate and analyze bully motives and behaviors; discuss and analyze target and witness behavior; illustrate the parallels between bullying and domestic violence; identify the negative health effects on targets; establish that leadership and co-worker inaction is not a neutral response; discuss how workplace bullying is currently stopped; and formulate strategies to create safer and healthier fire service workplaces.

John Brophy
3:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Designing & Delivering Effective Command Training

This interactive session covers how to develop and deliver effective incident command training for your department and/or region. You will learn numerous tips on designing a curriculum for your target audience and delivering that curriculum through interactive simulations. Curriculum development and delivery for initial incident command, managing multi-alarm incidents, and managing disasters will be covered. Various techniques to deliver simulations will be demonstrated with active participation from the audience. The presenters will share valuable information from their many years of delivering these classes to firefighters in their departments and regionally to ensure success in your training environment.

Marshall Noyes
Down & Dirty Urban Forcible Entry

This interactive forcible-entry program is designed to teach the firefighter basic and advanced principles of street-smart forcible entry. The presenter will discuss techniques for making entry through and around locks, for both residential and commercial structures. Attendees 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. In this interactive class, students will be faced with forcible-entry scenarios and explain how they would overcome the challenges as well.

Robert "RJ" James Cameron Peek
Fireground Size-Up for the Engine, Truck & Chief

Knowing “when to stay” or “when to go” are the critical factors outlined in this seminar. Situational awareness/fireground size-up, or the lack of it, is a consistent series of factors that leads to the success or failure of an emergency incident. This seminar is designed to enhance your anticipative skills. Attendees will learn how to recognize the pre-incident information need (PIN), utilize alarm transmission information and on-scene reports to recognize as well as identify the challenges, understand and identify building construction, occupancy, and height cues and their influence on your decision making, recognize how resource and response capabilities can affect your operations, and much more.

Michael Terpak
Situational Awareness Lost: The Command Post

This program details two incidents; one where a firefighter was killed in the line of duty; the other being a near miss of an entire company resulting in one firefighter being trapped for nearly 15 minutes. A lack of situational awareness and training played a major role in both events. This session will examine issues and deficiencies in training programs, decision-making processes before and during fireground operations, and best practices in gaining/maintaining situational awareness on the fireground. Attendees will hear the radio traffic and learn how numerous cues were missed during the situational awareness process and how these cues played into the events.

Robert  "Todd" Edwards
The Pillars of the Fireground: Search & Extinguishment

Oftentimes, our fireground can become a complex myriad of tactics and tasks, when in actuality two pillars, search and fire attack, are all that it takes for a successful outcome. This class will cover in detail both search and fire attack using a smart/aggressive mindset that is backed by experience and research. This interactive video-based discussion will help students decide what’s faster—taking the problem away from the victim or taking the victim away from the problem.

Kevin Lewis
Tower Ladders: Setting Up for Success

This program will answer why we consider the tower ladder both an offensive and defensive tool on the fireground. The basic steps of how to use this tool to its maximum capability will be presented in an organized approach from start to finish with an emphasis on the importance of apparatus positioning early and the advantages it can provide throughout the incident. Topics include outrigger placement, bucket movement from the turntable and bucket, scrub area and stream application. This versatile tool can help provide a safe and efficient platform to work from at various occupancies and buildings located in the suburban setting. 

Christopher G. Eysser
8:00 AM - 9:30 AM
Death by PowerPoint: An Instructor's Guide to Educating Modern-Day Firefighters

This program will discuss modern-day education techniques to understand the most effective instructional methods used to communicate and pass on the knowledge and traditions of the fire service. Observations show that fire service instructional styles have not advanced at the same pace as mainstream education. The great millennial discussion will be a sizable component of the program as the presenters discuss the best techniques for educational success with this generation.

Jay Dixon
Introduction to Tactical Thermal Imaging

Firefighters are required to formulate strategies and tactics at 15 times the speed as we did in the past due to the high heat-release rate fuels in structure fires because fires develop faster and are predominantly ventilation-limited with heavy, turbulent, black smoke that reduces our visibility. Tactical thermal imaging enhances a firefighter’s decision-making skill set by providing thermal data that allows them to quickly locate the location and severity of the fire. This class will help you locate tough, hidden fires via thermal cues and clues, Identify the flow path, determine the most efficient access path, and make enhanced stream placement decisions.

Andrew Starnes
Managing Everyday Incidents

Sometimes, we are called to adrenaline-pumping responses that mandate vigorous effort and incorporate the use of several engine, truck and rescue companies operating simultaneously. This class, however, will discuss the less glamorous side of the job—handling the common everyday service calls. But these everyday calls are considered emergencies for the people who make them. It’s important to know how to properly handle the everyday emergencies to provide the best customer service to the citizens we protect. Topics include carbon monoxide incidents, culinary mishaps, electrical emergencies, home heating incidents, plumbing and water problems and more.

John A. Hayowyk Sean Eagen
The Fire Apparatus Operator: Tips and Tricks for Success

Apparatus operators play a critical role in the efficiency and safety of the crew yet rarely does training go beyond driving or pump operations. This class will look at the role the apparatus operator plays in improving response times, not through speed, but through turn out times, area familiarization and an understanding of traffic patterns and impediments. The presenter will also discuss the responsibility and importance of truck checks on crew safety and efficiency and the role of the apparatus operator in cancer prevention. Other topics include equipment staging, mayday and RIT operations, apparatus placement, water supply and more.

Brian Gettemeier
The New Officer's Guide to the Engine Company

As a newly promoted company officer assigned to an Engine Company, there are numerous areas that require your attention both in the firehouse and on the fireground. Without a thorough plan, and the proper mindset, it can often feel as though you are being "thrown to the wolves." This class will examine several critical areas that must be addressed to establish a proficient engine company: personal expectations, company training evolutions, engine specific size ups, and effective fireground tactics.

Jonathan Hall
3:00 PM - 4:30 PM
Miscues, Mistakes, Missteps: Things Not Mentioned in the Book

Things that went wrong usually get our attention quicker than those that went right. This happens quite frequently in the emergency service world. It is up to the training instructors, departments, and academies to resolve such matters. Miserable presentations and ineffective skills training equate to less interested, complacent, and unproductive members in the department. This presentation studies the gaps and weaknesses of uncommon factors that set back members and the overall training program. The focus is detailing the importance of quality insight and direction for those who want to bring the passion and desire to their members.

Joseph Edwards
Top Tips for Effective Truck Operations

Truck company operations are an important part of fireground operations, and they are both mentally and physically demanding. For this reason, a thorough knowledge of truck company operations, tools, equipment and overall fireground operations is essential for you to perform effectively. This course is intended to cover the time-tested acronym LOVERS-U with the goal of helping the student perform better whether responding with a single truck, multiple trucks or no truck at all.

Sean Eagen
Training as the Priority in the Volunteer Fire Service

Making training a priority in volunteer or mostly volunteer fire departments can be a struggle. This can lead to catastrophic results such as an increase in risk for injury and/or death and failing to meet the expectations of the communities they serve. This course will help the firefighter determine the need for training for themselves and their department, and how to make it the leading priority. Topics to be discussed include organizational training needs and expectations, selecting a training officer, training program delivery, and personal responsibility in maintaining a healthy training environment.

Justin Bailey
Urban Swiftwater Rescue Considerations: Dynamic Thinking for a Dynamic Environment

Flooding and flash-flooding are occurring in larger, urban areas more frequently than ever before. These conditions precipitate an unforgiving environment requiring consideration to be given to the significant hazards associated within these areas, as well as performance of atypical, technically based rescues requiring outside-the-box thinking. This session targets those who already have operations or technician-level experience within swiftwater rescue. Topics of discussion include changing weather patterns and the associated effects, urban area hazards/considerations, real-life scenarios with lessons learned, and changing thought patterns from being reactive to becoming more proactive regarding equipment, training and planning.

Brian Felts
Wins, Worries and War Stories: The Diary of a Fire Officer

The fire officer is one of the most influential positions on the job. There are ups and downs that have a variety of effects on our crews, our families, and those we serve. You need to prepare for the emotional roller coaster because they can happen to you. This class will focus on real-life situations where choices and actions resulted in a variety of emotions. Come get a dose of reality and learn from 30 years of successes and failures.

Trey Nelms