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Thursday November 16, 2017

FDIC – Friday

Indianapolis, IN – Today’s schedule included a class on boat operations followed by day 2 of exhibits. As we were walking around today I took notice of the international presence amongst the products. Rosenbauer had a European style fire helmet in their exhibit area. The Heros-XT helmet had two built in shields, one for full face protection and the other for eye protection. Another product of interest came from Canada. The Shutgun was a caulk gun style sprinkler wedge with a built in fusible link. Over in the Wheeled Coach booth on display was a four wheel drive ambulance from Ecuador. Holmatro rolled out a new tool for breaking concrete and other large debris in structural collapse applications.

New technology was also showcased by vendors. The Ipad was found in many applications, such as mobile inspections. On display in the MSA booth was the flat airpack being tested by the International Association of Firefighters (IAFF) and Mine Safety Applicance (MSA.) This has been a wonderful conference with many learning opportunities both from the classroom and thru the exhibits. Tomorrow we fly back home and I am looking forward to seeing my family ! Everyone take care and be safe !

FDIC – Thursday

Indianapolis, IN – I finally found my way back to the hotel room to rest my tired feet after a long day of walking. My Thursday at FDIC started with the General Session followed by a workshop instructed by Retired FDNY Deputy Chief John Norman. I had the pleasure of running into several North Carolina firefighters from across our state today. After a brief lunch with friends we began our journey around the exhibits, which opened today.

For those of you that have not attended FDIC, I encourage you to make at least one trip up to Indy to experience the enormous vendor show. Spread throughout the Indiana Convention Center, across South Street and into Lucas Oil Stadium, is what I believe to be the largest trade show in the nation. There is no way to take in all the exhibits in one day because of the sheer number of vendors and vast amount of products. At FDIC you can expect to see anything and everything related to the fire service. Many manufacturers utilize FDIC as the show to rollout their new products. Scott Safety rolled out a new RIT-PAK III and Eagle Attack thermal imaging camera (TIC). Both appear to be great products for the fire service. At Hurst we found newly designed power units and their line of eDRAULIC tools. Hurst also had an area set up outside of the convention center where you could try out their tools and see for yourself how they work. Pierce unveiled a new Dash CF Pumper with lots of room in between the driver and officer seats and amazing view out the front windshield. E-One introduced a 137′ ladder truck as well.

Be on the lookout for these and other new fire service products coming to your fire station soon. Until tomm, be safe and take care !

FDIC – Wednesday

Indianapolis, IN – FDIC was ‘officially’ kicked off this morning with an inspirational opening. At the opening ceremonies, FDNY Captain Micheal Dugan’s keynote address centered around the question, “Why Are You Here.”

According to Captain Dugan the fire service is loosing grip on its core values. Dugan stated, “If your vocation and advocation is one in the same, you will never work a day in your life.”

Interesting statement, as I believe what he says has a lot of merit to it. Just the other day at my fire department we were having a discussion about how far several of us would dip into our own pockets, take time off from work or use whatever means possible to attend trainings and conferences. We did this because we enjoyed it and we wanted to make our communities, departments and selves better. Pride and ownership are values that the fire service today very much needs to hold on to. Firefighters should not expect handouts or wait around for someone else to do it for them. Whether you are a volunteer or career firefighter, I hope you take ownership in your duties, department and community. I think you will find that once you take ownership you will enjoy what you are doing.

Take care, be safe and look for my FDIC update tomm !

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Fire Department Instructors Conference

What I consider one of the best training conferences for the fire services is the Fire Department Instructors Conference (FDIC.) This conference is known for its outstanding Hands On Training (HOT), hundereds of workshops and huge vendor show. Many manufacturers use FDIC as the venue to unveil new products to the fire service. Several N.C. firefighters, including myself, are traveling to Indianapolis this week to attend FDIC. Be on the lookout for my daily reports from FDIC starting Wednesday (March 23). Take care and be safe !

Walk-A-Mile

The wheels are probably wobbling or starting to fall off those new years fitness resolutions. As it continues to warm up across the state encourage the firefighters in your department to get out and participate in the state Walk-A -Mile wellness initiative. On the Walk-A-Mile site you will find more information about the program and firefighters can log and track the miles they walk on the site. Firefighter health and wellness is an essential part of safety and service delivery. I hope you tighten the wheels and keep your department moving forward. Take care.