I returned home late Friday night from FDIC. I had hoped my first experience at the conference would have lasted through Saturday but we decided to make the trip home a night early to beat some incoming winter weather. Even with the early departure, I had an absolute blast. The whole experience was well beyond any of my wildest imaginations.
I owe a large part of my experience to Tiger Schmittendorf and the rest of the Fire-EMS Blog gang. I hope they understand how much of an impact they all had on a this young Missouri kid. Thanks guys!
The week started with a two-day International Fire Instructor Workshop (Monday and Tuesday). I was overwhelmed by the quality of training (particularly on fire behavior principles) from our international counterparts. By Tuesday afternoon, I had heard presentations by instructors from Canada, Australia, Belgium, Sweden, and Ireland. The audience was just as diverse as the presenters and all came to share their experiences and insight. I sincerely hope that FDIC will continue to bring this group together in Indianapolis.
I had the good fortune to network with several other instructors at the ISFSI Social on Tuesday evening. Again, I learned a great deal from these instructors from all across the US. The best part of the evening was a chance meeting with Tiger Schmittendorf. I intended only to thank him for his work in promoting volunteer recruitment initiatives on his blog and his recognition of firefighter live-in programs. The conversation continued for several hours on a wide variety of training and recruitment topics related to the volunteer fire service. I picked up several ideas and insights from the meeting and only wish the transfer of insight would not have been so one-sided.
Wednesday began the classroom sessions of the conference. I was thoroughly impressed with each of the classroom sessions that I sat in on. The quality of instruction was top notch. I’ve listed the classroom sessions that I was able to experience at the bottom. Each of the instructors should be proud of their contribution to FDIC 2011. I also had the good fortune on Wednesday to meet Rhett Fleitz, Willie Wines Jr, and John Mitchell for lunch at Claddaugh’s Irish Pub.
The last big experience came Thursday evening when I had the opportunity to meet the above mentioned folks as well as Dave Statter, Dave Iannone, Chris Naum, and Mike Ward. To say I was in awe would be the understatement of the year. I had a tremendous time that evening and learned a great deal.
All in all, FDIC 2011 was a complete success for me. I had heard from many people how great this conference was but had never had an opportunity to attend. My first time though far exceeded anything anyone had described to me before.
My next post will include some of my biggest takeaways from the weeklong journey.
- Training Officer Liabilities – John Murphy
- Improving and Maintaining Good Instructors – Scott Carrigan
- Officer Development Programs – Rudy Horist
- Firefighter Free Speech – “Chip” Comstock
- Hottest Legal Topics – Curt Varone
- Understanding and Motivating Today’s Firefighters – Tiger Schmittendorf