Each spring downtown Indianapolis, Ind., rises as the center of the fire fighting universe, and this year was no exception. The 85th annual Fire Department Instructors Conference, April 22–27, packed the Indiana Convention Center, Lucas Oil Stadium and South Street parking area.
Indianapolis Fire Department hosted its fire service brethren — firefighters, fire service administrators, chiefs, paramedics and others — from across the country. Hundreds showed up and took advantage of the unparalleled opportunity to learn, network, train and evaluate new products, all in one location.
Four- and eight-hour training evolutions got underway Monday and Tuesday. Participants practiced rescues from heavy vehicles, learned the key indicators of imminent flashover, practiced rapid searches under less than ideal conditions and went through complete Rapid Intervention Training. Dozens of new educational topics that had been suggested by attendees in 2012 were also well-attended in 2013, from updates on vehicle technology to unusual technical rescues and sizing up house fires in order to determine everything from fire location to proper hose line selection.
A moving opening ceremony and the 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb brought the tone of the gathering back to the deadly serious nature of being a part of one of the most dangerous public service professions.
Back inside the conference’s three exhibit halls attendees, including The Municipal Account Executives Karen White, Christi Sausaman and Matt Dudlak, touched base with representatives from Liquid Spring, PowerFlare, ATR Transmissions, Monroe Truck and others, in addition to checking out new equipment like LED flashers and brow lighting for vehicles and SCBA equipment that meets the new 2013 NFPA standards.
If you missed this year’s event, make a note: FDIC 2014 returns to the scene of a good time April 7–12, 2014.