JANUARY 23-26, 2019


Balancing the Act - Life as a First Responder
Emergency Service personnel lead an extraordinarily different lifestyle than the the average professional. Striving to obtain and maintain a healthy, balanced lifestyle begins by recognizing several components that contribute to that balance - and understanding that each component is intrinsically connected to the others. Objectives:  1) Introduce 12 components of a balanced - holistic lifestyle; 2) Illustrate how just one of the 12 components can effect the balance - both positively and adversely; 3) Introduce measures that can be implemented to bring these components into balance in order to achieve better health and overall wellness.
Dr. Jeff Lindsey, Debbie Colburn

Breaking the Cycle: PTSD and Substance Use Disorder
The well-known hazards of the job include lingering PTSD and substance use disorder. We explore the realities of alcohol and drug use disorder among firefighters, the challenges of accepting treatment, and the concurrent treatment of PTSD and SUDs. The need for treatment is illustrated with safety as well as personal concerns. Family involvement in therapy, and a holistic approach to the dimensions of psychobiosocial and spiritual disorders demonstrate that there is hope of dual recovery and restored career and personal function. Evidence based practice is detailed, including specific treatment for sleep disorders, anxiety, depression and disassociation related to dual diagnoses. 
Anna Lisa De Lima, MA, LMHC, NCC, Primary Counselor at Hanley Center at Origins, West Palm Beach

Calming the Chaos - Keynote
Our fire service professionals are the unsung superheroes of our communities, every single day. While working in ever-changing and challenging environments, our emergency service providers can become stressed out, and often times, find themselves on a path to burn out because of the cumulative exposure to the day-to-day demands of their jobs. The negative consequences of this overwhelming pressure can lead to dangerous and chaotic outcomes, not only for individual team members, but also their organizations, communities, and families.

Join us for this engaging, motivational, humorous and impactful keynote session where audiences will discover how to calm the chaos in both their work and home environments, using simple techniques that will empower them to overcome obstacles.
Jen McDonough, Amazon Top 100 Author, Motivational Storyteller

Creating a Leadership Climate
While there are myriad programs on management skills, few short programs focus on what it takes to be an effective leader. Whether it’s in a corporate setting or leading a volunteer organization, there is little doubt that results will be superior if one can effectively lead in addition to effectively managing. Taking pages from military leadership concepts, Dr. Clinchy focuses audiences on Communication; Listening; Trust & Empowerment; Enthusiasm; Respect; Planning & Direction; Delegation and acceptance of failure; and Patience, as characteristics and behaviors that will enable managers to be effective leaders. Stealing from a naval concept, Doc also leads discussions on why it is so important for leaders to “Listen to the hum of the ship.”
Richard A. "Doc" Clinchy, III, Ph.D., EMT-P

Fake Fires: Recognizing Arson and Fraud for Company Officers
Arson and fraud are rampant in Florida and nowhere more than Miami-Dade County. While conducting origin & cause investigations for the last 12 years, Capt Keller has been at the epicenter of the burning to defraud epidemic. This course will examine the history and causes at the root of the problem. It will expose past and current trends in arson. This course is heavily based on the firsthand experience that comes from investigating hundreds of “Fake Fires” and is supported by plenty of research, convictions, and the dirty work of digging fires. The company officer will learn new tools with which to conduct a preliminary fire investigation and will leave the class with important new information on how to recognize the telltale signs that the seemingly innocent mistake might actually be a well-planned out scheme to make “free” money.
Doug Keller, Captain, Fire Investigations Bureau Commander, Miami Dade Fire Rescue

Fearless Communication
The presentation will cover how positive communication and inclusive collaboration can be useful in articulating the goals of the organization.
Eric Smith, Assistant Professor of Public Administration, Barry University

Fire Officer's Guide to Today's Buildings on Fire
Today's buildings and occupancies present increasing challenges that have redefined strategic and tactical fireground operations and impact these operations on a wide variety of levels that often include adverse compartment fire conditions, structural compromise, collapse and predicable building performance. . A discussion of emerging trends in Building Construction Systems, Occupancy Risks, Collapse & Compromise Characteristics, Methods & Materials, Design, fire protection and Fire Dynamics related to building anatomy will be presented. New for 2019 are insights on new Mass Timber and Cross Laminate Timber (CLT) construction and podium and doughnut construction designs.
Christopher J. Naum, SFPE, Chief of Training, Command Institute

Fire Prevention Blueprint: How to Build Effective Fire Prevention Organizations
With the many tasks, responsibilities, and requirements of the fire prevention organization, how can personnel and resources be best utilized to ensure that they are functioning at optimal effectiveness? Can they know that they are focusing on the right tasks and activities? The solution is a clear plan of action that identifies and provides for the most effective and efficient methods for performing essential fire prevention functions.

  • Identify the seven disciplines of effective and efficient fire prevention organizations
  • Describe the key functions, features, and components of each discipline
  • Apply practical guidance for implementation of each discipline
  • Utilize readily available tools and resources for continued effectiveness and efficiency.
B. Aaron Johnson, Fire Marshal, Rural/Metro Fire Department

Firefighter I for High School Students (Cadets)
Will be discussing and giving an overview of how to register, and do high school/cadet programs so the students can receive their Firefighter I certification. The discussion will include Florida Statute and Florida Administrative Code requirements and a brief discussion of DOE requirements for high schools. Following the discussion will open the floor for questions.
Michael R. Swartz, Retired Battalion Chief, Clay County Fire/Rescue

Grant Writing Skills
This class a general overview of the components of a well-written grant will be reviewed.  Discussion of main ideas to be used for grant writing will also be reviewed as well as discussion on where to find grants.  Also, Division of Forestry Volunteer Fire Assistance and FEMA (AFG, SAFER, & FPS) will be discussed.
Susan Schell, Florida State Fire College

Grassroots Culture Change: Our Experience in Successfully Driving Diversity Change
Lack of diversity is an issue that the fire service as a whole is continuing to struggle with across the nation. This discussion will address those issues the nation is dealing with as well as the struggles that our department has had with diversity. Then we will discuss the programs, events, and initiatives that were grassroots lead and administratively supported that successfully improved not only the diversity makeup and culture of our department but also the communities knowledge and understanding of what the fire service is all about. This presentation will be informative, interactive and thought-provoking. We want to give attendees ideas, plans, costs an goals to establish programs of their own.  Let's all help drive change through diversity
Karem Scott-Kotb, Diversity Recruitment Officer, Alachua County Fire Rescue; Harold Theus, Deputy Chief, Alachua County Fire Rescue

The Incident Safety System
This two-hour class will take an in-depth look at the Incident Command System and discuss how in addition to managing an incident it is also the “Safety System” for all those working within it. Topics covered include risk management, decision making, accountability, communication, causes of Incident Command System failure and leading causes of firefighter Line of Duty Deaths and injuries.

Just as the Incident Command System is the applicable "Safety System" for Incidents it also has its applications on the training ground to manage the safety of the participants. Ensuring its use and effectiveness in training makes for a safer drill and translates to itself to effective use on the Incident scene.

This Course is approved by the Florida Bureau of Fire Standards and Training for two CEUs for Instructor I, II, and III.
Nicolas Morgado, Division Chief, Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Department

Initial Response to Wildland Fire for Company Officers
Will give the company officer a general understanding of initial response to wildland fires with multiple agencies and the use of the unified command. Rank structure and general safety procedures for working around Florida Forest Service heave equipment. The use of Incident Management Teams.
Larry Grubbs, State Safety Officer, Florida Forest Service; Bart Walker, Division Chief, Marion County Fire Rescue

The Ins and Outs of Peer Support
This course will provide the attendee with a detailed view of one model of behavioral wellness in the fire service, Peer Support. It will cover some of the history and development of this behavioral wellness model, as well as compare and contrast Peer Support with other existing types of programs. The course will also explore program development, from the ground up, as well as challenges and limitations you may encounter. The course will also address common behavioral disorders in first responders, up to, and including suicide ideation. Newly enacted laws that affect the fire service and how Peer Support interacts with that will be briefed.
Edward J. Maerkl, Engineer, Orlando Fire Fighters Peer Support Team

ISO and You "A Collaborative for Safer Communities"
Achieving community cost savings and winning public support may be as simple as making minor changes to how your community prepares their public fire defenses. Join members of the ISO/Verisk Insurance Solutions field staff as they provide the tools and resources needed to improve your community's ISO rating. In this important session, you will learn about the ISO / Verisk and be provided an overview of the current Fire Suppression Rating Schedule (FSRS), how it relates to residential and commercial property owners. ISO staff will also explain the "Commercial Building Update Project" which is beneficial to commercial properties that may not be receiving proper credit for fire protection systems. This project employs ISO and fire department staff to update commercial buildings and provide detailed construction and building features information at no cost to the community. Successful completion of this project may result in reduced insurance premiums for commercial buildings and also assist the community in preparation for a new ISO survey. These projects have been successful in many communities throughout the United States. Ample time will be reserved for questions and answers. The session will be conducted as an interactive lecture.
Thomas G. Weber CFO, EFO, MPA, MIFireE, National Director, Community Hazard Mitigation, ISO/Verisk Insurance Solutions
Assisting Speakers: Michael Morash and Kyle Biles 

L960: All-Hazards Position Specific Division/Group Supervisor
Brief Description: The course will provide local- and state- level emergency responders with a robust understanding of the duties, responsibilities, and capabilities of an effective Division/Group Supervisor on an All-Hazards Incident Management Team (AHIMT).

Course Overview: The course will provide local- and state- level emergency responders with a robust understanding of the duties, responsibilities, and capabilities of an effective Division/Group Supervisor on an All-Hazards Incident Management Team (AHIMT). The course walks participants through general information, including an overview of the Operations Section and information on incident mobilization, initial situational awareness, and unit management. It also provides detailed instruction on responding to the incident and the command needs of the incident and emphasizes the importance of risk management and safety considerations. This course is an instructor-led training that supports learning through discussion, lecture, and active participation in multiple exercises that provides a realistic, scenario-driven approach to mastering the skills required of a Supervisor.

Target Audience: NIMS ICS All-Hazards training should be completed by personnel who are regularly assigned to Functional, Support, or Unit Leader positions on Type 3 or 4 AHIMTs, or by those persons who desire to seek credentials/certification in those positions.

Duration: Duration: 21 hours

Required Pre-requisites

Recommended Pre-requisite

  • E/G0400, ICS-400: Advanced Incident Command System for Command and General Staff-Complex Incidents

Jeff Strickland, Chief of the Training Division, Retired, Miami-Dade Fire Rescue

Leadership, Accountability, Culture, Knowledge (LACK)
Is your department on the path to a LODD? This compelling presentation by the National Fallen Firefighter Foundations examines the root causes of LODDs and the role of Leadership, Accountability, Culture, and Knowledge as it influences the end result. Many fire departments across the United States “LACK the Right Stuff” to prevent them from being on a path to a line of duty death, with Leadership, Accountability, Culture, and Knowledge being the elements that need to be addressed and managed in those environments. Through education and training, those departments can improve their survivability by understanding the root causes of firefighter fatalities and tackling these four elements with special emphasis on understanding fire service culture.
Ben West, Shift Captain, Gallatin Fire Department, NFFA, Tennessee

Leadership so Everyone Goes Home
Every day presents opportunities to exercise leadership and make a positive difference within your organization, regardless of whether your role is as a senior firefighter, company-level officer, or chief officer. However, exercising leadership is not without its dangers. Do you ever watch others avoid the tough issues? Do you put your contributions out there or keep them to yourself to avoid upsetting anyone? Exercising true leadership can be dangerous because you often challenge what people hold dear, including their habits, loyalties, and ways of thinking. The goal of this training program is to enlighten firefighting personnel on the important role that effective leadership plays in all aspects of firefighting operations and to offer strategies on how to not only avoid the dangers of exercising leadership but also to thrive, helping you to make a difference that is truly beyond measure. 
Ben West, Shift Captain, Gallatin Fire Department, NFFA, Tennessee
NFA Fire Investigation for First Responders

This course is designed specifically to provide a clear definition of the role of first responders in fire investigation and provide essential knowledge to enable them to recognize the potential of intentionally set fires, preservation, and protection of evidence, and proper reporting of information to appropriate officials. By strengthening the partnership between first responders and investigators, the chances for successfully solving arson-related crimes will increase. Course topics include:
Fire behavior, critical observations of the first responder, fire causes, scene security and evidence preservation, legal considerations, and documentation of findings.

This course is designed for all fire and emergency services personnel who might conduct preliminary investigations into the origin and cause of fires.
Karl Morgan, Major, Division of Investigative and Forensic Services, Bureau of Fire and Arson Investigations

Officers Guide to Training Documentation
Goals and Objectives:

  • Participants will have a thorough understanding of the ISO requirements.
  • Participants will understand how to document training to meet ISO requirements.
  • Participants will be able to easily track progress towards meeting ISO requirements.
  • Participants will gain a better understanding of what is and are not training.

Tim Riley, Product Specialist, TargetSolutions

Patients Don't Come with Handles, Reducing the Load on First Responders
Fire-EMS is one of the only professions where lifting catastrophically heavy loads out of awkward positions is acceptable.  First responders will experience spinal torques and loads 3-5X higher than other professions and injury will occur.  This class will explore the postural distortions that contribute to injury, examine the common loads that responders experience on calls and demonstrate ways to reduce the loads on responders with advanced ergonomic techniques.

Upon completion of program, participant will be able to :

  • Understand why injury occurs and why common techniques increase the risk of injury
  • Learn the 3 steps and 4 methodologies to reducing occupational load
  • Learn what forces effect the spine during an EMS call
  • Examine common patient handling equipment and their limitations.

Bryan Fass, President, Fit Responder

Preserving Human Life while Practicing Animal Welfare: Value of Animal Technical Rescue
Times of crisis often reveal the strength of the human-animal bond, with many willing to put lives on the line to assist animals in distress. News stories across the nation depict scenes weekly of animals trapped in mud, floodwaters, overturned trailers, and a wide variety of situations requiring technical rescue skills. While many in the fire service are prepared for a technical rescue involving human victims, unique hazards are posed by animal victims which require additional consideration. This presentation will include a brief history of animal technical rescue including the need for standards-based training and discussion of the value of developing team capabilities for animal technical rescue scenarios for the benefit of animal welfare and, of key importance, the preservation of human life.
Brandi Phillips, Animal Technical Rescue Branch Manager, UF Veterinary Emergency Treatment Service

Propane Emergency Response
The Propane Emergency class is based on the National Propane Gas Associations Propane Emergency curriculum. The classroom course covers all aspects of the propane industry including, characteristics of propane, transportation, rules and regulations, tank and cylinders, piping and infrastructure, emergency response, emergency tools, and leak mitigation training.  Please request a synopsis of the class recently updated for the Florida State Fire College. Propane Training Services d.b.a. Propane Environmental Services is a member of the FFCA.
Carl Weeks, Owner-Instructor, Propane Training Services - Representing the Florida Propane Gas Association

Quality Networking and Relationships in the Fire Service
This presentation will focus on building meaningful and mutually beneficial relationships, asking good questions and improving industry intelligence through networking. Upcoming officers and decision-makers can take advantage of the vendor/expert relationship opportunities in our industry and realize the symbiotic relationship between the industry and the end user. We can make great strides in communication and knowledge by defining goals and opportunities for a strategic hive relationship in our industry, a strategy that is prefaced on respect and understanding of all stakeholders.
Ty Vassil, Division Chief Operations, Margate-Coconut Creek Fire Rescue

Reducing Trauma & Drama in the Firehouse and at Home
Chaos, trauma, and drama due to communication & relationship breakdown are some of our biggest stressors facing our fire service professionals, communities, and families today. In this fun and engaging session, audience members will learn how to recognize the strengths, weaknesses, fears, stress triggers, communication preferences, and motivators for each of the personality styles so that they can build resiliency, reduce stress, and create drama free environments both in the firehouse and at home.
Jen McDonough, Amazon Top 100 Author, Motivational Storyteller

Risk Control for Mid-Level Managers
The program is designed for field supervisory personnel and training officers. Risk Control for Mid-Level Managers reintroduces the student to risk control with emphasis on identifying, managing, controlling, and potential risk pitfalls associated with Emergency Service Organizations. The program is instructor-driven and interactive through group discussion. The program concludes with a review of case studies covering various risks including vehicle operations, medical malpractice, general liability from a facilities perspective and employment practices liability.

The overall goal of the program is to provide an understanding of how your individual position within an organization plays an integral and vitally important role in overall risk reduction. Risk reduction will aid in the creation and sustainability of a safety culture within your organization. Additional topics include written policies, rules, and regulations, as well as equal and equitable enforcement. This program is applicable to career, volunteer or combination departments both fire and EMS.
John A. Kottmyer, Risk Control Representative, VFIS Risk Control Services

Safety Apparatus Braking - More than Good Enough
This class helps to demystify the goals and functions of a fleet brake installation and maintenance program, which when simplified seek two basic objectives:

  • Safety
  • Reliability

Just how safe are your units’ brakes?  How do you measure this?  According to Federal Regulations do you know if your brakes are “good enough”?  And is “good enough” really good enough to achieve optimum safety and maximum brake efficiency?

In addition to safety, the mandate of any Fire & Rescue fleet is to keep vehicles up and ready for service; because a vehicle in the shop is no good to anybody.  While units down for repairs and maintenance is a fact of fleet life, minimizing downtime is the key to operational excellence and cost-control.  These principals are the scope of Power Brake’s SAFEBRAKE® program, which will be highlighted during the session.

This class is intended for the non-technician fleet administrator or fire chief.  The second half of the program will be a question and answer session with the opportunity to ask more technical questions if desired. 
John Campo, Power Brake

Stress First Aid for Firefighters and EMS Personnel
Stress First Aid for Firefighters and Emergency Medical Services Personnel represents a civilian adaptation of the Combat and Operational Stress First Aid (COSFA) Field Operations Manual, developed by the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, Department of the Navy, in cooperation with the Combat and Operational Stress Control, Manpower & Reserve Affairs, Headquarters Marine Corps, the Navy Operational Stress Control, Chief of Naval Personnel, Total Force N1, and the National Center for PTSD, Department of Veterans Affairs.

At the conclusion of the course, students will have the knowledge base to implement basic components of Street First Aid as well as the ability to deliver the 90-minute version of the training to their departments.
John H. Oates, Fire Chief, First Responder Center of  Excellence
(a subsidiary of the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation)

School Bus Rescue & Extrication Class (Full Bunker Gear Required for Hands-On Portion)
This specialized 7-hour class (3 hours classroom/4 hours hands-on) is for all fire-rescue personnel who may respond to a school bus involved in a crash or rollover. Following the classroom portion, actual school buses are used to teach extrication principles & tactics ranging from basic to advanced.  All types of extrication tools will be utilized, including; hand, electric, pneumatic and hydraulic tools.
Leigh Hollins, Battalion Chief, Retired, Starfire Training Systems, Inc.

The Impact of NFPA 1403 Revisions to Florida Firefighter Training
Significant changes to the new edition of NFPA 1403 adds prerequisite requirements not included in the 1001 Firefighter 1 and 2 standard.  These prerequisites need to be added to recruit training before live fire training. The new prerequisites include current firefighters and instructors. New terms and procedures, and the addition of Job Performance Requirements (JPR) based on the UL/NIST Fire Dynamics and Fire Behavior studies necessitate changes in teaching techniques and props. This presentation not only reviews the changes, but also methods to meet the changes.
David Casey


When Rotary Saws Meet Garage Doors - Lessons Learned and Best Practices
Over the past five years, The Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue Training Bureau has had extensive experience cutting and forcing entry on a variety of sectional and rolling overhead garage doors. The prop developed for us by Electronic Door Lift, Inc. (a Fort Lauderdale-based garage door company) has been used extensively to train new hires, on-duty crews, and other local Fire Rescue agencies. It has also been used as part of a truck company class during the Fort Lauderdale Fire Expo. We have cut over 50 garage doors using the prop. We have also cut multiple rolling garage doors on structures slated to be demolished (fire stations, warehouses, etc.).

These experiences have given us a keen insight on best practices when forcing these types of garage doors. We have also gathered data to reinforce some best practices while challenging and/or eliminating other regularly accepted practices.

The presentation starts by briefly covering tactics related to house fires inside attached garages and commercial structures such as warehouses. A short lecture on rotary saw etiquette would also be covered. This is followed by covering all of our experiences garnered from forcing multiple garage doors over the past five  years. Pictures and videos from both training and actual incidents would be used. Experiences with different saw blades on different materials will be discussed. The last part is the reinforcement of best practices, while also challenging some of the more common practices that have not proven themselves advantageous (or could be outright dangerous) to our crews.
Stephen Shaw, Battalion Chief of Training and Special Ops, Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue