FDIC International 2024: The Leading Fire & Rescue Event in North America Returns

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With diverse training and educational opportunities like the Women in Fire Conference, the U.S. debut of the International Tall Building/High Rise Conference, and the LOS Experience, there is a lot to look forward to at FDIC International 2024

FDIC International 2024 is one of the most anticipated events in the world for the fire and rescue community.

The annual conference brings together thousands of fire and rescue professionals, world-class instructors, and industry experts from around the world to share knowledge, showcase innovative products and services, and participate in hands-on training and educational sessions.

The 2024 event will be held from April 15-20 at the Indiana Convention Center and Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana.

With over 35,000 industry professionals expected to attend, FDIC International 2024 offers an incredible opportunity for attendees to develop stronger industry relationships, learn from other departments about the challenges they are facing, and bring back new insights to their own departments and businesses.

The week-long event includes interactive hands-on training sessions, where fire and rescue professionals can participate in live training courses and pre-conference workshops.

Over 200 conference sessions will be taught by renowned instructors presenting new areas of interest within the fire and EMS industry along with updated content on important topics.

Attendees can learn about the latest tactics, techniques, and technologies designed to take their knowledge to the next level.

FDIC International 2024 also features special events, including the Women in Fire Conference, which provides training, support, and advocacy for women in the fire service, the U.S.

debut of the International Tall Building/High Rise Conference offering valuable insights into current best practices and safety innovations, and the LOS Experience, an immersive experience in Lucas Oil Stadium that is broken out into activations, carefully designed to deconstruct live-action scenarios to enhance firefighter and EMS professionals’ skills and prepare them for the future.

The North America region is expected to dominate the fire alarm and detection market at the event.

The exhibition will showcase advancements in technology for fire protection, such as AI-powered and IoT-enabled fire detection systems.

With its focus on learning, sharing, and innovation, FDIC International 2024 is an essential event for anyone involved in the fire and rescue industry.

Key sessions, speakers, and opportunities in store at FDIC International 2024

With over 800 exhibitors showcasing innovative products and services, the conference brings together thousands of Fire & Rescue professionals from around the world to participate in world-class, instructor-led classes, workshops, and hands-on training.

FDIC is not only about formal learning, but also offers the kind of informal hallway conversations that can lead to lifelong friendships and reinvigorate attendees’ passion for the industry.

It is a must-attend event for anyone looking to network, learn, and stay up-to-date with the latest developments in the field.

The conference is set to host over 35,000 industry professionals from across the globe, providing attendees the event with an excellent opportunity to establish and strengthen industry relationships, gain insights from other departments on the issues they are encountering, and bring back valuable learnings to their local department.

The event spans an entire week, kicking off with interactive ‘Hands on Training’ (H.O.T) sessions.

Firefighters and fire and rescue professionals can enhance their skills by participating in live training courses, pre-conference workshops, and over 200 conference sessions.

The instructors are renowned in their fields and will be covering new and important topics within the fire service.

Attendees can learn about updated content and areas of interest, making this event a valuable opportunity for professional development.

Hands-on Training

The H.O.T.

sessions and workshops offer the latest training on fire service technology and techniques, led by some of the most influential figures in the industry.

These sessions take place on 15-16 April and are designed to improve the skills of firefighters and EMS professionals who attend, equipping them with valuable knowledge to enhance the safety of their communities.

Instructor Chris Minichiello, a firefighter from the FDNY, will lead an informative session titled ‘Forcible Entry: The “Keys” to the Job’.

This class is designed to teach basic and advanced forcible entry techniques with a focus on hands-on time and repetitions with forcing inward- and outward-swinging doors.

Joseph Berchtold, Chief of Teaneck (NJ) Fire Department, will conduct a session titled ‘Live Fire: Flashover–Studying Modern Fire Behaviour’.

This class offers firefighters the opportunity to observe fire behaviour witnessing the signs and conditions that lead up to a flashover.

 Instructors will demonstrate how fuel loads have changed fire ground strategy and tactics utilizing live fire in a Phase 1 training container.

 Students will participate in a controlled environment while being instructed on the stages of fire development, flashover, and backdrafts.

New this year, FDIC’s H.O.T.

workshops are a hybrid model, split between classroom time and a hands-on training session.

Daniel Madrzykowski, Senior Director of Research at the UL Fire Safety Research Institute, will lead a two-day, 16-hour training session titled ‘Fire Dynamics Boot Camp’.

This train-the-trainer course is designed to enable fire service leaders and instructors to incorporate the most current research findings about fire behaviour and firefighting tactics into their organization’s training program.

The classroom portion will start with the “how” and “why” of fire dynamics, using hands-on tabletop fire experiments, continuing with reduced scale flow path models, and ending with full-scale hose stream and fire demonstrations.

Classroom segments combined with the hands-on activities will enable attendees to understand how to apply fire dynamics information in the street.

Getting into gear

Show attendees will have the opportunity to participate in a series of pre-conference workshops on Monday and Tuesday.

These workshops, which last around four hours, offer a comprehensive exploration of specific topics within the fire service, both traditional and new.

With a variety of topics to choose from, participants can expect to gain new insights, ideas, and approaches to bring back to their departments.

Steven Hamilton, Assistant Chief of Fort Jackson (SC) Fire Department, will be hosting a workshop on ‘Active Shooter: Preplanning the Response’.

This workshop discusses preplanning for such an incident and provides guidelines and recommended practices for identifying and analysing high-risk target areas as well as the required multiagency participation to create a practical, yet effective, pre-incident plan.

Participants will have the opportunity to apply the course content in group work during instructor-led tabletop drill scenarios and will take home tools to begin the process in their jurisdiction.

Another workshop, Building the Ladder: Officer Development Programs’ will be led by Rudy Horist, Fire Chief of the McHenry Township (IL) Fire Protection District.

This workshop links certification training with realistic job requirement training.

Rather than teaching one version of officer development, this workshop presents a step-by-step process for completing a needs assessment and building the framework for a comprehensive officer development program.

A “Learn it today, take it home and use it tomorrow” approach is used, and participants receive guidance, practical examples, and multiple opportunities for in-class application.

And for those looking to better understand fire through technology, Joseph DeVito, Captain/Paramedic of Fort Myers Beach (FL) Fire Control District, will delve into the basics of Fire Behaviour and Thermal Imaging.

Students will learn how to scan with a thermal imager, recognise flow paths, and identify go/no-go situations based on their understanding of fire behaviour.

Knowledge is power

FDIC International provides an abundance of opportunities for learning the latest tactics, techniques, and technologies in the fire service.

With world-renowned instructors, attendees can take their knowledge to the next level through a variety of classroom sessions offered throughout the week.

Chad Christensen, Battalion Chief of the Los Angeles County Fire Department, will teach a class titled ‘Evidence-based Engine Operations’.

This interactive class will discuss the facts and fiction of hose streams and use from interior or exterior positions.

Using today’s UL-FSRI research, attendees will identify best practices on the fireground depending on staffing, built environment, and deployment model.

There will be a discussion on how water and air can positively and negatively affect the fireground.

Sean Barker, Deputy Chief of Operations for Big Sky (MT) Fire Department, will be sharing his expertise on ‘Rural Firefighter Operations: Training and Tactics for Fire Departments’.

This class will show attendees how to identify the training needs of their department by performing a gap analysis and using the guidance of current best practices in the industry to formulate a one- to three-year training program that covers all the NFPA standards.

This job performance-driven methodology is used as the foundation to incorporate sound training and techniques to accommodate every staffing and department model in the rural setting.

This approach will ensure that the local fire department will walk away with a sound set of skills and templates to formulate a skill-based training program that drives a “best practice” manual that is in line with each standard operating procedure.

Learn more about firefighting challenges in tall buildings with this class titled ‘High-Rise Firefighting: “Practical to Tactical”’ by Brent Brooks, Acting District Chief with Toronto Fire Services.

This presentation will discuss and review tactical response options to address challenges and catastrophic failures in operational deployment.

Topics include coming up short and adding a length, taking nozzle reaction to ground, flowing with door control, the punch, steps for making entry, and testing glass.

View a short video on “Exterior Control” options using portable monitors, bent pipe, distributor and opposing tip nozzles for fire, autoexposure, cladding, and void space control along with water supply solutions.

Women in Fire Conference

The Women in Fire Conference is set to return to FDIC International, starting with an opening ceremony and followed by a line-up of educational classes that offer training, support, and advocacy specifically tailored to women in the fire service.

On Monday, April 15th, the dedicated day-long conference will feature a session by Kerry Henderson, Battalion Chief for James City County (VA) Fire Department, titled ‘Authentic Leadership: Being Genuine Is Harder Than It Sounds!’.

This class gets real about what leadership of the future has to be.

Buzzwords like authenticity and emotional intelligence are floating around in the leadership space, but this presentation will show attendees how to make them their own.

They’ll learn how these concepts can truly change their life and leadership abilities.

Attendees will learn how to set their own personal values and how to help others do the same.

This task will set attendees up to elevate and set expectations, improve their decision-making ability, and increase confidence.

With mental health a critical topic in the fire and rescue industry, Jada Hudson, a counsellor for first responders in the Chicago area, will teach the class titled ‘Leadership and PTSD’.

This training teaches first responder leaders how their leadership style before, during, and after potentially traumatic events (PTEs) influences if their subordinates develop PTSD, Delayed Healing, Recovery, or Resilience.

It looks at leaders leading away from PTSD and how leaders can equip subordinates with the “psychological body armour” of sufficient realistic training, social support, and empathic leadership style to help them appraise a PTE as a “challenge” rather than a “threat.”

Tiffanye Wesley, Deputy Chief with the Arlington County (VA) Fire Department, will lead the class titled ‘Imposter Syndrome: Will the Real YOU Please Stand Up?’, which will focus on the most common identifiers of Imposter Syndrome, how it shows up in your life, and useful strategies and tips to combat Imposter Syndrome.

This session will be very interactive and will include class discussion and tangible tools you can implement immediately to cultivate a sense of self-worth and authenticity.

LOS Experience

This immersive experience in Lucas Oil is at the core of FDIC’s critical mission ‘to train’ fire and EMS professionals worldwide.

The experience is broken out into activations, carefully designed to deconstruct live-action scenarios to enhance firefighter and EMS professionals’ skills and prepare them for the future.

From cutting-edge equipment to state-of-the-art devices, attendees will have access to the best resources at their fingertips.

Activations include Apparatus Bay, focusing on innovative personal protective equipment, SCBA, storage and cleaning solutions; the Drill Yard + Rescue Zone, where tactical hands-on training along with vehicle stabilization, extrication and bailable/forcible entry demos will take place; XR Studios, which will combine AR and VR interactive training in a controlled environment; Command & Control, which will utilize modern technology to coordinate incident management; EMS Evolutions Lab, which will focus on scenario-based training, simulations, and a clinical competition for the EMS community; and Health & Wellness, focusing on functional fitness, mental health, cancer prevention education and support.

Networking opportunities

FDIC International provides a unique opportunity for members of the fire service from all over the world to come together, connect, and share knowledge.

With so much to offer, attendees can maximise their experience by attending a variety of special events planned throughout the week, such as Central Park and the Endzone in the LOS Experience, and the Officers Club, new for 2024, which will bring together senior officers and leaders from larger fire departments and EMS agencies with over 125 personnel.

Small business in focus

Another exciting feature in the LOS Experience is IGNITE, an exhibiting destination for start-ups or small businesses looking to reach fire & EMS professionals at FDIC International.

Participating exhibitors will have the opportunity to establish relationships, connect with, and network among industry professionals, including fire chiefs, officers, firefighters, EMTs, paramedics, distributors, and manufacturers of all sizes.

Do not miss out on IGNITE, where you can discover the latest innovations and cutting-edge technology in the industry from emerging entrepreneurs.

Meet the IFSJ team

International Fire & Safety Journal will be present at the show on booth 244.

Feel free to stop by the stand and catch up with IFSJ Managing Editor Duncan J. White and the team who will be on hand to talk attendees.

To arrange a meeting with Duncan at the show contact [email protected].

This article was originally published in the April 2024 issue of International Fire & Safety Journal. To read your FREE digital copy, click here.

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