FDIC – Letter from the Show Director

Eric Schlett

Dear Firefighters and First Responders,   

FDIC International is excited to welcome the fire and rescue industry back to Indianapolis, April 24-29, 2023! 

As North America’s leading firefighter conference, FDIC International drew over 30,000 industry professionals in 2022, nearly one-third held an EMS-related title, and 2023 is expected to be an even larger event that cannot be missed. 

The expansive conference program offers over 300 tried and true classes covering updated content on important topics and new areas of interest from the world’s most renowned fire and EMS instructors, and more EMS credit hours than ever before! New this year, attendees will have access to over 230 hours of continuing education accredited by CAPCE.   

The week of training begins with two days of hands-on training (H.O.T.) evolutions and pre-conference workshops followed by three days of classroom sessions, covering the latest technology and techniques in the fire service. Back again is Women in Fire for their one-day conference on Monday, April 25.  

In addition to Women in Fire, we are excited to be joined by several core groups in training the fire services for education, meetings, and events: FESHE, North American Training Directors and ISFSI, to name a few.  

The learning continues on the exhibit floor spanning the Indiana Convention Center, Lucas Oil Stadium and the Outdoor Exhibits & Demo Area, giving attendees access to explore nearly 800 vendors to vet their products and services while creating lasting and business relationships with these leading manufacturers.   

There are plenty of new and exciting spots to check out! The Lucas Oil Stadium (LOS) Experience is being introduced this year and will include the Fire Rescue Station of the Future, a full-scale fire station replica featuring products and innovations for you to interact with; as well as IGNITE, an exhibiting destination for start-ups and small businesses owned by emergency service entrepreneurs who are making their debut at FDIC. While there don’t forget to visit FDIC’s “Central Park” for a myriad of attendee experiences. 

And for decision-maker with specific sourcing needs, we want to help them make the most of their time with the following programs. The Metro Officers Innovation Briefing puts innovation at the forefront as Officers from major metropolitan areas share experiences, perspectives and ideas in a peer-to-peer setting. Our free MATCH! program allows attendees to preschedule one-to-one meetings with exhibitors who fit their current sourcing needs. And the newly-launched JEMS Innovation Summit is where EMS leaders from all sectors will come together to share the latest in innovations and collaborations.  

I would be remiss if I did not mention the passing of our longtime editor in chief of Fire Engineering and Educational Director for FDIC, and my friend, Chief (Ret.) Bobby Halton, who will be recognized with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Opening Ceremony. We will be celebrating his life and legacy all week, but please join us for a special service on Wednesday at 5:30 PM, “After Hours: A Bobby Halton Tribute”. Before his passing in December, Halton had served as editor for the last 18 years and helped build FDIC into the largest fire service educational conference in the world. 

As always, I want to personally thank the City of Indianapolis and most especially Chief Ernest Malone and the Indianapolis Fire Department for their continued support and hospitality. I look forward to seeing you all in Indy! 

Eric J. Schlett
Executive Vice President 

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