So when we last left you Wednesday night was over and a lot of great things were happening!
Thursday I did skip the General Session but I heard it was GREAT! I did make it over for class and had some great experiences. I took Suburban Fire Tactics with Jim Silvernail www.suburbanfiretactics.com , and Hoseline Operations for Multi Family Dwellings with Bill Gustin. Both those classes were good and offered a lot to think about. I was unable to take a 3rd class that day because I had to go get ready for the Courage and Valor 5k! The race Started at 6 and the afternoon classes didn’t let out until 5:15. I do not like walking out of classes early cause I think it is disrespectful. I am not saying I have not done it, I just always feel bad when I do, I mean all of the instructors but there heart and soul into their classes so even if you’re not digging it, or liking what you are hearing you owe it to at least stay.
First however my wife got a chance to promote her book “Incident Command for EMS” by having not one but 2 book signing/meet the author sessions, the first being Thursday
The Courage and Valor 5k was awesome! Chief Halton wanted 1,000 runners and almost made that goal with about 900 total runners/walkers. Only about 400 chose to have their run timed. I ended up finishing in 27:33 which was within my under 30min goal. I belive I placed 182 out of the 400 or so timed runners so not my best performance I will take it.
Here is my wife Karen getting ready to run, she ended up finishing somewhere around the 35-36 min. mark I was super proud of her, for gutting the run out as she was not feeling it. She is setting the example that EMS providers need high fitness levels as well!
Thursday night was also the NFFF Stop Drop and Rock and Roll party, unfortunately we did not make it over there, after running showering, and eating we just ran out of time. I honestly regret it but when you’re traveling in a big group you make sacrifices. They sacrificed eating later for us to run so we sacrificed going to an event. Thursday night ended up just being a night to wind down a bit, have a few drinks, and converse with people attending the conference.
Friday was all about the exhibit floor and promoting my wifes book. The Exhibits were VAST, they really need to have them open more. I know the goal of the conference is for education, but in my opinion if people are going to take a class then they will no matter what else is going on. Make those people who just do exhibit only passes pay more to off set the cost for those that are paying out of their own pocket to do it all.
It was also during the exhibits that I saw something cool/scary/innovative all in one!
This “rig” comes from Volusia County Florida and it is well, all of the things I said it was! It is a 300 gal pumper that seats 2 people (a 3rd if they ride in the ambulance part) and has an ambulance body on the rear! This thing also has a foam tank, and a 500gpm pump. I have seen a similar concept with Miami Dade as they use the ambulances as “Rescue Companies” but they just have an extended cab with ambulance body, and a bunch of saws, forcible entry tools, etc. I had never seen it go this far. I actually think the concept while scary is kinda brilliant especially if you have reduced staffing. By making every ambulance and engine you can maximize the ability to do more with less. It is not the perfect system but in times of reduced staffing and budget cuts we have to be innovative. If this rig shows up at a house fire before a traditional engine company they can go to work, instead of waiting. This was the best , most interesting rig of the conference in my opinion, and generated several discussions.
Also during FDIC 2 other very significant events took place. The 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb and The Scott Firefighter Combat Challenge. Here ae some pics.
Again I was felt with a little bit of regret. Last year I watched the climb and did not participate. The climb is all about your tribute to the fallen. So when I had the chance to climb in Richmond Virginia with brothers and sisters from my department, and surrounding departments I knew this is where I wanted to give my tribute. Since they have already planned another climb for Richmond this year I decided I was not going to climb at FDIC. Had I known they were not going to get 343 climbers I would have done it. To me it is a travesty at a conference of 30,000 we can not get 343 people to climb. I will not let that happen again, the next time I am there and there are not 343 climbers I will be climbing. Like I said I will also be climbing again in Richmond Va in September this year and would love for us to get 343 climbers so come join us, I will even train with you!
I did get the chance to commemorate the memory even further of firefighter David Halderman of the FDNY who I climbed for in Richmond by getting a Brotherhood Band www.bandsforbrothers.com with his name on it.
Well this is getting long enough so I will end it here, I still have a little bit more to say and some other things to share about FDIC 2012. So stay tuned for part 3 of the review!
As usual thanks for reading, spread the word, and STAY SAFE!