Springtime in Indianapolis at FDIC

Every spring the fire service celebrates a rebirth of its continuous efforts in improving its service to our communities and our members by participating in the largest exchange of fire service information, tactics, equipment and training in the world at FDIC Indianapolis.

The city of Indianapolis will again open its doors to the world’s greatest collection of fire service instructors, practitioners, leaders, manufacturers, support agencies and firefighting aficionados on the second day of spring. And this year will be an incredible FDIC. For those of us who’ve been coming to FDIC religiously, this year is the most exciting since the Fire Department Instructors Conference began in 1928.

We would recommend you make your reservations quickly. Although there are several new downtown hotels, space is already filling up as everyone is anticipating several major milestones at this year’s annual gathering of the best and the brightest in the fire service.

The main program will feature the fire service’s highest honour: the presentation of the Ray Downey Courage and Valor Award. The 2012 awardee will receive a medal and a $35,000 cheque for rising above and beyond the call of duty.

There will be several new social events, including our annual Stop Drop Rock ‘n Roll night of music, entertainment, raffles, food and fun. The annual FOOLS Bash, the HOT Instructors Dinner, the Union Party and the numerous informal gatherings at pubs across the city. The Battle of the Bands promises to be an incredible night of live music and fantastic entertainment, which will include an appearance from Adam Ferrara, actor/comedian featured in the hit network TV series Rescue Me.

The Indianapolis Convention Centre completed a major expansion project in 2011 that includes over 400,000 square feet of additional space. Exhibitors will use over half of this new space, increasing the overall exhibit total to over 900 companies. This expansion also includes direct access to the Lucas Oil Stadium via an enclosed, air-conditioned corridor. Another 100,000 square feet of event space will be located between the ICC and LOS, called the South Street Exhibition and Demonstration Area. The Scott Firefighter Combat Challenge will take place in this location, as well as product demonstrations by participating exhibitors.

FDIC 2012 will again serve as the bellwether for the status of the American and the international fire service. The hands-on training this year will include a new Urban Essentials class being delivered by some of the most gritty and fireground-tested firefighters in North America. There will also be a brand-new class on rescue, as well as the latest advances and improvements in our traditional techniques and tactics.

FDIC is as focused on what we do as you are. You are part of the most critical element in your community’s safety and welfare, and FDIC is the most critical element in your continuing drive to be the best for your community. FDIC will make you stronger, and your presence makes FDIC better.

The workshops will include some of the most controversial and most effective fireground techniques for the wide variety of fire behaviour and fire compartmentation one can expect to be confronted with on today’s modern fireground. You’ll return from FDIC 2012 ready to engage your community’s firefighters in discussions around fire station coffee tables. Whether it’s dynamic fire behaviour, green construction, the latest in emergency medical services, or fire service leadership, it’s all at FDIC – the greatest collection of information in the fire service today.

Make your reservations to welcome spring and the annual rebirth of the American fire service this year in Indianapolis on April 16th, 2012. Be part of the 30,000 fire fighters who are leading the fire service by example.


Vehicle Extrication: Tactical Level Management
Training Instructor Les Baker,
Charleston (SC) Fire Department
Responding to vehicle extrication incidents can be very challenging for numerous reasons, including an assortment of hazards, the number of patients and extent of injuries, and varying degrees of entrapment. Arguably, the most important responsibility at an extrication incident is managing tactical operations. This programme evaluates the responsibilities of the disentanglement group supervisor through various forms of media. The supervisor’s role can be compared to that of a first-arriving engine company officer’s making the initial attack on a structure fire. He sets the tone for the incident and has a direct impact on a successful conclusion.

View from the Street: The First 20 Minutes

Battalion Chief Richard Blatus,
Fire Department of New York
It’s the middle of the night. Your pager goes off, reporting smoke from a dwelling in a remote area of town. What runs through your mind as you rush to get to the scene? What information have you gathered? If you arrive first, what actions will you take to establish safe and effective operational tactics? This class provides students with the opportunity to direct fireground operations based on information gathered from the transmission of the alarm. What could/should you rely on if you are unable to obtain the information you need to make safe/sound operational decisions?

Reading Smoke: 2012 Tactical Solutions
Battalion Chief (Ret.) David Dodson,
Response Solutions, LLC
Learn “street-tested” tips that will help first-due decision makers. The biggest challenge for firefighters is understanding the changes that have taken place in fire behavior. The key to predicting today’s fire behaviour is directly related to the ability to read smoke on arrival. Reading smoke helps you discover the specific location and intensity of a fire, building collapse potential, and the likelihood of a hostile fire event like flashover. If you can discover these things, you can make better strategic and tactical decisions.

21st Century Fire Attack
Firefighter Chris Pepler,
Torrington (CT) Fire Department
Today’s firefighters are not getting the same experience working at fires that our previous generations received. Today’s building design and contents have made the fire atmosphere more hostile. National agencies have conducted extensive research on the increasingly dangerous fire conditions. This class will review numerous reports to deliver a “back-to-basics” perspective for the firefighter. While filming the Fire Engineering video series “Tactical Perspectives,” the instructor collected and analysed hundreds of hours of film on how the interior conditions can impact fire attack and how simple mistakes and tactics help or impede the attack. Since three-quarters of fires occur in residential structures, they are still considered the “typical work environment.” Learn tricks of the trade for fires in residential structures, the unique dangers firefighters face in each incident, and how to minimise future risk.

Fireground Commander
Battalion Chief (Ret.) John Salka,
Fire Department of New York
This workshop examines the important skills and abilities a Chief needs to conduct a safe and effective fireground operation. There is more to it than just setting up a command board and collecting accountability tags. Learn the vital skills you need to maintain and practice at every structural fire, including establishing and maintaining command, effective and proper communications, staying ahead of the fire, calling for help early, staying on top of the attack hoseline, being prepared to relieve units, and pressing the attack or pulling members out. Learn to conduct a safe and effective fireground operation.

Advanced Vehicle Extrication NEW!
Lead Instructor: Battalion Chief Leigh Hollins,
Cedar Hammock (FL) Fire Department
Four stations will present four real-life, challenging, difficult extrication scenarios requiring advanced skills to stabilise the vehicles and remove multiple patients entrapped and entangled in the wreckage. The instructors will preview each scene and provide guidance and instruction in how to safely, quickly, and efficiently mitigate the situation. Students will learn everything from setting up a command structure to zoning the incident to performing the various tactics and strategies. They can then take their knowledge back home to share with others to more efficiently deal with complex vehicle extrication scenes that occur daily.

Aerial and Tower Operations NEW!
Lead Instructor: Lieutenant Michael Wilbur,
Fire Department of New York
Students will learn the proper techniques and the safe operation of aerial ladders, rear-mounted tower ladders, and mid-mounted tower ladders. Topics include scrub area; feathering hydraulic controls; and depth perception. Students will also learn how to calculate the minimum and maximum apparatus operational footprint and the true horizontal working length; the proper procedure for short jacking, water flow, and apparatus ventilation; the proper use and position of a stokes basket during a rescue; and new technological advances in apparatus. Every student will get limited operational time with the apparatus.

Collapse and Void Search Rescue NEW!
Lead Instructor: Firefighter (Ret.)
Michael Davis, Fire Department of New York
Tornados, hurricanes, and other weather-related incidents—the past few years have seen an increase in these types of events that have required the quick action of first responders and their resources. This class will address the initial skills rescue personnel need to accomplish victim removal early into the collapse operations. A significantly damaged building will be used to simulate a building collapse. Students will “rescue” manikins used as trapped victims. Training will include void search, initial shoring, cribbing, and understanding the magnitude of these events. Learn and fine-tune skills necessary to achieve safe and effective search and rescue in collapsed wood-frame and unreinforced masonry structures. Technical rescue gear and proper personal protective equipment is required. The use of knee pads and respiratory equipment is highly recommended. Full turnout gear can be substituted.

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