2014 Classroom Sessions


Large Area Search Technique
Battalion Chief Todd Ackerson, Kansas City (MO) Fire Department

Commercial fire alarms are high risk. Nonresidential buildings account for seven percent of our fires and approximately 25 percent of firefighter line-of-duty deaths not related to stress and overexertion. This demands a proactive rapid intervention team (RIT) capable of mitigating worst-case situations. Students will learn how to deploy a rope-assisted RIT specifically designed to address the unique situations associated with commercial structures. This system is different from the large area methods taught in the past. It minimizes further jeopardy of additional firefighters by employing minimal personnel in smaller teams that expedite search patterns, improve rope management and mobility by eliminating tethering or spider webbing, employ advanced thermal imaging techniques, have a ready backup team in place to assist the initial entry team, use a proficient victim removal team concept, and have time-monitored accountability. ALL LEVELS

Fireground Operations When Using Nurse Tankers
Bill Adkins, Loveland-Symmes (OH) Fire Department

Students will learn strategies and tactics for the fireground while in rural areas where tankers/tenders are needed. They will see how a department's tankers/tenders with pumps can be used as nurse tankers and review the jobs and tasks needed to successfully conduct a nurse tanker operation while still concentrating on the emergency at hand. ALL LEVELS

The Seven C’s of Fire Officer Trust
Battalion Chief
John Alston, Jersey City (NJ) Fire Department
The skills that make good fire officers of all ranks will be discussed. Students will be led through each component and will interact in small groups to determine how to acquire and develop such traits. Components of the National Fire Academy "Shaping the Future" course are also addressed. ALL LEVELS

Incendio! Club Marena (Club Marena Fire) *Presented in Spanish
Raul A. Angulo, Seattle (WA) Fire Department

The Club Marena condominium fire occurred in 2003 in Rosarito, B.C., Mexico. It started on the sixth floor of a seven-story, oceanfront condominium and killed an American female tourist. Strong winds blowing in from the ocean fanned the fire, which forcefully worked its way down to the first floor. The entire building was destroyed by fire. This presentation covers the challenges responders faced and the lessons learned. This fire can happen again tomorrow. There are hundreds of thousands oceanfront hotels and condos up and down the coast. The discussion includes suggestions for strategy and tactics that can be effective for similar structures for departments that have limited resources, water, and equipment. Presentation is in Spanish.   BASIC

Skills Drills and Tips for Company Officers
Brian Arnold, Oklahoma City (OK) Fire Department

Company officers, training officers, and all responsible for delivering training to firefighters will leave with many ideas to take home to their departments. Specific examples of a variety of drills that will get the most out of a training session are presented, such as hoseline stretches, driver training, aerial operations, truck company operations, search and rescue, and rapid intervention team operations. Hot topic ideas for current trends within the fire service are identified, discussed, and verified with  data from the National Institute of Standards and Technology and fire fatality incidents. New drills and tips are included along with a few favorites from presentations of previous years. ALL LEVELS

Reality Check: Where Do You Fit in Today's Fire Service?
Arthur Ashley, Lexington (KY) Fire Department

The fire service has changed over the years through technology, employee turnover, and other events. A true "firefighter" will be compared with the "employee" of the department. Emphasis will be on morale, history, tradition, rank, and "doing the right thing." Students will evaluate themselves and the fire service, identifying strengths and weaknesses and ways to improve areas that need bolstering. Attitude, the importance of training, physical fitness, the "Senior Man," and "true Brotherhood" are addressed. Where do you think you fit in today's fire service? ALL LEVELS

Branding Your Department Through the Recruitment Process
Battalion Chief
Bob Atlas, Contra Costa (CA) County Fire
The fire service is constantly changing its recruitment and hiring process. The ability to target the best candidates depends on effective communication. The process can be frustrating and costly to the organization. The department's success is dependent on how well it is able to strategically use the information, tactics, and tools available. This presentation will answer questions about combining grassroots analytics with technological tools, specifically social analytic tools and Web search engine tactics. Students will walk away with the strategies and tactics to target future candidates while advertising their department's message. The result will be a quality organization staffed with quality members. ALL LEVELS

Fireground Strategies: Operations in Attached Structures
Deputy Chief
Anthony Avillo, North Hudson (NJ) Regional Fire and Rescue

Various types of attached structures from the viewpoints of fire spread and structural concern are the focus. Operations in attached wood-frame and ordinary construction multiple dwellings are addressed as well as fighting fires in "newer" attached structures such as townhouse complexes. Firefighting and life safety concerns inherent to each are covered as well as command and control considerations, accountability, and interior fire control tactics. ALL LEVELS

Presentation Is Everything: Creating Your Class PowerPoint® Lesson
Chuck Baird, Cobb County (GA) Fire and Emergency Services

Many training classes/drills have devolved into mind-numbing monologues delivered through presentation software. This updated class is for all instructors/educators looking to break the bonds of slide-delivered classes and reopen the door on instructional techniques that enliven the classroom and fully engage the participant. Students will be guided through the neuroscience of memory and learning as it applies to processing and retaining information. Using these principles, the participants will use commercially available lesson plans and audiovisual aids and equipment to develop learning environments that engage participants and lead to long-term retention of knowledge and skills. The "show, model, and do" format allows participants to walk away with experience in applying the principles and skills presented. ALL LEVELS

Preplanning Your Community in the Urban Wildland Interface
Captain/Training Officer Seth
Barker, Big Sky (MT) Fire Department

The focus is on finding target hazards, identifying problems, and formulating a firefighting strategy in the urban wildland interface. Community education, developing a strategy for structure protection teams based on the community or subdivision hazard mitigation, formulating a plan for apparatus placement, and creating an overall incident strategy on the front end to ensure the fire district is prepared for a large event are among the topics addressed. ALL LEVELS

Fighting Fires in Structures: 2014
Steve Bernocco, Seattle (WA) Fire Department
What decisions are you going to make at your next first-in structure fire? This class puts you in the officer’s seat, helping you to make the critical decisions necessary to safely and effectively fight fires in buildings. Videos, photos, and simulations of all types of structures on fire will add to your experiential slide tray. This class will sharpen the decision-making skills of firefighters, officers, and chief officers. ALL LEVELS

Not All Basement Fires Are Created Equally
Battalion Chief
David Bernzweig, Columbus (OH) Division of Fire

Basement fires raise the level of anxiety in even the most seasoned firefighter. Concerns such as "operating above the fire," "going down the chimney," and "one way in, one way out" are often cited when discussing operations at basement fires. Although all basement fires are dangerous, some pose much greater risks than others. Students will analyze reports of basement fires from the perspective of identifying patterns that resulted in line-of-duty deaths and near misses over the past 20 years. They will also share in recent scientific research related to basement fire operations. Other topics addressed are the risks associated with different construction features, potential ventilation flow paths that may result from fireground operations at various structure types, and the appropriate tactics for the various situations that can occur at these fires. ALL LEVELS

You Have Just Been Promoted; Now What Do You Do?
Michael Beyerstedt, Gulfport (MS) Fire Department

Newly appointed or struggling chiefs are introduced to tools that will help them to successfully lead their departments and prepare them to be successful department and community leaders. Among the topics covered are strategic leadership, servant leadership, organizational development, effective team building, the pros and cons of coming from within the department vs. coming from the outside, and customer service solutions for the fire service. ADVANCED

Special Operations in Small Departments
Art Bloomer, Kearny (NJ) Fire Department

Very few small departments have the capabilities to respond to and mitigate an incident requiring special operations training or equipment. These high-risk/low-frequency responses can occur anywhere; when they do and the fire department is called to the scene, many times the “Duty to Act” causes a tragic outcome. This class presents an overview of what a special operations incident is and what it takes to solve the problem. The equipment, training, and personnel needed to support this type of specialized response are addressed, as are standard operating procedures. In addition, students will learn what resources are already available to most departments, such as state USAR teams, and how to request them, work with them, and support them at an incident. This class will benefit the newest recruit to the most seasoned chief officer. ALL LEVELS

Strategic and Tactical Considerations for Aerial Ladder Placement
Firefighter G. Howard
Blythe, Fire Department of New York

A review of single- and multiple-ladder company operations and placement at incidents at various types of occupancies. Optimum positioning and position allowances will be reviewed. The class builds on some of the lessons covered in the FDIC 2014 Aerial H.O.T. class held earlier in the week. ALL LEVELS

When Every Second Counts: Knowing When It Is Time to Go
Firefighter Chris
Botti, Fire Department of New York

Students become acquainted with many of the current firefighter personal escape systems on the market. National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 1983, Standard on Life Safety Rope and Equipment for Emergency Services, 2012 edition, is addressed. Case studies of incidents where escape systems have been deployed are reviewed, and students learn how to prevent having to deploy a system through situational awareness and  to safely and successfully deploy a firefighter personal escape system. ALL LEVELS

Making Yourself Hard to Kill: Generating Tempo on the Fireground
Jason Brezler, USMC/Fire Department of New York
Much like the battlefield, the fireground is a time-competitive environment. Success and survival on the fireground are largely determined by the ability to rapidly conduct tactical actions in a dynamic and uncertain environment. Many of the tactical and operational changes that impact the fire service have not enhanced, but rather impaired, our operational pace in recent decades. This presentation examines the essential concept of “tactical and operational tempo” as it relates to the fireground. An appreciation for tempo also reinforces the critical components of the “Making Yourself Hard to Kill” paradigm--discipline, survival, and leadership. The presentation offers practical insight into proven techniques and methods that generate a favorable and advantageous tempo on the fireground. ALL LEVELS


Bruno and Norman "Unplugged"

Chief (Ret.)
Alan Brunacini, Phoenix (AZ) Fire Department; and Deputy Assistant Chief (Ret.) John Norman, Fire Department of New York

An opportunity to see, hear, and interact with these two fire service luminaries. Glean the lessons learned from their illustrious firefighting careers. Share their observations and perspectives in an informal and entertaining atmosphere. Available only at FDIC. ALL LEVELS

Gaining Relative Superiority: The 2½-Inch Handline
Brian Brush, West Metro (CO) Fire Rescue

The theory of relative superiority is a foundation of special operations that comes to us from Admiral William McRaven, commander of the United States Special Operations Command. McRaven defines relative superiority as “a condition that exists when a smaller attacking force gains a decisive advantage and control over a larger, defending enemy. Once relative superiority is achieved, the attacking force is no longer at a disadvantage and has the initiative to exploit the enemy’s weakness and secure victory.” American fire service firefighting forces have been reduced, and modern fuel loading and lightweight construction make our enemy (the fire) a growing threat. Although the 2½-inch handline is a larger line, it is still a single line. Through training, education, and proper tool selection, your single-line engine company can effectively deploy and initiate an attack with the bigger weapon, putting you back on top in the fight. ALL LEVELS

Leading with Attitude! Secrets of the Rock Star Fire Company
Division Chief
Eddie Buchanan, Hanover (VA) Fire-EMS Department

Have you ever noticed how some companies perform like mutts and others like rock stars? This program examines how attitude directly affects individual and organizational performance and how you can get the most from your individual and company performance. Learn how you can bring the secrets of professional athletes and entertainers to your job and ensure your company is the go-to unit on the fireground. ALL LEVELS

Training to Increase Competency
State Fire Training Director
John Buckman, Indiana Firefighter Training System

This course provides information and techniques the instructor and training officer can bring back to their departments. Students are provided a self-assessment tool for determining firefighter capability and are guided in determining the key community organizational goals/objectives, the skills and competencies their firefighters need to meet these goals, the courses available that will close any training gaps, the progress they are making in reaching their goals, and the current capabilities of their firefighters. ALL LEVELS

Michael Cacciola, Fire Department of New York

The purpose of the Peer Fitness Training (PFT) program is to provide a fitness trainer standard consistent with the health and fitness needs of the fire service throughout the United States and Canada. This program will guide you through the steps of implementing the PFT program within your department, starting with the certification process through how to use your PFTs most effectively. Students will review data related to the success of the Candidate Physical Ability Test (CPAT) as a fair evaluation system for selecting firefighters to ensure all candidates possess the physical ability to complete critical tasks effectively and safely and for providing for increased diversity in fire departments. ALL LEVELS

A System for Successful Organizations
Battalion Chief
Dane Carley, Fargo (ND) Fire Department

Social science research is applied to department operations. The goal is to introduce an organizational solution that has increased effectiveness in the same competitive business environment that is setting expectations for public service in today’s political environment. Many of today's fire service operations evolve from our culture, which has not kept pace with current business solutions. Until we modify our approach without losing our cultural identification, we will continue to be a reactive service. The higher reliability organization (HRO) concept covered monthly in Fire Engineering’s Tailboard Talk Web column provides a teachable system that focuses on both the people in the fire service and the industry in which the people work in a proactive manner. This concept provides a three-prong approach with which emergency services can examine their organizations, evaluate solutions, and apply those solutions to increase organizational effectiveness. INTERMEDIATE

Initial Size-Up Reports for First-Due Company Officers
Battalion Chief
Leonard Carmichael Jr., Trenton (NJ) Fire Department

This course covers the initial on-scene size-up for the first-arriving officer at all incidents and addresses Goals 3 and 4 of the United States Fire Administration's Emergency Services Leader Strategic Plan. It  sets up the framework for the entire fireground experience from assessing the incident scene arrival information to setting up an incident management system. Through lecture and scenario assessment, the students will use a systematic mental checklist using the CASH acronym (Command, Actions, Size-Up, and Help) for on-scene size-up reports that can be used at all incidents. Topics include the establishment of command, the 13 point size-up factors, actions of the first-due companies, and additional resources that will be needed. Additionally, students will create and discuss an appropriate incident command system  structure based on the simulation presented. A plus for promotional exams. ALL LEVELS

Fire Service Team Building: Why Can’t We Work Together?
Carter, Chairman, Board of Fire Commissioners, Howell Township (NJ)

The focus is on team-building issues and their impact on organizational effectiveness. Using humor and candor, the instructor discusses the importance of building an effective team. The object is to whet the students’ appetite for a more thorough review of team-building principles and concepts when they return to their home environments. The possibilities of what could be and what should be in this critical area are discussed and supplemented by a wide range of personal and academic experiences. ALL LEVELS

Strategic, Tactical, and Task Considerations for Attic Fire Response
Deputy Chief/Shift Commander
Jeff Case, Phoenix (AZ) Fire Department

Attic fires present incident commanders and firefighters with a unique set of options, challenges, and considerations in relation to the most appropriate tactical and task levels approach to extinguishment. Students will learn of the impact smart, thinking incident commanders and firefighters can have on the successful outcome of an attic fire attack. Construction features, the location of the fire and the extent of fire conditions, interior smoke conditions, available resources,  the competency level of responding crews, and the use of nontraditional suppression approaches are among the topics covered. All must be considered when attacking an attic fire. ALL LEVELS

Science in the Big Room

Lieutenant John Ceriello and Battalion Chief George Healy, Fire Department of New York; Director Steve Kerber, UL Firefighter Safety Research Institute; and Fire Protection Engineer Dan Madrzykowski, National Institute of Standards and Technology

Students are presented with results from experiments that support size-up, ventilation control, and exterior attack as options in the toolbox and with new data about vertical ventilation and suppression tests. They will be guided in implementing the research into training exercises and tactics from both a big city and small town/state perspective. Examples of how the Fire Department of New York and the South Carolina Fire Training Academy have integrated this research into their training, communications, outreach, and change policies are shared. ALL LEVELS

Electricity and You
HMERT Coordinator
Frank Cheatham, Virginia Office of Emergency Medical Services

Students gain information and insights that will assist them in making decisions when faced with electrical hazards. Various scenarios are used to illustrate the dangers of these hazards and their potential results if precautionary measures are not implemented. ALL LEVELS

Truck Work: From Training to Tactics
Michael Ciampo, Fire Department of New York

With today's economic conditions and the ever increasing needs to train in an abundance of areas, are we getting our hands on the tools enough? Students will look at some methods of training truck company personnel and realistic props that correlate to the truck's job functions and will review many of the tactical skills, tips, and tricks of the trade for performing the "LOVERS-U" functions of the truck. ALL LEVELS

How Many Tools Are in Your "Search Toolbox"?
Assistant Chief (Ret.)
John “Skip” Coleman, Toledo (OH) Fire Department; Technical Editor, Fire Engineering   

All fireground evolutions are like tools in a toolbox. Hopefully, you have a variety of tools and are expert in using each one in your toolbox, including search. There are different types of search; some are great in certain situations and absolutely ineffective in others. This presentation looks at four types of search and provides cues as to when each should or should not be pulled from the toolbox. ALL LEVELS

Choosing the Proper Extinguishing Agent
Assistant Chief
Don Collins, Massport (MA) Fire-Rescue
This presentation is an eye opener that shows how different extinguishing agents, although able to extinguish the fire, may cause excessive damage and increase the value of losses. Students will see that not all extinguishing agents are appropriate for all instances. Differences in foam and their percentages will also be covered, as will the benefits and limitations of  CO2 and Halotron. ALL LEVELS

Passion, Tools, and Cartoons
Firefighter Paul
Combs, Bryan (OH) Fire Department; Editorial Illustrator,

Fire Engineering Students will be shown that when vision is applied to voice and fueled by passion, anything is possible! Attendees are encouraged, in an interactive environment, to explore their own unique communication skills and to use them to lead others to achieve a set goal or to make a positive difference. ALL LEVELS

If You're an Officer, Be a Leader
Chairman of the Board of Directors
Dennis Compton, National Fallen Firefighters Foundation

Holding a formal rank does not necessarily mean that a fire officer is in charge and fulfilling the responsibilities of the position. This session explores critical leadership, management, and supervisory capabilities that contribute to developing exceptional leaders. There's more to taking charge than simply getting promoted. It is the ability to create and maintain a positive, productive, and healthy work environment that establishes a fire officer as the leader in the eyes of those being led. Current and future fire officers of all ranks (career and volunteer) will benefit from this session. ALL LEVELS

Firefighter Free Speech
David Comstock, Western Reserve (OH) Joint Fire District

This presentation explores the interaction between a firefighter's First Amendment right of free speech and a governmental administrator's right to maintain order and discipline within the fire department. Federal regulations and case law that have addressed many of the repeating conflicts that occur within the firehouse are reviewed, including criticisms of fire officials and retaliatory action, peremptory gag orders, preapproval of media releases, firefighters' display of public signs and bumper stickers, participation in public demonstrations, and contacting city officials outside of the chain of command. ADVANCED

Growing Leaders Using E.M.P.O.W.E.R.ment
Larry Conley, St. Louis (MO) Fire Department

G.L.U.E. (Growing Leaders Using E.M.P.O.W.E.R.ment) is designed to infuse emergency service personnel with principle-centered personal leadership. Participants receive instruction by lecture, team-building collaboration, and intensive interactive scenarios. This multifaceted approach gives participants the opportunity to learn and test their new knowledge under pressure. Participants leave the class with a new foundation and confidence to build a better individual leadership paradigm. These enhanced individuals can now inspire improvements within their respective units.   ALL LEVELS

Officers Eat Last
Justin Constantine, The Constantine Group, Arlington (VA)

The focus is on applying Marine Corps leadership principles to inspire loyalty in those you lead. The instructor shares the lessons he learned as a lieutenant/colonel in the Marine Corps as they apply to effective leadership and protecting your personnel, how to inspire while leading, and how to view change as an opportunity and embrace it. The presenter draws on and discusses the valuable lessons he learned from a life-threatening injury. ALL LEVELS

Forcible Exiting: The Fortified Rear Door
Buster Cooper, Conway (AR) Fire Department

A firefighter is trapped at the rear door of a commercial structure; he is low on air and is encountering intense heat. He calls a Mayday. Would you be able to quickly and efficiently perform the forcible exiting operation needed to rescue him? This class presents the knowledge and skills needed for this situation and emphasizes rotary saw and chain saw applications. Students completing this class will be able to identify forcible exiting situations, select the appropriate tools and techniques, and make quick and safe entry into a closed structure.  ALL LEVELS

Lessons Learned from the 25 Most Deadly Fires in Firefighting History
Associate Professor
Glenn Corbett, John Jay College, New York City; Technical Editor, Fire Engineering

Hackensack. Vendome. Texas City. Station. Worcester. Each of these single word "descriptors" immediately conjures up images of incidents resulting in disaster for responding firefighters and civilians. In this class, the most important fires in American history are analyzed through a variety of lenses, including building construction, fire behavior, human behavior, and strategy and tactics. Emphasis will be on distilling the lessons from each fire. INTERMEDIATE/ADVANCED

Rapid Intervention Team Officer
Assistant Chief
James Crawford, Midway (SC) Fire Rescue

The rapid intervention team officer is the single most important position on the fireground as it pertains to firefighter safety and survival. Knowing the duties of this position and being proficient at them are essential for a successful firefighter rescue. Students and guided through these duties and learn the reasoning behind the process. Areas such as search, locating and assessing the victim, standby procedures, deployment, and size-up are covered. The instructor shares his real-life experience of being on the firegrounds of two multiple firefighter fatality events. ALL LEVELS

IAFF/IAFC Wellness-Fitness Initiative: Implementation
Battalion Chief
George Cruz, Los Angeles County (CA) Fire Department
This class highlights the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF)/International Association of Fire Chiefs Fire Service Joint Labor-Management Wellness-Fitness Initiative (WFI), developed by the IAFF to improve the health and safety of members of today’s fire service. Students will learn how to implement the program in their departments. BASIC

Tool Techniques and Evolutions for Today's Extrications
Dave Dalrymple, RoadwayRescue LLC

Cutting, severing, and displacing techniques have come to the forefront in today’s rescuer's arsenal. Although you should never disregard the lessons of the past, how well do you know the newer techniques and tool options for today? As vehicles are being built with stronger materials that do not act as materials of the past or even of the vehicles we get to train on, we sometimes have hard lessons to learn rapidly, often in the heat of action on the street. We rarely get new vehicles to train on. Today's vehicle materials can range from various alloys and metals to composite materials. Students will gain "tool awareness" with respect to today’s vehicles. Techniques and tips will be shared and discussed, as will the mindset needed for successful extrications. Step-by-step methodologies for tool evolutions are reviewed and discussed. ALL LEVELS

Basement Fires: Fire Dynamics and Collapse Hazards
Coordinator of Research and Development
James Dalton, Chicago (IL) Fire Department
This program reviews fire behavior and structural collapse hazards during basement fires. Full-scale fire research conducted by the UL Firefighter Safety Research Institute, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the Chicago Fire Department, and the Fire Department of New York highlight the rapidly changing fire dynamics and structural performance differences of dimensional lumber and lightweight construction. Analysis of fireground incidents is combined with research findings to provide recommendations on fire suppression tactics and strategies. The class also includes the latest Web-based multimedia training programs designed to encourage the incorporation of the program content into individual department training programs, tactical decision-making models, and standard operating procedures. ALL LEVELS

Drive to Survive
Christopher Daly, Goshen (PA) Fire Department

No matter how long you have been driving or how “good” you think you are, there are limits to the safe operation of an emergency apparatus. Using the same techniques used by crash investigators, this class addresses advanced topics not normally covered in basic driver-training programs, especially those that relate directly to vehicle dynamics, crash causation, and common driver errors. Roadway friction coefficients, rollover thresholds, critical curve speeds, and the proper handling of a tire blowout are just some of the topics covered. The class is ideal for any member who operates a fire truck, an ambulance, or a personal vehicle. It also addresses important issues for the chief and line officers, who are ultimately responsible for the operation of any motor vehicle or driver-training program within a department. ALL LEVELS

Introduction to Large Animal Rescue
Firefighter/ Public Education
Chandra Davis, Hornbeak (TN) Volunteer Fire Department

Large animal rescue (LAR) or technical large animal emergency rescue (TLAER) is a method of interacting with large animals in a rescue situation. LAR training teaches you how to keep yourself safe while working with large, possibly injured animals and how to keep the animals safe as well. LAR was designed to work within the incident command system. Among areas covered are responses involving multiple agencies, scene safety and management, how to use the equipment already available on most fire engines, and how to improvise. ALL LEVELS

Firefighter Safety and the Codes: a Necessary Partnership
Battalion Chief
Sean DeCrane, Cleveland (OH) Fire Department
Is the International Building Code (IBC) meeting its stated intent of protecting firefighters? The IBC will determine the level of protection that will be designed and provided in any new building, which will become the work environment for all firefighters. The fire station should not be considered the firefighters’ work environment; it is simply the initial staging area for the structures being constructed in your community. All buildings become our work environment. Despite this, today’s building code is being shaped with very little input from the fire service. The fire service can make an impact during the code development process so that firefighters can be better protected on the fireground by voicing opposition to provisions such as preengineered lightweight construction, the reduction of corridor fire ratings, the elimination of fire-rated walls, and sprinkler trade-ups that allow diminishing passive fire protection features within the structure. ALL LEVELS

Search Rope Procedures
Daniel DiRenzo, Cherry Hill (NJ) Fire Department
The search rope has become an essential piece of equipment in the fire service, but it is often forgotten about on the fireground. Students will learn how to operate in various occupancy types, configurations, and situations to learn techniques of search rope deployment. Overcoming and troubleshooting search rope issues/emergencies will also be covered. Students will acquire information needed to build on their existing search rope procedures or establish new guidelines for search rope use. Ultimately, search ropes can serve as your umbilical cord to safety. Learn how to put them to use quickly and effectively. ALL LEVELS


Reading Smoke: 2014 Update
Battalion Chief (Ret.)
David Dodson, Response Solutions, LLC

First-arriving decision-makers must assess fire and smoke conditions and anticipate fire behavior prior to interior engagement. This year's class blends the basic reading smoke process with some updated tactic interpretations and reinforces them with video. As always, students will receive some “street-tested” tips for first-due decision makers. INTERMEDIATE

Technical Rope Rescue Skills and Techniques: Making the Difficult Easy
Firefighter Mike Donahue, Elizabeth (NJ) Fire Department

This program breaks down technical rope-rigging operations and presents the tasks in a manner that facilitates learning. Topics covered include knots, anchor systems, belay systems, mechanical advantage systems, and rigging outside the box theories and techniques. The discipline of rope rescue can be intimidating, but this class disproves that mindset. ALL LEVELS

The House on the Hill
Danny Doyle, Pittsburgh (PA) Bureau of Fire

Fire service personnel of all levels will profit from learning about the tactical challenges associated with structures built on hillsides discussed in this class. Arriving to find a two-story, single-family on side A that transverses to five stories on side C can dramatically affect firefighting operations and firefighter safety. As the challenges are identified, they are followed by fireground-proven solutions and innovative recommendations. Topics include the importance of size-up, detecting above- or below-grade divisions, apparatus positioning for access and tactical advantage, and twists on basement fire tactics caused by multiple floors below grade. In-depth information fills in the cracks as the following subjects are discussed: street smart tips for company operations, driving home the need for situational awareness, survival skills, and escape systems. ALL LEVELS

Firehouse Excellence
Captain (Ret)
Michael Dugan, Fire Department of New York; and Captain Mike Gagliano, Seattle (WA) Fire Department

There is nothing quite like a firehouse. It can be the most incredible experience of your life or a miserable exile to purgatory. It can be a place of learning where skills are honed and techniques refined or a stagnant cesspool where competence erodes into ineffective complacency. What is it that causes one place to be cohesive and brimming with camaraderie while just down the road there are dissension and drudgery? Learn five key factors that can turn any firehouse into the type of place that enables firefighters to thrive and fulfill their calling. This workshop looks at how to build and enjoy the type of firehouse everyone wants. ALL LEVELS

Strip Mall Fires
Deputy Chief
Thomas Dunne, Fire Department of New York

Whether the strip malls were built in 2014 or 1920, fires in these malls present challenges very different from those in standard residential firefighting operations. This class examines the strategy and tactics unique to these buildings. The goals of the presentation are to highlight the dangers inherent in the construction details of these occupancies and to develop engine and ladder tactics geared to address these dangers. Overall strategy, hoseline placement, laddering, ventilation, overhaul, reading smoke conditions, and fireground communications are covered using case studies, videos, and actual fireground radio transmissions to illustrate learning points. The presentation concludes with a video of a major strip mall fire that vividly illustrates the rapidly changing fire conditions that can occur at these incidents. The material is geared to help firefighters, company officers, and chiefs to operate effectively and safely at strip mall fires. ALL LEVELS

Operational Concerns in Vacant Building Fres
Bryan Emenecker, Camden City (NJ) Fire Department

This detailed program addresses the ongoing issues firefighters are facing throughout the nation as the housing and real estate market struggles to recover. Once confronted only by inner-city firefighters, the problem of fires in abandoned factories, row dwellings, and multiple occupancies over the past 15 years has become apparent in the suburbs as well as in rural areas. The focus is on the ongoing intelligence gathering necessary to make firefighters aware of the changing construction and changes in these buildings so that their firefighting operations can be adjusted to ensure safety and efficiency. ALL LEVELS

Fire Attack: A Practical Perspective on Today's Debate
Rick Ennis, Cape Girardeau (MO) Fire Department

Not many topics in today’s fire service create more passionate debate than that of "the proper" fire attack methods. Offensive vs. defensive vs. transitional; interior vs. exterior; aggressiveness vs. safety; risk vs. reward … everyone has opinions, and we are now seeking scientific methodology to support or dispute those opinions. Old concepts and methods should not be held onto just because they are tradition, nor should they be disregarded just because they are old. New ideas and techniques should not be heralded as the latest, greatest tactic to end all tactics, nor should they be mocked as simply the most recent passing fads. This class looks at the fire attack theories and practices of the past six decades to identify the best practices applicable in today’s firefighting environment and why they are the most appropriate. Fire behavior and fire attack from the original teachings of Royer, Nelson, and Layman to the latest National Institute of Standards and Technology and UL fire-related studies are reviewed and discussed. ALL LEVELS


The Working Engine Company: An Examination
Aaron Fields, Seattle (WA) Fire Department

The objective of this class is to add form to the functions of an engine company on the fireground. Keeping fireground objectives in mind, this class examines the roles, responsibilities, and equipment of engine companies within the scope of an interior attack. Engine work is broken down into manageable components, based around staffing, to help crews complete fireground objectives quickly and efficiently. Tactics, tasks, and equipment are discussed. Students will outline a model for creating drills for the skills identified in the class. ALL LEVELS

Quint Essentials
Rob Fisher, Snohomish County (WA)Fire District #7

Fireground support operations (truck work) are the functions on the fireground that equally impact firefighter safety and civilian survivability. Traditionally, dedicated truck companies carried out these functions. However, the “can-do-all” apparatus (quint) has challenged firefighters as to what role they should play and when. The idea of a “can-do-all” apparatus works well when you have sufficient staffing and resources. However, most departments have limited staffing, making a multifunctional apparatus, such as a quint, a single-function operation on the fireground. Students are guided in how to prepare personnel for the fireground response beforehand. Heavy emphasis is on developing standard operating guidelines. INTERMEDIATE

Manage Your Air, Manage Your Survival
Chief Officer
Chuck French, Tulsa (OK) Fire Department

Students will learn how to determine their individual air consumption rate and will be guided in meeting the training standards of National Fire Protection Association 1404, Standard for Fire Service Respiratory Protection Training, 2013 edition. The overall objective is to get firefighters to start thinking about the importance of air management practices and their individual air supply, which will help them be more effective on the fireground. ALL LEVELS

Structural Response to Aircraft Emergencies
Assistant Chief/Training Officer
Gregory Fuller, Minneapolis-St. Paul (MN) International Airport Fire

Aircraft emergencies can happen anywhere at any time. This course covers basic aircraft familiarization and orientation to aircraft rescue and firefighting for structural type fire departments. Aircraft types, basic terminology, aircraft construction and components, as well as the hazards associated with each are covered. The focus is on potential aircraft emergencies and what must be managed during these incidents, preplanning considerations, and training ideas to help departments be ready for an aircraft incident in their communities. ALL LEVELS

The Art of Go/No-Go!
Mike Gagliano, Seattle (WA) Fire Department

The toughest and most impactful decisions you make in your career typically will revolve around committing to an interior attack or choosing another route. Seasoned officers know the difference between "We can get it" and "It's lost." All firefighters should as well. Using a simple framework that allows students to build on their experiences and those of others, the instructor will guide the students in developing an intuitive approach that will grow with them throughout their careers. The goal is to create a framework of four profiles--Rescue, Fire, Building, and Tactical--which will allow students to keep focused on their decisions, to draw on what they've learned, and to react to changes in the dynamic fire environment. Students will leave the class with a tool they can use for drilling their troops and for continuing to grow in their capacity for making successful fireground decisions. ALL LEVELS

Tactics and Strategies for the Hidden Hazards of Modular Construction
Kevin Gallagher, Acushnet (MA) Fire & EMS Department

Fires across the country have raised questions relative to certain techniques used in modular residential construction. The explosive speed of the fire in relation to the factory-based construction has raised an alarm among fire service leaders. The issues discovered and the threats they pose to fire personnel are discussed, as are the use of highly flammable structural adhesives; large void spaces between levels of habitation; lightweight construction techniques unique to modular construction; the role of factory-based inspectors; and the threat of rapid fire spread and early collapse. Changes in the tactical decision-making process are needed in view of these unique considerations. ALL LEVELS

Why PPA Will Never Be Mainstream in the U.S. Fire Service
Kriss Garcia, American Fork (UT) Fire & Rescue

This class reviews the past 35 years of study and implementation of positive pressure attack (PPA). Despite its proven effectiveness, it remains a point of contention and confusion within the U.S. fire service. The class ponders the question "Where do we go from here?" The class begins with the earliest tests and applications of a pressurized fire attack and ends with where the tactic now stands and what the future holds. Discussions will be anchored in several physical laws including the laws of thermodynamics, the Bernoulli principle, and the combined gas laws. ALL LEVELS

Flawed Situational Awareness: The Stealth Killer of First Responders
Chief (Ret.)
Richard Gasaway, Situational Awareness Matters

This program is based on the findings of the instructor's doctoral research on fireground command decision making and situational awareness. In his review of hundreds of near-miss reports, case studies, line-of-duty death reports, and videos, there were so many clues, indicators, and signs that the incident was going to end in disaster, but the personnel operating at the incident scene could not see it coming. His research identified 116 barriers to situational awareness that prevent, impact, or erode situational awareness at emergency scenes. This program focuses on the most pervasive barriers to situational awareness. ALL LEVELS

Troubled Waters: Huricane Sandy Lessons Learned
Training and Safety Officer Alfred
Gerber III, Little Ferry (NJ) Fire Department

Hurricane Sandy on October 29, 2012, presented many challenges for all communities along the eastern seaboard; the greatest challenge is accepting that it could have been much worse. The Borough of Little Ferry and the communities in the area are taking the steps to be better prepared for the next megastorm. This program covers the lessons learned and the steps taken to prepare for the next big storm and the human factor relative to officers' concerns for the welfare of their firefighters and communities. The National Incident Management System proved to be an intricate part of the entire incident, keeping all the incident players safe and organized. Future training and equipment needs and the implementation of new standard operating procedures and standard operating guidelines will also be discussed. ALL LEVELS


Fireground Command, Control, Accountability and Survival: Why Did It Go Wrong?
Deputy Chief
Billy Goldfeder, Loveland-Symmes (OH) Fire Department

Command, control, and accountability. These words have been around the fire service longer than all of us. So then, why is it so hard to maintain them? Case studies of fires where command, control, and accountability impacted everyone from the probies to the chiefs are discussed from the perspective of coming to understand what went wrong on the scene--before the run. The focus is on the factual lessons learned so that these incidents (and those involved) don't ever become forgotten. The goal is not only to have the students leave more knowledgeable and better informed but also--and most importantly--to think hard about their role and their department's responsibility in fire and rescue operations. Does everyone go home? Some firefighters do, and some don’t. This FDIC 2014 program will help you understand why. ALL LEVELS

Modern Apartments: New Challenges for Today's Firefighters
Deputy Chief
Stuart Grant, Dallas (TX) Fire-Rescue

Apartment buildings built in urban areas represent a unique problem for firefighters. They are multiple stories high and occupy large areas, sometimes several city blocks. Since some of the features of these buildings are similar to those of high-rises, some tactics used in high-rise fires can be used in these structures. On the other hand, these apartments are constructed of lightweight components and do not have the fire resistive construction of high-rises. These buildings have restricted access and present unique rescue profiles. The inherent features, good and bad, and how to operate in their presence are discussed. Students will learn how to make decisions at these fires while keeping firefighters safe. ALL LEVELS

Attack from the Burned Side: New Age Tactics and Tasks
Sean Gray, Cobb County (GA) Fire and Emergency Services

An innovative approach to fighting today's fires. For years, the fire service has been preaching to attack from the unburned side; however, this may not always the best tactic. The New Age fireground is evolving more than ever before, and scientific findings have been enhancing our procedures. This class presents different tasks and tactics that can be used to extinguish fires that originate on the exterior and extend into the attic. Using case studies and practical experience, students examine fallacies that have led to firefighter injuries and deaths. ALL LEVELS

Critical Decision Making Under Fire: 2014 Interior Benchmarking
William Greenwood, Keene (NH) Fire Department

Here is a proven situational awareness (SA)  model of how to operate safely inside a hostile fire environment that attendees can pass on to fellow firefighters. Students will acquire real-world information from past experiences of thermal insult injuries, review some of the National Institute of Standards and Technology and UL studies on fire dynamics, and participate in an in-depth look at the limited protection factors personal protective equipment affords the firefighter. Thermal imaging in relation to today's fire dynamics will be thoroughly explained, and students will be introduced to the five-step SA model: What do I see? What do I hear? What do I feel? Where am I? and How much air have I used?--the  critical information needed to make better decisions under fire on advancement, ventilation, or retreating. ALL LEVELS

Man vs. Machinery Incidents: Are You Prepared?
Mark Gregory, Fire Department of NewYork

Machinery/equipment entrapments occur every day and can range from a child's finger caught in a lock tumbler to a worker trapped within the rollers of a printing press. As first responders, we are tasked with disentangling the victim. Students will learn how to mitigate a variety of entrapment situations--from scene size-up through the disentanglement. Lock-out/tag-out, equipment options, medical considerations, and actual incidents are discussed. ALL LEVELS

Water Rescue
Ray Griffin, Fire Department of New York

Does your department provide any form of water rescue? Does it have the necessary resources to provide water rescue? There are many factors in water rescue. Most departments have the potential to respond to one of the following: surface rescue, surf rescue, ice rescue, or scuba rescue. This class covers the following topics: assessing the possible need for providing some form of water rescue; determining which type to provide; the logistics of each type including equipment, training, personnel, and support; and some factors that influence which type of water rescue to implement. ALL LEVELS

Assistance to Firefighters Grants: Town Hall Discussion
Section Chief
David Gudinas, Federal Emergency Management Agency
This is a programmatic overview and update that addresses changes to the current year’s funding priorities; Congressional appropriations; and the rules and tools needed to successfully navigate the application process, demystify the peer review process, and provide measures for effective grants management. ALL LEVELS

Hoseline Operations for Fires in Multiple-Family Occupancies
Bill Gustin, Miami-Dade (FL) Fire Rescue

This class was developed for suburban fire departments that typically do not have sufficient staffing or hose load configurations to rapidly perform a conventional stairway stretch to the upper floors of residential buildings that are not tall enough to be required by code to have standpipes. BASIC

Implementing a Tox-Medic Program in Your Department
Paramedic District Supervisor
Frederick Haas, Sussex County (DE) EMS

The threat of a chemical attack is always in our minds. If such an event were to occur, our existing EMS providers will be overwhelmed. Besides the mass-casualty element, providers may be exposed to symptoms totally foreign to them. They will be asked to evaluate chemically exposed patients and try to determine agent identification based solely on patient presentation. Many antidotes and drug therapies exist; none are as familiar to the provider as the standard drug bag meds. In addition, personnel will need to work while wearing a full complement of protective equipment. This presentation reviews an existing Tox-Medic program and provides tips and ideas to take home. Students will receive information on available training resources and protocols from an existing program in Delaware. ALL LEVELS

Understanding New Vehicle Technology of Today and Tomorrow
Deputy Chief
Carl Haddon, North Fork (ID) Fire Department

This program demystifies new vehicle technology and shows how the world of vehicle rescue has changed (and is still changing) dramatically. Students gain a practical and updated understanding of what the vehicles of today and tomorrow are made of, how vehicle construction has changed, and the new safety features that pose serious operational and safety challenges to rescuers. New roof crush and enhanced side impact standards and their impact on vehicle rescue are covered. Basic firefighter metallurgy gives insight into what the metals are, how they will react in the wreck, and how to expect rescue tools to react on them (regardless of brand or model). Tips and suggestions for adjusting operational methods and tactics for faster and safer extrications with better patient outcomes are also addressed. ALL LEVELS

Firefighter Fitness and Conditioning: Impacts on Fireground Decision Making
Division Chief
Edward Hadfield, Firetown Training Specialist (CA)
It is well documented that firefighting is a physically demanding job and carries a high demand of mental focus. Although the physical demands of firefighting have been explored, their effects on basic cognition while performing under these extreme conditions have received minimal attention until now. This program  discusses clinical findings that provide insights into the physical effects on firefighter cognition that could support training, policy, and improved safety features that may decrease firefighter injuries and deaths. It explores what has come to be commonly understood: Firefighters with higher levels of overall fitness make better decisions under stress. ALL LEVELS

Managing and Leading within the Rapidly Changing Volunteer Fire Service
Eric Haley, Claymont (DE) Fire Company

Students will be provided with ideas, skills, and practical applications to help them develop into leaders or become better leaders of the volunteer fire service. We all know that volunteerism across the nation is down and has been steadily decreasing. Learn how to do more with fewer personnel and less funding, support, and resources and to keep the members you have while also promoting your departments to others. INTERMEDIATE

The Hazards of Knee Walls
Jonathan Hall, Saint Paul (MN) Fire Department

Students learn about the potential hazards knee walls, found in some residential homes, present for firefighters, how to recognize them, and how to mitigate them. According to 2011 National Fire Protection Association statistics, fires in one- and two-family homes account for 56.7 percent of all structure fires. Often, these fires occur in dwellings that have occupiable half-stories constructed with knee walls, which present tremendous challenges to responding firefighters and have resulted in numerous Maydays. These knee walls can contain significant amounts of combustible gases that are waiting for the proper mixture to ignite. Members can easily be on the fire floor with no smoke and little to no heat conditions. As soon as they open up the knee wall, extreme fire conditions can erupt with little to no warning. ALL LEVELS


Issues and Challenges in Today’s Fire Service
Chief (Ret.) Rick Lasky, Lewisville (TX) Fire Department; Battalion Chief (Ret.) John Salka, Fire Department of New York; and Chief (Ret.) Bobby Halton, FDIC Education Director/
Fire Engineering and Fire Apparatus & Emergency Equipment Editor in Chief

The fire service is faced with a vast array of issues and challenges. For 86 years, FDIC has been the place where honest discussions have led to workable solutions to these issues and challenges. This Big Room Session features three of North America’s most outspoken and informed practitioners. Join Rick Lasky, John Salka, and Bobby Halton as they tackle the most critical issues facing the fire service today in a no-holds-barred session. From pike poles to pensions, from VES (vent-enter-search) to VSP (victim survivability profiling), and from staffing to science, join the chiefs as they discuss the biggest issues in frank, open, and straightforward language. ALL LEVELS

Responding to and Preparing for Acts of Violence
Steven Hamilton, Fort Jackson (SC) Fire Department

Every fire department, EMS agency, and law enforcement division must deal with emergency scenes that contain violence. Instances of violence are not prejudiced to location, population, demographics, or economic status. It's essential for every agency to educate personnel on the dangers of violent scenes and provide them with the knowledge to recognize and manage threats.  The instructor will define a scene of violence; highlight procedures for responding to scenes; identify types of scenes that are or could become violent; describe safety measures while en route, approaching, and working within a scene; and discuss multiple-agency response to scenes and unified command concepts as well as personal protective equipment. Participants will leave this class with a heightened state of safety and awareness regarding acts of violence. ALL LEVELS


Developing an Engineer Training Program and Promotional Process
Eric Hankins, Yuba City (CA) Fire Department
The role of the fire engineer is critical to nearly every fire department operation, from EMS to structure fires to vehicle accidents to hazmat. Many departments do not have a formal training program or promotional process for this rank. Some departments train the engineer as opportunities arise or as secondary to firefighter training--i.e., pumping for hose drills or driving to EMS calls. Many promotions to the rank of engineer are based on a “time of service” philosophy. By developing a structured training program for the engineer position and creating a standardized testing process, potential engineers can train to become competent in their roles and be tested on the functions that are truly important for that position.This class discusses various training programs that are in place in departments around the country and how to develop programs to fit the students' departments. ALL LEVELS

Tactical Considerations for the First-Arriving Battalion Chief
Assistant Chief
Todd Harms, Phoenix (AZ) Fire Department
Students will examine fireground operations during the first 30 minutes for the first-arriving battalion chief. The main focus is on improving fireground operations and firefighter safety at the task, tactical, and strategic levels of operation. Attendees will discuss the eight critical factors of size-up in relation to developing an incident action plan for completing the tactical priorities of rescue, fire control, and loss control. ALL LEVELS

Taking Scientific Research to the Street
Edward Hartin, Central Whidbey Island (WA) Fire & Rescue

Participants will examine current fire research and see how the results can be used in practical ways to improve the effectiveness and safety of firefighting operations. Over the past several years, there has been a great deal of scientific research examining fire dynamics and the impact of firefighting tactics. Although this research has had a significant impact in a number of large metro departments as well as many smaller agencies, many firefighters still question how scientific research can be applied in the street. To answer specific questions, experimental research must examine the impact of one variable such as ventilation, holding all other variables, such as building geometry and fuel load, constant. ALL LEVELS

Construction Concerns: Modern Materials
Deputy Chief (Ret.)
Gregory Havel, Burlington (WI) Fire Department

At most fires, we assume that immediate structural collapse will not happen. Today’s manufactured building materials have little fire resistance and fail rapidly in fires. Prefire plans, operational procedures, and size-up help us make informed decisions and can help us work safely. Steel studs and trusses, laminated wood, and drywall board were developed to save time and skill and are part of most new and renovated buildings. Changes in construction methods and materials mean changes in fire behavior and firefighting. Firefighter survival requires prefire planning, incident size-up, action plans, and changes in operating procedures. Students are guided in learning as much as they can about the buildings in their jurisdictions: their construction, changing uses, deterioration, and fire resistance--plus any other factors that may affect safety and efficiency. INTERMEDIATE

The Fire Prevention Paradox: Is Our Culture Killing Us?
Vice President of Marketing
Billy Hayes, Columbia Southern University (AL)

Every year in the United States, the fire service encounters approximately 100 firefighter line-of-duty deaths. In most cases, these deaths are preventable. While we have focused our attention on operational issues on the fireground that may have led to the tragedy, we overlook the cause of the event that initiated the response. This presentation examines the cultural attitude toward fire and injury prevention and the many factors contributing to it. The focus is on how fire and injury prevention may be the answer to significantly reducing line-of-duty deaths. In the end, we must ask ourselves if our culture is killing us and, if so, is the fire service prepared to make a cultural change. ALL LEVELS

Tactical Ventilation and Its Impact on Fireground Operations
Battalion Chief
George Healy, Fire Department of New York

The instructor, drawing on his 20-plus years of experience in the fire service and his background in the testing arena, explains how fire departments can integrate recent research findings into firefighting operations and better protect members. The research has been conducted over the past several years by the fire service in conjunction with the fire protection engineering community to determine how fire department operations impact the fireground so that the fire service can refine its tactics and develop standard operating procedures to prevent deaths and injuries on the fireground. Modern fire dynamics and the impact of tactical ventilation on operations and firefighter survival are among the topics emphasized. ALL LEVELS

Reading the Building: Critical Decision Making on the Fireground
Captain/Training Officer
Jason Hoevelmann, Florissant Valley (MO) Fire Protection District

The focus is on how characteristic clues of buildings and structures affect tactics and decision making on the fireground. Using the acronym LAGS (Location, Age, Geometry, and Size), the instructor will identify clues for creating a mental picture of the interior of the building and aiding in selecting the appropriate hoseline, determining staffing requirements, and identifying prime areas for search. Some of the characteristics include stairs (if off of the garage or kitchen, they can be a game changer during a basement fire); windows (they can help you to determine what type room or living space is behind them and where to deploy search teams, interior exposures (which must be protected); and egress points. All types of characteristics are discussed so attendees can build a strong foundation for critical thinking and using past experiences and training to make solid tactical decisions. ALL LEVELS

ALPHA Teams: The Fire and EMS Response to Active Shooter Incidents
Tim Holman, German Township (OH) Fire & EMS

The world is changing, and active shooter incidents are increasing at an alarming rate. This program gives participants insight into responding to the active shooter incident. It is estimated that up to 50 percent on the victims of active shooting incidents could be saved if the response by fire and EMS was aggressive and properly managed. Students are given a template for developing ALPHA response teams in their communities. ALL LEVELS

Fire Service Risk Management: A Proactive Approach
Training/Safety Officer
Tim Hyden, East Manatee (FL) Fire Rescue

Risk management is a largely misunderstood tool that can have very beneficial effects on all divisions within an organization. From administration to operations and from the chief down to the newest rookie, all must fully understand risk management if it is to be used effectively. The numerous challenges the fire service faces every day (beyond the obvious issues of health and safety) will likely continue to mount as we move into a somewhat unpredictable future. A solid risk management plan can enhance the levels of preparation for those challenges. INTERMEDIATE/ADVANCED

County Fire Tactics
Battalion Chief
Curt Isakson, Ecambia County (FL) Fire Rescue

Presented from the perspective of a tactical chief, this class covers the first-alarm assignment for most structural fires. Whether it is a two-person engine or a cross-staffed truck company, the basics of tactics must be covered. The focus is on determining strategy based on your tactical ability. Tactics put out fires! The strategy for the same structural fire can change based on location within the county, arrival times, and the sequence of fire companies. When, how, where, and what type of command does the company officer establish when the arrival of the first-arriving battalion chief is delayed? This is not a typical strategy and tactics class. It is based on real-world fireground tactics and real-world resources. Promotional tactics do not work when unlimited resources are not available. Firefighters and fire officers must prioritize their tactics based on available resources and the priorities of the fireground. ALL LEVELS

Firefighting Tactics for Buildings Using Modern Wood-Frame Construction
Scott Joerger, Rochester (NY) Fire Department

An updated and in-depth look at firefighting dangers with modern wood-frame construction--from rapid fire spread to early failure of structural members. New tactics for facing this type of fire are presented. Among topics covered are the basement, noting construction features and floor support systems; a review of tests from UL and the wood industry; first and upper floors; the fire problem with attics, garages, and exteriors; and an analysis of how differences in construction in these areas affect hazards to firefighters throughout tactics and operations. Videos and line-of-duty deaths are used to emphasize the dangers. Firefighting tactics for modern wood-frame construction stressing firefighter safety and methods for quickly searching for victims after finding and confining the fire from a safe, defensive position are presented. Audience participation is encouraged. ALL LEVELS

Tactical Operations and Assessment Centers
District Chief
David Johns, Palm Beach (FL) County Fire Rescue

Students will learn how to successfully handle the various types of tactical exercises they may encounter in an assessment center: knowing how to successfully mitigate an emergency situation by understanding incident priorities, proper size-up, setting strategic goals, assigning crews to their tactical objectives, using the incident management system, and using an effective accountability system. Emphasis is on knowing the job you are trying to acquire and preparing yourself for that position by using a systematic approach used in the field, developing the dimensions an excellent officer would possess, and seeking out additional training. INTERMEDIATE/ADVANCED

Three-Dimensional Fires and Dry Chemical Applications
Troy Johnson, Charlotte (LA) Fire Department

The most effective tools for flammable liquids fire hazards are dry chemical applications, which suppress three-dimensional (3-D) fires. Three-dimensional fires, such as fuel falling from atop an overturned tanker or a pressure-fed flammable liquid fire from a ruptured valve or punctured vessel, will not be extinguished with water or foam alone. Students will learn a phase-by-phase approach to extinguish 3-D fires: secure the scene, contain the fuel source, and extinguish the fire at the fuel source as the stop measure. Flammable liquids, 3-D fire scenarios, tactical approaches to these fire types using foam and dry chemical agents, and profiles of various sizes of dry chemical units that match the incident and response scale are discussed. INTERMEDIATE

The Courage Within
Ric Jorge, Palm Beach County (FL) Fire Rescue

Panic and anxiety can lead to disorientation and affect the decision-making process. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, over the past 15 years, this phenomenon--also seen in the U.S. military, law enforcement, the commercial airlines industry, professional sporting teams, and Olympic athletes--has contributed to more than 230 firefighter line-of-duty deaths in the United States. This class identifies the problem in depth and shows how fire service training models can be used to manage this problem. Students will also witness how some training models can do the exact opposite and create the potential for post-traumatic stress disorder. The techniques introduced help set firefighters up to be successful. ALL LEVELS

Instructional Craftsmanship: Building Your Expertise and Ability at the Front of the Room
Battalion Chief
Phil Jose, Seattle (WA) Fire Department

Leaders are teachers on a quest to improve their performance and the performance of their team. Your time in the front of the room is the best opportunity to spread your vision and message. Maximize the impact of that time. Take this opportunity to build your level of instruction and move to the next level. Understanding the techniques behind a question-based approach to teaching will improve your skill set, taking you further along the path from apprentice to craftsman. Craftsman instructors recognize that subject matter expertise isn’t enough. Learning to get students to see your vision of the subject at hand is a skill set that can be taught, learned, and improved. Students learn best when they are actively engaged. Ask them questions. Challenge their approach. Demand they support their action. Help each student build the ability to develop vivid mental models of the subject at hand. Engaged students retain more information and find more joy in the learning process. INTERMEDIATE/ADVANCED

Leadership and Succession Planning in Today’s Fire Service
Battalion Chief
Anthony Kastros, Sacramento Metro (CA) Fire District

A fire service leadership pandemic is sweeping the nation: We use the term “leadership” often, but it is rarely seen in its true form. The main cause is a tremendous void in quality and meaningful succession planning and leadership training within most fire departments. Without significant change and movement, firefighters and civilians will continue to needlessly perish and get injured, and litigation will continue its progression to all-time highs because of a lack of competence and confidence in fire officers. Join us for an honest and open-forum discussion and become acquainted with a three-part succession plan that works for all officers, from the line company officer to the chief. ALL LEVELS

Flipping the Firehouse Classroom
Battalion Chief
Brian Kazmierzak, Penn Twp. (IN) Fire Department

A look at how flipped training can be used in the fire service. Flip teaching (or flipped classroom) is a form of blended learning that encompasses any use of technology to leverage the learning in a classroom so a teacher can spend more time interacting with students instead of lecturing. This is most commonly done using teacher-created videos that students view outside of class time. It is also known as backward classroom, reverse instruction, flipping the classroom, and reverse teaching. In flip teaching, the student first studies the topic by himself, typically using video lessons created by the instructor or shared by another educator. In the classroom, the pupil then tries to apply the knowledge by solving problems and doing practical work. INTERMEDIATE/ADVANCED

Combat-Ready Firefighting
Tony Kelleher, Kentland (MD) Volunteer Fire Department
This updated class is an interactive, multimedia-based presentation that focuses on the presence and effects of complacency in the fire service and how and why we must combat it. Tips on  readiness, attitude, and equipment will be offered for the engine/truck company, rapid intervention team, and incident commander. Many factors have served to increase complacency in today's firefighters. A complacent attitude is the first step in a tragic calamity of errors that results in a fire extending beyond the point at which it should have been controlled or preventable civilian or firefighter injuries and deaths. The scenarios discussed are based on the instructor's personal experiences at several near-miss incidents and show how the presence or absence of a "combat ready" mindset influenced the outcome. Attendees are given tips for improving their readiness and that of their companies and departments. ALL LEVELS

Fire and Rescue Cutting Torch Operations
Thomas Kenney, Hyannis (MA) Fire Department

This class focuses on the use of oxygen-acetylene, oxygen-gasoline, and exothermic torches. Among the topics addressed are the situations in which a torch is required, setup and usage, and safety during operations. Examples of rescue situations involving entrapment are presented, as are situations where a torch can enhance ongoing operations. ALL LEVELS

Top 20 Tactical Considerations from Firefighter Research
Stephen Kerber, UL Firefighter Safety Research Institute
Over the past several years, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and Underwriters Laboratories (UL) have been working with the fire service to examine fire dynamics and firefighting tactics. More than a hundred experiments have examined the changes in the fire environment over time, the impact of ventilating ventilation-limited fires, and the implications of flow control and effectiveness in suppression tactics. These experiments were conducted with firefighters from across the country from departments of different types and with varying levels of staffing, resources, and operating procedures. The NIST and UL studies have produced tactical considerations that have become common themes over several studies; they may change the way you view your standard operating guidelines. ALL LEVELS

Shift Day: A 24-Hour Extended Training Day
John Keyes, Virginia Beach (VA) Fire Department

Whether you are career or volunteer, you respond to emergencies 24/7, so why do you traditionally train 9-5? The Virginia Beach Fire Academy has incorporated a 24-hour training day into our recruit academy. The military has long used "extended training days" to simulate the physical and psychological stressors of combat, but it is a fairly new concept to the fire service. Shift day is designed to simulate life at a fire station to include routine station duties as well as a wide variety of emergency calls in and around the fire training center. Everything from cardiac arrests to general illness and working fires to “smells and bells” are part of Shift Day. If your department has the resources to instruct a Firefighter I or II class, you have the resources for Shift Day. The intent of this class is to introduce the idea, show the relevance of this training, and provide participants with the  resources to develop their own Shift Day. ALL LEVELS

The Value-Driven Firefighter
Erron Kinney, Mt. Juliet (TN) Fire Department
Attendees will gain a unique perspective and insight to fire service leadership and accountability. Life in the National Football League and life in the firehouse are compared, drawing parallels between the grid iron and the fireground and the NFL tight end and the municipal fire chief. The focus is on leadership and accountability. ALL LEVELS

Engine Company Operations: The Not-So-Routine Basics
Mike Kirby, Cincinnati (OH) Fire Department

Attendees are given an overview of seldom used or practiced tasks needed for the well-rounded, proficient engine company. In the American fire service, many fires are fought with the single fire line usually stretched from a preconnected hosebed on an engine company. This class focuses on essential evolutions and skills beyond the use of the preconnect. Students will be able to take back to their departments essential lessons in basic hydraulic principles, fire line selection, operations with 2½-inch fire lines, long hose stretches, reverse lays, master stream evolutions, standpipe operations, and elevated rope stretches. ALL LEVELS

Company Drills in Acquired Structures
James Kirsch, Bergenfield (NJ) Fire Department

This class is designed around getting the maximum number of drills out of a donated property when the structure cannot be burned or using the property to its fullest prior to conducting live burn scenarios. Private dwellings, commercial properties, and multiple dwellings will be addressed. How to properly inspect the structures and then train in acquired buildings using nonfire scenarios  and training subjects that include utility emergencies, building construction, mask confidence, overhaul, ventilation, and rapid intervention team exercises are among other areas covered. In addition, students will learn how to acquire the proper paperwork needed to operate in the structures and will review National Fire Protection Association 1403, Standard on Live Fire Training Evolutions, as a guide for safely preparing the structure for training. INTERMEDIATE

Fire Safety Education: It's Everyone's Job!
Training Coordinator
Tom Kiurski, Livonia (MI) Fire & Rescue

The focus is on the need for all firefighters to do their part to educate the public on fire and life safety topics. We no longer have the luxury of giving it to the fire prevention folks, who are already stretched too thin. With everyone chipping in, we can make it fun and educational. ALL LEVELS

Reduced Staffed Truck Operations at Residential Dwelling Fires
Scott Kleinschmidt, Wichita (KS) Fire Department

With staffing levels being reduced and companies being closed, fire departments everywhere are being forced to address their operational fitness. Popular statements like “doing more with less” are unrealistic. This class takes a “maintaining with less” approach when operating with less than desirable truck company staffing levels. Regardless of the number of personnel assigned to the truck, available units, or the number of dedicated truck companies, these “truck functions” still need to be performed efficiently to ensure the best possible outcome for the community we are sworn to protect. Attendees are guided through establishing clear expectations of the company that starts well ahead of the alarm, implementing positional assignments, and tips and techniques for deployment strategies that aid the company officer and crew in prioritizing the fireground on arrival. ALL LEVELS

House Fires: Modern Strategies and Tactics for Aggressive Operations
Training Officer
Jerry Knapp, Rockland County Fire Training Center, Pomona, NY

Residential fires are responsible for 75 percent of working fires for most departments in the United States and three-quarters of all fire deaths. Private dwelling fires are our most important and often our most dangerous alarms. This class offers a comprehensive examination of critical tasks that must be successfully executed at every house fire. The focus is on modernization of strategy and tactics for new hazards presented by house fires, including exterior fire envelopment caused by extremely flammable siding, insulation and sheathing materials, overcrowding (occupants and possessions), and illegal building modifications (gopher houses). The deadly consequences and hazards of modern construction and converted private dwellings are discussed. Detection through size-up will be covered in interactive scenarios. Alternate strategies for modern house fires will be presented. ALL LEVELS

The Economic Impact of Firefighting
Captain Timothy Kreis, Phoenix (AZ) Fire Department

A new and validated method of measuring structural fire saves. Measuring fire loss is an important part of the American fire service; measuring fire saves is paramount to the future of fire departments. The American fire service has many methods for measurement, including fire loss calculations, response times, customer service, and others. None of them identifies the massive economic value of structural firefighting. The Phoenix Fire Department, in partnership with Arizona State University’s Seidman Research Institute and UL, has completed a study that will change the way elected officials, the public, and even firefighters look at fire departments. Learn how to use this information to your department's advantage. INTERMEDIATE/ADVANCED

Energy-Releasing Materials : Things That Blow Up
Assistant Chief
Kristina Kreutzer, Mill Creek (DE) Fire Company

Both operation- and technician-level responders frequently respond to incidents with the most dangerous type of hazardous materials--energy-releasing materials. The fire service culture of slowing down and evaluating a hazmat situation before rushing in to the scene is a result of a series of line-of-duty deaths and injuries involving energy-releasing materials. Unlike other hazardous materials, which must physically contact the responder to injure them, energy-releasing materials have a much larger sphere of influence: Energy generated by the material can contact and injure responders. Students learn how to  recognize an energy-releasing materials situation, estimate how much energy may be involved, and determine where the energy will go. If responders can avoid the material’s sphere of influence, they can avoid being injured. ALL LEVELS

Smells, Bells, and Spills
Special Operations Chief
Jason Krusen, Columbia (SC) Fire Department

Attendees will learn about the common problems encountered on the scene of the most common hazardous materials incidents: smell of gas, carbon monoxide alarms, and fuel spills. Mitigation techniques for hazmat personnel and engine companies will be discussed. These are everyday hazmat calls that are often mishandled and commonly result in firefighter injuries. Simple training ideas to assist personnel in addressing these issues will be offered. ALL LEVELS

Creating Excellent Outcomes Through Mission, Vision, and Values
Christopher Langlois, Omaha (NE) Fire Department

The author Lewis Carroll said, “If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there.” When people call 911, they want us to show up fast, fix the problem, and do everything possible to get them as close to where they were before the problem occurred. A fire department exists to create excellent outcomes for all of its customers, including its own people and everyone its members encounter every day. This course focuses on the mission of the fire service: what we do, sharing and constantly moving toward our vision (where we are going), and living our organization's core values (how we are going to get there). ALL LEVELS

Transit Bus and Commercial Coach Anatomy and Extrication
Rescue Instructor
Billy Leach, Ash-Rand (NC) Rescue & EMS

Two major forms of mass transportation in the United States are transit buses and commercial coaches. They are radically different in construction than automobiles, and even school buses. Thus, extrication tools and rescue techniques in incidents involving these forms of transportation will vary from those used for cars and school buses. Students will become familiar with the construction methods and materials of these buses and coaches, extrication tools and techniques for trapped victims, the preparation needed for response to a transit bus or commercial coach crash, and a crash's effects on the community. ALL LEVELS

10 Reasons Engine Companies Fail
Bob Leonard, San Jose (CA) Fire Department

The modern day fire service is made up of younger people because of the recent exodus of many senior members. Those senior members took tons of experience with them when they left. This younger fire service won’t see the number of fires the senior members experienced. This class focuses on 10 reasons engine companies fail to accomplish their tactical objectives. These 10 topics are the same today as they were in the “war years.” ALL LEVELS

Emergency Radio Communications: What to Say When It Matters Most
Lieutenant (Ret.)
John J. Lewis, Passaic (NJ) Fire Department
This Mayday radio communication course will familiarize firefighters, company officers, and command officers with best practice communication procedures and methods designed to ensure the efficient rescue of distressed firefighters. Components such as command actions, culture of the Mayday message, calling the Mayday, state and national standards/regulations, building evacuation, PAR, and the actions required of the Mayday firefighter will be discussed.  Emphasis will be on the development, awareness, and use of departmentwide standard operating guidelines that ensure the effective use of these procedures and rapid intervention crews in the Mayday environment. ALL LEVELS

Garden Apartment Fire Challenges
Walter Lewis, Orlando (FL) Fire Department

Students will witness the perils and pitfalls of fires in garden apartment structures and become acquainted with the tactical and strategical considerations needed to address them. Training and preparing for these incidents and  managing them are also covered. ALL LEVELS

Promoting Work-Ready Status on the Fireground through Effective Rehabilitation
Assistant Director
Tiffany Lipsey, Colorado State University

Rehabilitation on the fireground continues to be an important part of operations. Heat stress can lead to firefighter disability and death, increased injury potential on scene, and decreased effectiveness of crews for the remainder of the shift. It contributes to overexertion/strain, which has been identified as the leading immediate cause of fatal injuries. Creating and implementing an "expandable" rehabilitation plan for a variety of responses enhances firefighter performance and could save lives and protect personnel. Having cases of sports drinks for your incidents is only a part of the solution. This presentation reviews the science behind cooling and rehabilitation strategies and discusses currently employed models. In addition, students will work through several case studies to apply rehabilitation principles and critically think about various rehabilitation solutions. In addition, they will learn how to evaluate their department's needs and develop a toolkit for its use. ALL LEVELS

Do Your Tactics Match the Fire Dynamics of the Residential Fires in Your First Due?
Fire Protection Engineer
Daniel Madrzykowski, National Institute of Standards and Technology

Understanding the fire dynamics within a structure can provide the fire officer with an effective tool for limiting the risk to firefighters and for ensuring an effective fire attack. Examining line-of-duty deaths and injury incidents demonstrate the need to understand the fire dynamics of a structure fire. Research on the development and control of fires within structures has been conducted by the National Institute of Standards and Technology. This presentation uses videos and data from acquired structure fires conducted with the Fire Department of New York, the Chicago Fire Department, and the Spartanburg (VA) Fire Departmen that show the importance of size-up, coordinated ventilation, and exterior suppression tactics in aggressively attacking structure fires. The impact of these tactics on potential fire victims is also discussed. INTERMEDIATE/ADVANCED

Search Rope Procedures: Beginner through Advanced
Stephen Marsar, Fire Department of New York

A review of search techniques and the presentation of enhanced procedures. Topics include search rope tactics with and without thermal imaging camera technology, distance and directional land marking, firefighter safety and survival, rapid intervention team usage, and large uncompartmented area searches. An overview of the latest available search rope technologies will be presented along with the pros and cons associated with each. Participants will be guided through search rope procedures with video examples. Suggestions for drills and a question-and-answer period round out the program. ALL LEVELS

Effective Use of Tower Ladders in Tactical Operations
Battalion Chief
Nicholas Martin, Columbia (SC) Fire Department

Although the popularity of tower ladders has grown, they are still less common than traditional “straight stick” aerial apparatus, and their optimum use is not always understood. To obtain maximum benefit from this versatile type of apparatus, firefighters, officers, and incident commanders must understand its capabilities and how it can most effectively be integrated into the fireground. The class is for departments with and without tower ladders. Among topics covered are the proper use of tower ladders in several fireground scenarios including firefighter access, rescue of civilians or firefighters, elevated master streams, and technical rescue; rear-mount and mid-mount devices; and comparison of the “ladder towers” vs. the “tower ladder” and the tower ladder and a straight aerial. INTERMEDIATE

Strategies and Tactics in Subdivided Single-Family Homes and Single-Room Occupancies
Aaron Martin, Fire Department of New York
This type of occupancy was born in the urban areas and has grown into a nationwide dilemma for the firefighting force. Students will become acquainted with the significant hazards these occupancies create, how to recognize their presence, and how to safely mitigate them. ALL LEVELS

Counterterrorism and the Fire Service
Fire Marshal
Brett Martinez, Suffolk County (NY)

Why should the fire and EMS services be concerned about counterterrorism? What role would we play in these  operations? These are some of the issues discussed. A few of our fellow first responders have said that the police only end up blocking firefighters out and taking all the credit. Prior to the tragic events of 9/11, there may have been some truth in this statement. Since that time, law enforcement not only has become more receptive to fire service information, but it has also become enthusiastic about it. The idea here is that fire personnel should reach out and make the points of contact. The police will not tell us everything, buy they will tell us what we need to know. That will happen only if the fire and EMS services reach out to and speak with these counterterror agencies. INTERMEDIATE

Surviving the Battleground in Structural Firefighting
Mike Mason, Downers Grove (IL) Fire Department

This all-encompassing seminar provides firefighters through all ranks a look into the overwhelming risks and inherent dangers of firefighting in today’s fire service. The instructor takes students into the realities of risk and its consequences. Some areas covered are defining and committing to interior operations, fireground situational awareness, fireground survival policies, preventing and surviving Maydays, staffing and fireground survival, fighting fires in conventional and lightweight construction, fuel loads and turbulent smoke behaviors, interior operations relating to room orientation, tactical air management and practices on interior firefighting, recognizing the attack progress, establishing exit strategies and emergency evacuations, and preparing for survival and Maydays. ALL LEVELS

Down and Dirty Mayday
Justin McCarthy, New Haven (CT) Fire Department

On this job, your life can change in a tenth of a second. This program takes an in-depth look at one of the most stressful situations a firefighter can face. Instantly, a Mayday can take an already chaotic situation and send it into a tailspin. This program focuses on the basics and some proven techniques to help ensure a successful rescue. The class goes beyond the incident commander and firefighter in trouble. The roles and responsibilities of everyone operating on the fireground, the rapid intervention team, dispatch, tactical reserve, fire attack, and ventilation are addressed. This program is for large and small departments. Case studies, group discussions, and new concepts used around the country to help mitigate the Mayday are used to enforce the lessons. ALL LEVELS

Extinguishment Culture
Ray McCormack, Fire Department of New York

The focus is on the fundamental choices of operation tactics departments employ when firefighting. Aggressive interior attack, exterior attack, and transitional attack are examined from the perspective of their feasibility, flexibility, and effectiveness in relation to company staffing, department, response models, buildings, and culture. ALL LEVELS

How to Treat Smoke and Burn Victims
EMS Coordinator
Mike McEvoy, Saratoga County, New York; Technical Editor, Fire Engineering

Whether you are a firefighter, an EMT, or an ALS provider, this session will enhance your ability to rescue, care for, and successfully resuscitate victims with smoke inhalation, burns, or both. Fire victims don't usually die from burns; smoke inhalation usually kills them. The focus is on fire survivability, smoke inhalation, burns, and the important differences between rescue and caring for a down firefighter vs. a civilian fire victim. These operations require preplanning. Good outcomes depend on the actions taken at the moment the victim is located. Often, conventional thinking and traditional EMS training result in additional injuries and poor outcomes. ALL LEVELS

Rapid Structure Triage in the Wildland Urban Interface
Todd McNeal, Twain Harte (CA) Fire and Rescue

This class provides company officers and all firefighters with the skills necessary to make rapid, consistent, structure triage decisions when operating in the wildland urban interface (WUI). The focus will be on identifying the triage categories and the "Top Down Triage" systematic approach for evaluating structures, which enables firefighters, company officers, strike team leaders, and other emergency responders to make difficult choices more rapidly, improve personnel safety, and increase the effectiveness of suppression resources. ALL LEVELS

The Professional Volunteer Fire Department
Past Chief/Firefighter Thomas
Merrill, Snyder (NY) Fire Department

The presentation's message is, "Being a professional firefighter has nothing to do with earning a paycheck but has everything to do with attitude, appearance, commitment, and dedication." It also includes the following: how members approach the job, how they prepare and train, how they take care of their equipment, how they treat the public and their own members, and how they behave and interact with the public both on and off duty. Students learn that successfully creating and maintaining a professional image can help with membership recruitment and retention, an extremely important concern today as the number of volunteers are dwindling in most areas of the country; fund drives; and building political support within the community. ALL LEVELS

Proficency-Based Training
Kevin Milan, South Metro (CO) Fire Rescue Authority

Ensuring every firefighter possesses the necessary emergency response skills is the responsibility of the training officer. Logging hours and collecting certifications don’t equal proficiency. This course focuses on proficiency-based training strategies for all ranks. Position qualification task books integrated into an overall training curriculum are provided for all attendees. INTERMEDIATE/ADVANCED

"First-Due!" Residential Fire Concepts for Engine and Truck Companies
Doug Mitchell, Fire Department of New York

Are you and your companies best prepared to operate in the modern residential fire environment? Don’t think so; know so. The focus is on mission-critical incident actions for engine and truck companies at residential fires. Reviewing data from near-miss and line-of-duty death reports will highlight the "must have" roles and responsibilities for each unit--those needed to employ an efficient and effective fire attack. Initial fire attack dictates a delicate balance between engine and ladder companies in modern fire conditions. This necessitates strong communication and coordination among operating units. Preincident preparation, radio reports, and tactical resource deployment for "both sides of the floor" are addressed. Although the application of water still extinguishes fire and searches still locate trapped civilians, the art and science behind how to mount the attack are being questioned. The initial company-level actions can make or break the operation. ALL LEVELS

Firefighter Down: Who Is Responsible?
Mike Morgan, Wakulla County (FL) EMS & Fire Rescue
Substance abuse in the workplace is a nationwide problem; is it also a problem in the fire service? Students get a look at this issue from a chief’s perspective of some case studies involving the following circumstances: a firefighter who died after years of substance abuse and working in three fire departments (the instructor's son); firefighters showing up for duty not sober; and firefighters drinking on the job. The instructor and students will ponder statements and actions that commonly are noted in such cases, including the following: "It is prescribed medication; what is the problem?" "It is taken for an on-the-job injury." Does that make it okay? With regard to apparatus drivers, would they be able to pass a law enforcement- administered test? What about covering up those around you, or off-duty DUI charges? Do they matter? What about supervisors' walking away? Students will learn how to recognize some of the common telltale signs, what actions to take (or do we really need to act?), and the risks they may incur if interceding and will participate in a frank and open discussion of how to respond to this growing problem. ALL LEVELS

Fire Training Injuries: Case Studies for Instructors
Training Program Manager
Walter Morris, Maine Fire Service Institute

Near-miss reports, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health reports, and video clips from YouTube are among the tools used to guide fire instructors in identifying and reviewing training injuries and in devising ways to prevent them. During this interactive session, participants will examine the factors that contributed to firefighter training injuries and the lessons these incidents teach us. ALL LEVELS

Are You "Four" Strategy?
Battalion Chief (Ret.)
Richard Mueller, West Allis (WI) Fire Department

This presentation examines a four-part strategical approach that includes defensive, transitional, marginal, and offensive strategy. These strategies provide a clearer and more accurate way of assessing our thinking and behavior from the time the alarm is received until the under-control benchmark is achieved. Each strategy is broken down to examine the risk management, starting and ending point, and behaviors (tactics) associated with it. This approach will reduce hazard zone confusion and chaos so that everyone will be able to tell what strategy is being used at any given moment. These strategies are presented in a logical, no-nonsense, and research-backed manner. ALL LEVELS

Wired for Success
Training Officer (Ret.) Jim
Murphy, Orange County (FL) Fire Rescue

A combination of National Football League (NFL) and fire service playbooks/best practices is used to better prepare instructors and students for real-world emergency events. This inspirational and motivational experience encourages personnel to “want to train” as they are empowered with relevant, meaningful skill sets and take-home tools and resources that have a proven track record of success in facilitating world-class training. ALL LEVELS

Firefighter Mental Health: Helping Your Own
Firefighter (Ret.) Beth
Murphy, Bellevue (WA) Fire Department

This focus is on fire and EMS personnel suicides. Anecdotal evidence indicates that firefighters' suicides have been increasing. Firefighters are known for their ability to help others, but when it comes to helping themselves or their own, they are at a loss, particularly when it involves mental health issues and suicide. When a firefighter takes his or her life, the family, friends, and coworkers are left with the questions: What happened? Why did it happen? How did we not see it coming? How could we have stopped it? This presentation answers these questions--and more. It also provides attendees with tools to help them recognize signs and symptoms, assess the risk level, and create appropriate resources within their departments and communities for addressing this serious issue. ALL LEVELS

Leveraging Building Intelligence for an Initial Response and Beyond
Fmr. Fire Marshal
Jack J. Murphy, Leonia (NJ) Fire Department
First-due fire companies will become acquainted with a system that will supply them with critical building intelligence while en route to the incident, support an initial response, and further assist fireground operations with real-time solutions. The system involves employing in the field an electronic building information card from a mobile portal application. By leveraging various levels of building intelligence, first-due fire companies and the incident commander will have a decision-making tool relative to the building structure and components they can use as the incident unfolds to help them make self-assured risk-analyses, assist in rescue efforts, and enhance firefighter safety. This Web-based technology solution is a secured “Smart Cloud” technology compliant with the ISO Fire Suppression Rating Schedule, National Fire Protection Association 1620, Pre-Incident Planning, and the International Building and Fire Codes to safely and quickly mitigate an urgent situation. INTERMEDIATE/ADVANCED

Training Liabilities 2014: Staying Out of the Danger Zone
Deputy Chief (Ret.)/Attorney at Law
John Murphy, Law Office of John K. Murphy

The threat of a lawsuit places our fire training officers and their departments in harm's way, especially when something goes wrong on the training ground. This class evaluates the current National Fire Protection Association training standards in connection with current litigation; reviews several national incidents in which there were firefighter fatalities on the training ground; analyzes three case law studies; and provides a risk analysis and best practices from the legal perspective. The focus is on a preventive overview of the fire department's training responsibilities and duties. ALL LEVELS

Building Construction in 2014: The Surprises Continue!
Vice President Scott
Nacheman, Thornton Tomasetti; Instructor, IL Fire Service Institute

The design and construction of buildings have changed significantly over the past decade, yet our fire academy education has not. Through a detailed overview of building materials, systems, and failure case studies, students will gain a better understanding of the characteristics of new steel, concrete, masonry and "green" building trends so they can be better prepared to identify hazardous/dangerous/deficient building conditions and make more educated size-up, strategy, and tactics decisions at incidents. A brief overview of new resources regarding lightweight construction will also be presented. Both theoretical and practical applications will be explored. ALL LEVELS

Buildings on Fire 2014: Lessons from the Fireground
Chief of Training
Christopher Naum, Command Institute, Washington, DC

This highly interactive and engaging program presents leading insights and findings from recent and pertinent regional and national case studies, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health line-of-duty investigative reports, and after-action reports from major incidents. Apparent, root, and common cause factors; contributing factors; and recommendations and actions to preclude similar events on the local, regional, and national levels are addressed. Identifying gaps and actions that can be implemented on the local level is a major focus of this class. The increasing demands for today's emerging and practicing company and command officers; how to meet tomorrow’s demands through self-determination and personal accountability; and how to translate the lessons from the fireground into advanced training, skill sets, and operational models are among the discussion topics. INTERMEDIATE/ADVANCED

Pump Panel Pointers
Deputy Chief
Jerry Naylis, Bergenfield (NJ) Fire Department
Pump operators acquire pointers and learn to use a variety of techniques, tools, and job aids that will help ensure the proper flow and pressure while operating a pump during fireground operations. Successful delivery of water is stressed. The class examines fire operations in urban, suburban, and rural settings. Case studies will show how one or two simple changes will alter the water supply and enhance the operation from the pump panel. Learn steps to ensure your pump operations will be successful. BASIC

Training Volunteer Company Officers
Joe Nedder, Uxbridge (MA) Fire Department

The class is targeted to volunteer firefighters who are or aspire to be company officers. In many cases, newly appointed or elected company officers do not understand their role or the responsibilities and liabilities placed on their shoulders. A volunteer officer's biggest impact will be on the fireground. This class focuses on targeting specific fireground and leadership skills a capable fire officer must possess to be safe, capable, and effective in leading a company in and out of a dangerous situation. The emphasis is on the daily situations faced by volunteers (which it can be argued are getting worse) and  bringing awareness and leadership to this sector. BASIC

10 Signs That Trouble May Be Around the Corner at Emergency Scenes
Craig Nelson, Fargo (ND) Fire Department

This class introduces students to some common warning signs or "flags" that indicate that operational problems, near-miss incidents, or accidents may be about to occur. ALL LEVELS

Engine Company Basic Training Drills
Battalion Chief
Sid Newby, Wichita (KS) Fire Department

The focus is on practical drills that make members of an engine company proficient. Fire service instructors and company officers become acquainted with sound experience-based principles for teaching firefighters how to be proficient members of an engine company. The objective is to establish a baseline method for practicing and performing engine company work regularly using proven techniques to overcome challenges on the fireground. Interactive discussions and video presentations enhance student participation. ALL LEVELS

Polishing the Badge
District Chief
Emmet Nichols, Boston (MA) Fire Department

Getting promoted is not just about sitting in the front seat of the truck or engine and having a shiny new badge or helmet front-piece. It is about making life-changing decisions and being a company officer. It is important to be a leader both on and off the emergency scene. This program discusses size-up considerations at various types of structures and other incidents. Scenarios will include fires, tech rescues, hazmat, and even medical calls. Scene safety is paramount and has to be addressed by all officers on-scene. Officers have an obligation to uphold their mission statement, protect their personnel, and to be true to themselves. On completion, students will understand the importance and value of the people they “lead.” ALL LEVELS

Super Storm Sandy: Lessons Learned, Lessons Lost
Deputy Christopher
Niebling, Mantoloking (NJ) Office of Emergency Management

A detailed look at the overall incident from an Office of Emergency Management (OEM) perspective with emphasis on pre-preparation, aftermath control, politics (elected officials, interagency relations, and citizens), Federal Emergency Management Agency coordination and issues, and forecasts for small and large issues as the incident moves on through multiple months. ALL LEVELS

Thermal Imaging and Rope-Assisted Search Techniques
Keith Niemann, Wichita (KS) Fire Department

Far too often when rope or thermal imaging cameras (TICs) are used during searches, the process slows down instead of speeds up. This class will show students how to increase accountability and speed in the proven methods of traditional searches by using TICs and rope in the evolutions. Among the topics covered are the following: good traditional search techniques; using common room layouts to your advantage; TIC-assisted search; good traditional+TIC search techniques equals orientation; TIC tips and tricks; training drills to increase proficiency; rope-assisted search; NY type bags; retractable systems; TIC+rope search techniques; circumstances that work best for a rope search; and hybrid search. ALL LEVELS

Hazardous Materials: Managing the Incident--the Eight-Step Process
Program Manager
Gregory Noll, South Central (PA) Task Force

A review of the application and use of the Eight-Step Process as a framework for the tactical management of hazardous materials and weapons of mass destruction incidents. This process has been widely used in the hazmat response community for more than the past 20+ years. The class is useful for hazmat operations responders, hazmat technicians, and senior fire and hazmat officers. ALL LEVELS

Firefighting in the Modern Plastic Environment
Deputy Assistant Chief (Ret.)
John Norman, Fire Department of New York

The focus is on changes to the modern fire environment that shape the tactics that must be used on the modern fireground, beginning with the word "plastics." The current fire environment is very different from that of 20, 30, or 40 years ago, but in some case, fire departments are still using tactics and techniques that fail to account for the changes that have taken place around them. Students will be made aware of the changes that affect them most and will become acquainted with tactics that will better serve them and their communities. ALL LEVELS

Chemical Suicide: Information for the Emergency Responder
Deputy Chief
Jacob Oreshan, New York State Fire, Albany, NY

Chemical suicide, or detergent suicide, is becoming a large problem in the United States. Students will acquire the basic knowledge needed to recognize a potential chemical suicide, how to safely approach the incident, proper personal safety precautions, and scene management. ALL LEVELS

Truck Company Duties: From Laddering to R.I.T. Operations
Captain James Payne, Baltimore City (MD) Fire Department

The focus is on the various duties of a truck company or special services unit. In today’s dynamic fire service, truck company operations involve skills that are not performed often. Join in a discussion of proper tactics such as ladder placement, ventilation, vent-enter-isolate-search, and the rapid intervention team. Various tricks of the trade that will help ensure success on the fireground will also be discussed. Participants will be encouraged to join in the discussion of various strategies and tactics that will assist front line officers and firefighters to make improved decisions on the fireground. ALL LEVELS

Firefighting Precautions at Facilities with Combustible Dust
Firefighter (Ret.) Benjamin
Peetz, Napoleon (IN) Volunteer Fire Department

Seemingly benign materials can become explosive and deadly when ignited as a dust cloud. Ordinary materials such as food, sawdust, or plastic can fuel violent, deadly explosions when presented in the right situation. Every year, emergency responders are injured, and sometimes killed, during emergency operations in facilities where combustible dusts exist. The primary purpose of this presentation is to provide emergency responders with a basic background in combustible dust operations and hazards in an effort to protect them from harm when called to respond when a fire or explosion occurs. Students will learn  the five essential circumstances that must come together for a dust explosion to occur. ALL LEVELS

First 365 Days as a Newly Promoted Chief Officer
Steve Pegram, Goshen Township (OH) Fire Department

The instructor reviews the first 365 days he served as chief. The focus is on a systematic approach to learning and assessing a department and how the use of basic strategic planning principles can help a new chief or company officer effect change while also gaining acceptance. ALL LEVELS

Aerial Apparatus Inspection, Testing, and Maintenance
Firefighter/Safety Officer
David Phelan, Bergenfield (NJ) Fire Department

Operational checks are often not performed to the level necessary, and key safety equipment is often neglected and not tested for proper operation. Attendees will be walked through a virtual operational test process through the use of photos and video examples to gain a better understanding of the inspection process. Surprisingly, many of the necessary safety component tests can be performed without expensive tools or equipment. Owner level maintenance is a critical but often overlooked step in apparatus ownership, particularly in departments that must stretch apparatus service life to 20+ years. On completion of the session, attendees will be able to implement an aerial inspection program or a checklist department members can use with only minimal training. ALL LEVELS

Mapping Your Way to Successful Leadership in Your Volunteer Department
Firefighter Tim
Pillsworth, Washingtonville (NY) Fire Department

New members of volunteer fire departments will be assisted in career planning. More than 75 percent of our country is protected by volunteers. New and up-and-coming volunteer fire officers will be faced with an increase in mandatory training, paperwork, and the number of alarms; yet, there will be a reduction of “jobs.” Students will be guided in creating a road map that will help them work their way up through the ranks, from fire officer up to chief. The map will include the setting of goals, points for the important function of building personal relationships, and other criteria necessary for being successful officers. ALL LEVELS

2014 Company Officers: Are You Up for the Challenge?
Deputy Chief
Steve Prziborowski, Santa Clara County (CA) Fire Department

This session will help future and current company officers focus on the important things that will help set them up for immediate success. Regardless of what your department calls the position of company officer--lieutenant, captain, or some other similar term--going from being "one of the guys" or "one of the gals" to the role of the designated adult is not easy, especially if you want to be an excellent company officer. For some, going from firefighter to company officer is the hardest transition in the fire service if you want to be an excellent company officer. The company officer is a challenging and important position on the fireground and at the fire station. Areas covered include establishing expectations, how to build confidence and respect, what to expect as a company officer, and lessons learned from around the country. ALL LEVELS

Engine Company Excellence for Volunteer Firefighters
Richard Ray, Durham (NC) Fire Department

The focus is on making sure that the engine that arrives on the scene of a building fire will be able to perform all the engine company functions effectively and safely. Students will be introduced to safe and effective ways to train and equip an engine staffed by volunteer firefighters. BASIC

Applying Science without Abandoning Aggressive Tactics
Frank Ricci, New Haven (CT) Fire Department

A tactics class, not a data class! This program reconciles the new science with proven tactics to keep your members safe. Tactical implications with lessons learned from the National Institute of Standards and Technology, UL, and Yale studies without losing our identity are covered, as are command, size-up, fire attack, ventilation, and search. This new understanding is not as scary as it seems. What is considered new is based off tactical pieces of the puzzle that have been in practice for years. The latest science has just given us the full picture to link understanding and improvement on our tactical disposition--vent-enter-search with a focus on closing the door addresses flow path, attacking fire blowing out the front door has been the practice in most every city for years, and hitting it hard from the yard for a few seconds is called a "blitz." Instructor and students will tackle some significant changes together to effect a better understanding. ALL LEVELS

Unusual Technical Rescues on Land and in the Water
Jonathan Rigolo, Virginia Beach (VA) Fire Department

An up-front, close-up look at several unusual technical rescue events to which the Virginia Beach (VA) Fire Department responded  in 2012, including the rescue of a teenager trapped in a boat propeller in the waters offshore of Virginia Beach and the rescue of a horse trapped in a septic tank that challenged the first responders. Witness firsthand what took place, how the events were mitigated, and what went right and what went wrong. ALL LEVELS

Using Sprinklers for Structure Protection in the Wildland Urban Interface
Albert Roach, A.S. Roach Fire Services Ltd. (Alberta, Canada)

An overview of how to use sprinkler protection against wildfire. Structural triage, sprinkler placement, water supply, pumps, assessing the structure for vulnerability, hoselay configurations, and equipment are among the areas covered. ADVANCED

Volunteer Recruit Training Program: A Recipe for Success
Division Chief of Training
Alan Rufer, Monroe (WI) Fire Department

If you are a member of a volunteer department; are responsible for training new recruits; and are looking for a program that will be effective, consistent, and put personnel in the trucks, this class is for you. Learn how one department increased members' performances and improved retention. Topics addressed include simple and effective techniques for designing and implementing a recruit training program, simplifying the logistics of training new members and overcoming absenteeism, setting goals for your training program and measuring achievement of those goals, evaluating overall success, and the importance of the graduation ceremony for the organization as well as the members. INTERMEDIATE

The First Five Minutes: Effective Size-Up, Decision Making, and Communications
Deputy Chief
Charles Ryan, Fairfax County (VA) Fire & Rescue

This presentation focuses on the importance of the initial-arriving company officer's effectively sizing-up an incident scene, creating an initial incident action plan, and implementing/directing tasks to accomplish the incident objectives within the first five minutes after arrival. The traditional elements of size-up are reviewed and discussed, and decision-making processes and pointers are reviewed. Also included is a segment on efficient and effective incident communications to help the company officer "paint the picture" for other incoming units and command officers. INTERMEDIATE

Mayday: Are We Making Progress in Saving Lives?
James Sandas, Fire Department of New York
All the aspects of rescuing a down firefighter and our chances of making a successful rescue are the focus. The window of opportunity for saving a down firefighter is very narrow. The focus is on some simple, basic rescue methods and techniques that might make the difference in saving a life. Students will analyze case studies for vital information that might save a firefighter's life. Radio communications and discipline, air supply issues, treating the injuries of a down firefighter, basic maneuvers for rescuing a down firefighter, and incident command procedures are covered. Students who have experienced a Mayday situation will be given the opportunity to share with other students the details of their rescue. ALL LEVELS

Social Media’s Role in a Disaster
Chad Sartison, Foothills Fire (Alberta, Canada) Department

For five days in the middle of the second-worst disaster in Canadian history,  the Foothills Fire Department took a Facebook page with 400 likes and 25 people talking about it to more than 4,700 likes; 350,000 interactions; and 13,000 people talking about it. It became one of the primary communications vehicles of the disaster. Learn how we did it, and why. Many departments stay out of the social media game largely because of possible negative ramifications that can occur through improper pictures and comments. What they should be focusing on instead is the ramifications of not being involved in the conversation in the first place. ALL LEVELS

Where Have All the Good Officers Gone?
Deputy Chief
Salvatore Scarpa, Shawnee (KS) Fire Department

The role of the company officer in these changing times is explored. The company officer is more than the individual who grabs the line and leads a crew into a fire. The students will consider the reasons fewer firefighters are looking to become officers and why the officer corps of today looks different than it did a decade or so ago. The focus will be on the company officer's transitioning from friend to boss and what it takes to be not just a good officer but also a great leader. Emerging leaders are provided with a formula for success based on the qualities that will be critical for the next generation of leaders. ALL LEVELS

From the Xbox to the Box Alarm: Understanding and Engaging Today's Firefighters
Deputy Fire Coordinator
Tiger Schmittendorf, Erie County (NY) Department of Emergency Services

How do we motivate today’s recruits to leave the Xbox long enough to answer the box alarm? Facilitated conversation builds consensus that the majority of the fires we face are in the firehouse, not on the fire scene. Together, instructor and students will journey from perception to reality about today's generation of firefighters and learn to combat challenges with solutions that are not only within our reach but also often right in front of us. ALL LEVELS

Smooth Bore Tips: The Second Generation
Engineer (Ret.)
Paul Shapiro, Las Vegas (NV) Fire Department

The smooth bore tip has been around for several decades with little if any changes, thus limiting its use. This class takes another look at smooth bores with a whole new outlook to show that this great firefighting tool can even be better. No more standard nozzles, pressures, and flows. Students will see that both higher and lower nozzle pressures through smooth bores deliver water at higher flows and in harder-hitting and farther-reaching streams. They will learn how to create a 500 gallon-per-minute (gpm) handline with a 1½-inch tip, a 300-gpm super stream with a 1-inch tip at 100 pounds per square inch (psi) nozzle pressure (NP), and a high-pressure smooth bore tip deck gun operating with a 1 3/8-inch tip at 175 psi NP, to name a few. All operations discussed are within the guidelines of the manufacturers of all equipment used. ALL LEVELS

First-Due Battalion Chief
Battalion Chief
Daniel Sheridan, Fire Department of New York

A review of the important steps of the initial incident commander from receipt of the alarm to the fire's being brought under control. The class covers size-up, establishing command, communication, strategy, sectoring the fire, and resources. ALL LEVELS

Let's Reinvent Structural Firefighting
Firefighter (Ret.)
Jeff Shupe, Cleveland (OH) Fire Department
This class takes a look at firefighting history and fire statistics, a review of historical fires and their impact on changing fire protection, and a comparison of past and present National Fire Protection Association fire statistics and how they changed firefighting/protection. Students will then look at today's structural firefighting practices and how they differ in various areas of the country and will compare modern ideas/ways of firefighting with the older, long-time principles and practices. There will be quizzes and open discussions on the topics. Types of building construction, the problems they present, and how they affect fire growth and development are also covered, as are firefighter safety and health. ALL LEVELS

The Vulnerability Assessment Program: Reducing the Risk of a Line-of-Duty Death
Executive Director
Ronald Siarnicki, National Fallen Firefighters Foundation

Approximately 100 firefighters die each year in the line of duty, and another 70,000 or more suffer injuries. Investigations routinely discover that the vast majority of these injuries and deaths would have been prevented if known risks had been mitigated. The National Fallen Firefighters Foundation, in coordination with the U.S. Fire Administration and Honeywell, has developed an online tool that will provide fire departments with easily accessible real-time data to help evaluate risks and gaps in service that lead to firefighter injuries and fatalities. The Vulnerability Assessment Program (VAP), available free to registered fire department users, makes available the information departments need to develop operational and strategic plans that implement risk-reduction strategies. This course acquaints students with the program and its benefits and instructs them in how to complete a VAP assessment. ALL LEVELS

Fireground Decision Making for Suburban Company Officers
Battalion Chief
Jim Silvernail, Metro West (MO) Fire Protection District

How do you implement initial tactical actions on the fireground as a suburban, fireground officer within a quint or partial quint concept? Do you flip a coin to decide between operating as an engine or a truck company? This presentation demonstrates the critical importance of having educated, experienced fireground decision-making processes and stimulating discussions toward achieving consistently safe coordinated fire attacks. The answer is to have effective standard operating guidelines, experienced company officers, and training. This PowerPoint®-based class stimulates and leads discussions toward creating effective and safe fireground operations. ALL LEVELS

Managing for Success in a Large-Scale Response
Past Chief Jeff
Simpson, Salisbury (MD) Fire Department

This course refreshes and expands participants' knowledge of the management principles needed to ensure success when handling a large-scale response. Many of these critical principles are often overlooked because of a lack of understanding or the complexity of executing them. Even the incident command post can be an overwhelming area of operation if it is not fully coordinated and functional in accordance with the incident’s needs. The focus is on developing an All Hazards Emergency Response Plan. INTERMEDIATE

Tips, Tricks, and Tactics for the Engine Company
Tom Sitz, Painesville Township (OH) Fire Department
Students (company officers and firefighters) will learn how to increase their chances of success on the fireground; the focus will be on the first-due engine. Topics covered include things the engine can do before and during the fire to increase a successful first line stretch and rapid fire knockdown, the "little things" the engine company can do that will pay big dividends on the fireground, tool assignments, and emergency pump operator skills and tactics for the first-due engine company. Students will analyze fire scenarios that are particularly challenging for the first-due engine. The information is based on the presenter's 29 years of experience riding on an engine company. ALL LEVELS

Special Events and Incident Management Team Deployments
Sivak, Planning Section Chief for Central Indiana, Type 3, Incident Management Team

We have seen a number of special events that have made it necessary for fire departments to dedicate personnel from the street to the event because of the hazards and risk involved. Discussion will focus on the deployment of incident management teams and using such events for hands-on training. Recent large special events throughout the Indianapolis area will also be considered. Students will identify the key lessons learned and develop a full National Incident Management System-compliant Event Action Plan. Emphasized will be key aspects that should be considered when managing resources within the special-event arena. ALL LEVELS

Standpipes: A New Look at an Old Tool
Kyle Smith, Cobb County (GA) Fire Department

We all have expectations of performance when it comes to a standpipe system. This presentation looks at what can be expected of an installed standpipe system and what to do if the unexpected happens. The results of flow tests conducted at several installed systems will be reviewed and discussed, and pressure-reducing valves will be examined from their construction features to flow test results and what can be realistically expected from them. Hose/nozzle selection will be discussed, and participants will be given practical steps for testing and selecting their own setup. Fire incidents at which standpipe performance was a significant factor in a near miss or line-of-duty death will be analyzed. ALL LEVELS

Surviving the Modern Mayday
Jonah Smith, Charlotte (NC) Fire Department

The many variables that have changed on the modern fireground have changed the way we must operate. Students will become acquainted with these issues. Best practices for communications on the fireground, especially when the communications are urgent, are addressed, including radio familiarization and technology. Other topics include training and matching the department's capabilities with its needs. Students will use actual fireground audio and video as well as photos to determine improvements in communication that can be made. ALL LEVELS

The Fitness Imperative
Denise Smith, Skidmore College (NY)
Despite the myriad of dangers firefighters face, the leading cause of line-of-duty-related deaths is sudden cardiac events, accounting for approximately 45 percent of deaths. Firefighting requires high levels of aerobic fitness, high anaerobic capacity, and muscular strength and endurance; however, data suggest that many firefighters do not possess high aerobic or anaerobic capacity. Furthermore, many firefighters are overweight and have one or more modifiable risk factors for cardiovascular disease. The safety of the public and the health and safety of firefighters would be enhanced if firefighters followed well-designed fitness programs to improve overall health and fitness. This presentation provides the foundation for the development of a fitness program designed to prepare firefighters for the work they perform. It also offers valuable guidance to leaders seeking to establish a departmental program aimed at reducing firefighter risk and improving performance. ALL LEVELS

The Primary Search: From the Front Door to “Through the Window”
Jerry Smith Jr., Baltimore City (MD) Fire Department

The many aspects involved in conducting aggressive primary searches that start at the front door and the upper floors of the fire building are addressed. Forcing entry and immediately starting an aggressive search of the first floor, making entry to the upper floors via portable ladders and immediately starting an aggressive search of the bedroom areas, vent-enter-search, and searching for fire and searching for life  are among the topics covered. Emphasis is placed on locating the interior stairwell and maintaining the stairwell’s integrity as firefighters search on and above the fire floor. ALL LEVELS

Firefighting Strategy and Tactics for Green Building Construction
Assistant Chief
Ronald Spadafora, Fire Department of New York

This class will increase the awareness of all fire service personnel concerning green building construction and sustainable design features. Chiefs, company officers, and firefighters will develop strategies and tactics to deal with the challenges that arise from buildings constructed of energy-saving materials. Moreover, the presentation will familiarize firefighters with sustainable (green) and integrated-design concepts and how they relate to the fire service. Topics discussed include solar panels (both PV and hot water), microturbines, wind turbines, lightweight construction materials, daylighting technology, green roofs, black and grey water treatment processes, and alternative fuels. ALL LEVELS

Pencil-Sharp Hydraulics
Paul Spurgeon, Denver (CO) Fire Department

An in-depth look at fire service hydraulics. The class will cover all of the calculations needed to provide the proper amount of water at the right pressure for a fire stream. The emphasis will be on creating accurate, pencil-sharp calculations and applying the information learned to the fireground. ALL LEVELS

SCBA Bootcamp: A Firefighter's Survival School
Trevor Steedman, Strike The Box Training, LLC (MD)

This class encompasses a variety of principles and practices firefighters--rural and urban, career and volunteer--can use every day. The SCBA Continuum of Survival illustrates the training needs of the SCBA firefighter and provides multiple skills, maximizing the potential that everyone goes home. Many firefighters are unaware of the survival options available to keep them alive. Basic SCBA training provides rudimentary skills that firefighters must build on. Unfortunately, many firefighters and training programs neglect to advance SCBA skills to adequate levels. When the fire doesn’t go “by the book,” knowing the SCBA Continuum of Survival can make all the difference. ALL LEVELS

Combat-Ready Safety Officer
Deputy Chief
Roger Steger, Kentland (MD) Volunteer Fire Department

Today’s fireground is more complex than at any other time in history. There is little discretionary time on the scene and significantly less room for operational error. Performing a continuous risk assessment and identifying the plethora of safety concerns on the fireground are usually left up to one person, the safety officer. We have reached a point where that is no longer sufficient for our safety. It is the responsibility of every firefighter, officer, and incident commander to assist with these responsibilities. This class presents a detailed look at the critical operational areas each firefighter must be aware of and a discussion and review of the numerous operational areas of concern including the evaluation of key building features, operational benchmarks for engine and truck companies, personal protection, resource evaluation, environmental considerations, incident accountability, and command and control. ALL LEVELS

FDNY Black Sunday: First-Hand Acccount
Eugene Stolowski, Fire Department of New York

A first-hand account of the operations at the Fire Department of New York Black Sunday fire in the Bronx. The instructor relays the operations step by step and the conditions in the building that led to six firefighters being forced to bail out of the fourth floor of the Bronx tenement. ALL LEVELS

RIC for Real: Learning from Our Mistakes
Paul Strong, Valley (WA) Regional Fire Authority

This presentation focuses on how to better prepare for a rapid intervention crew (RIC) deployment. The lessons learned from 400 firefighters participating in the hands-on RIC for REAL training will be the focus. The three main learning objectives are crew integrity and safety, communication, and air management. Students will learn how ineffectiveness in leadership, individual skills, and crew efficiency were magnified even among solid performers because of RIC preparation misconceptions. ALL LEVELS

Roadway Incident Safety: 2014 Update
Lieutenant (Ret.) Jack
Sullivan, Lionville (PA) Fire-Rescue

Firefighters respond to roadway incidents of all types regularly. Their lives are in danger every time they step out of their emergency vehicle at the scene of a vehicle fire, motor vehicle crash, or medical assist or hazmat incident. This program provides an update on the newest strategies and tactics for protecting personnel from being struck by vehicles at roadway incidents for all types of fire and EMS operations. ALL LEVELS

Implementing an LODD/Injury/Near-Miss Investigation Program
Michael Teague, Sacramento (CA) Metropolitan Fire District

Every year, more than 80 firefighters die in the line of duty, and more than 80,000 are injured. There are also many near misses. Although progress has been made in reducing line-of-duty deaths (LODDs), there is much more that can be done. By investigating LODDs, injuries, and near misses, the fire service will be able to identify the causal and contributory factors of these incidents. Identification of these factors can then be used to improve firefighter safety. Performing these types of investigations requires careful planning and preparation that must occur prior to the incident. This program discusses how to set up a Serious Accident Review Team, policies and procedures, select team members, perform reviews, develop reports, and implement recommendations. Actual scenarios will be used as a template for setting up an investigation program. INTERMEDIATE

Good Medicine in Bad Places
John Tew, Fire Department of New York

The objective of the program is to provide responders with the knowledge to manage medically victims in need of technical type rescue. This  PowerPoint® presentation shows the history, inception, class curriculum (auto extrication, confined space rescue, self-contained breathing apparatus, high-angle rescue, trench rescue, building collapse, and water rescue), scenario setup and actual scenarios used in training the Fire Department of New York  rescue paramedics. The core objective is to provide students with the knowledge and skills to safely and effectively care for and aid in extricating a patient and ultimately providing “Good Medicine in Bad Places.” ALL LEVELS

Training Basics and Essentials for the Fire Service
Scott Thompson, The Colony (TX) Fire Department

To truly make a positive impact on firefighter safety and success, we must deliver training that impacts firefighters and fire officers on a personal level. As much emphasis must be placed on being smart as on being safe. Firefighters must be able to visualize, define, and communicate what it takes to survive and succeed in the modern fire service. Defining and visualizing training success, establishing and supporting training standards, making training personal, mastering the basics, preparedness, the first five minutes to success, packing training to meet operational demands, developing objective-based operating guidelines, and the mental aspects of success and survival are among the topics covered. Students will be introduced to tools they can use to implement a sustainable training program. ALL LEVELS

Learning from Others' Experiences
Dave Traiforos, Berkeley (IL) Fire Department

Students will observe photos and videos depicting a moment on the fireground that illustrates how aggressive actions taken by firefighters can lead to danger and interfere with the task at hand, leaving firefighters at risk for injury or death. Fire scene accountability, vehicle placement and operations, hoseline placement, the use of portable ladders, company officer development, building construction, water supply, search and rescue, and strategy and tactics are among the topics addressed. ALL LEVELS

Elevator Emergencies
(Ret.) Tony Tricarico, Fire Department of New York

The focus is on elevators: their history, how they work, the different types, the basics of elevator emergencies, proper terminology, elevator mechanics, and shaft parts. Students will learn how the elevator works and how to mitigate an emergency. Construction, site safety hazards, steel and wire supports, the basics of construction hoists, and lock-out and tag-out procedures are among the areas covered. In addition, the two basic types of elevators, wire hoist and pneumatic, will be compared from the perspectives of differences and similarities, the interlock devices, hoistway door operations, gaining entry without damaging the elevators, and built-in internal and external safeties. Attendees will be shown how to “capture” an elevator,  the safest way to work inside a shaft, how to locate an elevator,  and how to use elevator recall. ALL LEVELS

Commercial Forcible Entry Challenges
Daniel Troxell, Washington (DC) Fire Department

The difficult forcible entry challenges that firefighters face when attempting to gain entry into commercial structures are the focus. Topics covered include accessing the grounds, size-up, steel entry doors, overhead doors, roll-down gates, garage doors, scissor gates, and other unusual forcible entry challenges. ALL LEVELS

Ongoing Size-Up for Rescue Profiling
Mark van der Feyst, Woodstock (Ontario, Canada) Fire Department

This presentation covers the art of creating a detailed size-up of a residential fire rescue. Size-up should be conducted by every responding and arriving member of the fire department--officers and firefighters. The officers’ size-ups are geared toward information pertaining to their train of thought. Firefighters gather information relative to their operations. Learn how to go beyond sizing up only when arriving on scene, not to limit the size-up to what you can see in front of you, and how to gather information for size-up purposes at various times, not only when you are responding to a call. ALL LEVELS

First-Due Area and the Company Officer
Chief (Ret.)
Bruce Varner, Santa Rosa (CA) Fire Department

This class is an interactive discussion with company officers about leadership, responsibilities, mentorship,followership, customer service inside and outside the organization, and how we take care of Mrs. Smith. Topics covered include preparedness at the company level to deliver service to your customers, some details of your first due that should be addressed, the demographics of your first due that affect delivery of service, training needs specific to a company or a first-due area, and how the company officer addresses these needs. Also covered will be fire dynamics and extreme fire behavior vs. the realities of protective clothing and equipment that should be of critical importance to a company officer. ALL LEVELS

Duty to Act: Leadership Case Studies
Deputy Chief
(Ret.) Curt Varone, Providence (RI) Fire Department

Two EMTs refuse to provide aid to a pregnant woman because they are on a coffee break; the woman and her child die. Firefighters and police stand on shore and watch as a mentally distressed man drowns in shallow water. EMS personnel stop performing CPR on a trauma patient and, over the objection of his spouse, discontinue transporting him to the hospital. Each of these cases raises similar questions: Do these emergency personnel have a legal duty to do more than they did? If so, how much more? Most firefighters and chiefs understand that when they act, they must meet a certain standard of care. But what if we fail to act and someone is killed or injured? When do we have a duty to act? What are the ramifications of failing to act? If you are off-duty and act, will you be covered by workers' compensation? This program provides an overview of “duty to act” by looking at case studies of high-profile incidents where the duty to act was an issue. INTERMEDIATE/ADVANCED

Officer Development: Leadership Skills
Deputy Chief
Frank Viscuso, Kearny (NJ) Fire Department

Students are introduced to some of the important skills needed to become a leader in today's fire service. Among them are goal setting; mentoring and succession planning; critiquing others; delegating; preventing freelancing; technical report writing; tackling administrative tasks; dealing with subordinate issues; conducting a post-incident analysis; building morale; and stepping up and leading in the fire station as well as on the fireground. Creating the right culture within your organization and emphasizing the importance of customer service will also be discussed. ALL LEVELS

Aggressive Truck Functions for a Safer Fireground
Division Chief
Jimm Walsh, Winter Park (FL) Fire Department

Many people associate the term aggressive with unsafe, particularly when it comes to truck company functions. The fireground can actually be made safer through the timely execution of truck functions. This presentation stresses the importance of aggressive truck functions and their positive impact on fireground safety. Because of the limited staffing most departments are facing, we must improve our efficiency on the fireground. Aggressive truck functions allow everyone on the fireground to work in a safer and more efficient manner. Class participants will gain valuable tips on how to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of their truck functions and better understand the necessity of truck functions for every fire. Most importantly, participants will understand how aggressive truck functions can create a safer fireground. ALL LEVELS

Transitional Fire Attack: Does It Exist?
Chief of Emergency Operations
Brian Ward, Georgia Pacific (GA)

Recent evidence and live fire experiments conducted with the National Institute of Standards and Technology indicate that transitional attacks may not exist. Aggressive “exterior” fire attacks are offensive in nature and do not indicate any transitional modes taking place. A case for change using this new tactical mentality is presented. It is based on challenging the typical teachings of the fire service and using the new science to assist firefighters in making the best fireground decisions. BASIC

Gauges Don't Lie
Douglas Watson, Palm Beach County (FL) Fire Rescue

Students will take a journey to the “technological” side and look at firefighting through the eyes of science. Entertaining yet informative experiments and demonstrations are used to show students how various physical laws of science apply to everyday fireground operations. Attendees will witness the expansion of steel when heated, determine the strongest way to butt a ladder, learn to maximize torque using a halligan, watch the benefits of wetting agents and foam, and more. Why does smoke sometimes push out of a window with velocity and appear lazy at other times? Is the metal on your chair really cooler than the cushion? What nozzle has more force--smooth bore or fog? All of these phenomena are proven in class, leaving students with an appreciation for the most routine firefighting tasks and a solid understanding of fireground dynamics that will help them to be safer and more efficient. ALL LEVELS

Leading Change through Training
Devon Wells, Hood River (OR) Fire & EMS

The fire service is in a state of change. How do we, as instructors, lead this change? How do we get firefighters to look at things differently? How do we change from a procedure-based fire service to a principle-based fire service? Instructors and company officers are the most important positions involved in leading change and presenting new information. Challenging the traditional methods of firefighting currently used in emergency response can be difficult. Participants will be engaged in discussion, encouraged to lead change, and invigorated to return to their agencies and effect positive change. Attendees will leave the classroom with the courage to lead. ALL LEVELS

Large Truck Extrication
Battalion Chief
Steve White, Fishers (IN) Fire Department

Responding to an extrication involving large vehicles is a high-risk, low-frequency event. Responders can place themselves and victims at great risk if they do not understand the vast differences between large truck and passenger vehicle extrication. When large trucks are involved, the hazards increase. Construction, various loads carried, fuel types/capacities, and weight of large trucks require increased rescuer knowledge. This class targets the importance of identifying the need for outside resources such as heavy wreckers, identifying the type of wrecker needed, staging, and working with the operator. Construction, hazards, stabilization, and disentanglement associated with large truck extrication are discussed. INTERMEDIATE/ADVANCED

Preparing Effective Presentations
Deputy State Fire Marshal/
Captain Becki White, Eden Prairie (MN) Fire Department

Presentation skills play a large part in people's perception of you as a professional. Participants are given tools for implementing new strategies for enhancing their presentations. Among the topics covered are identifying audience needs, how to best meet those needs, and how to create a presentation that will be memorable for the right reasons. Learning patterns, visual elements to use or avoid, new applications and programs that can be easily integrated into existing or new presentations, and effectively delivering a message that makes a lasting impression are among topics covered. ALL LEVELS

What Have We Learned from the Top 10 Emergency Vehicle Accidents of the Past Decade?
Lieutenant (Ret.)
Michael Wilbur, Fire Department of New York

A look back at serious emergency vehicle accidents and their lessons. Topics include fatal backing-up accidents and fire apparatus racing to alarm locations and colliding, You Tube and other social media and their effect on emergency vehicle operators, apparatus rollovers, an overweight apparatus involved in a fire officer fatality, inattentive civilian drivers, cell phone use while driving emergency vehicles, the role of the company officer supervising emergency vehicle operators, a DUI firefighter fatality while driving an emergency vehicle, and firefighter ejections when firefighters have failed to use seat belts. ALL LEVELS

Flashover Life-and-Death Decisions on the Fireground
Bryan Winzer, Fire Department of New York

Students are guided in an in-depth look at two case studies in which firefighters were severely burned and one firefighter died from his injuries to determine lessons learned. The lessons will be derived from the perspectives of size-up, fireground communications, the warning signs of flashover, preventing flashover, building construction, rapid intervention, team operations, mutual-aid response, and the importance of wearing and maintaining personal protective equipment. An overview of the support network needed to recover from these types of injuries to get back to families and everyday activities are also presented. ALL LEVELS

Lessons Learned from a Near-Miss Mayday in Texas
John Wright, Flower Mound (TX) Fire Department

A first-hand experience. The Flower Mound Fire Department responded to a residential structure fire on June 17, 2011. While conducting a primary search of the second floor, an error was made and the wall was opened up, allowing the room to fill with flames. This disorientated the firefighters, who became lost in the fire room. A Mayday was transmitted, and the firefighters were able to self-extricate through a small set of windows seconds before the room flashed. Students will be presented with details concerning the errors that contributed to the firefighters' becoming lost and the struggles they encountered while trying to get out of the room. In addition, students will share in the lessons learned and insights into how firefighters react to overwhelming stress associated with high-speed threats to life. Complacency, gut instincts, proper use of personal protective equipment, muscle memory related to bad habits, preparedness, and pride are also covered as part of the lessons learned. ALL LEVELS

Truckless, USA
Captain/Training Officer
Brian Zaitz, Metro West (MO) Fire Protection District

Welcome to Truckless, USA. This is the community that most of us work in, a community without a dedicated truck company. With that said, these critical fireground functions cannot be ignored. This course covers strategies to meet these fireground objectives in departments that do not have a dedicated truck company. Key concepts covered will include assignment by arrival order, the 1+1 model, and the add-2 theory. Students will apply these newly learned concepts in real-world simulations. ALL LEVELS















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