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Journal Entry 31-“Deck the Halls-The Convention Center Halls”

Well, FDIC 2014 has come and gone and sure enough, no one was disappointed. We had more folks there than ever, there was electricity in the air and learning was nearly off the scale. There’s no other place like it. For me and many others, it’s an annual family reunion. There are a host of men and women I only see once a year and it’s in Indianapolis. For those of you who couldn’t get there, here’s a bit of it from where I…


Added by RON KANTERMAN on April 15, 2014 at 8:35am — 1 Comment

The Difference

By Mark vonAppen

"Our standard of performance on defense is to get 11 men to the football on every play," my father would say as he stood…


Added by Mark vonAppen on April 15, 2014 at 7:55am — No Comments


Click link below to see more of Paul's work or to buy prints:…


Added by Paul Combs on April 15, 2014 at 7:27am — No Comments

The Sunday after FDIC!

I usually take a few minutes on Sunday to get a strategic look at things.  I evaluate the work of the previous week and look at priorities, goals and challenges for the week ahead.  The Sunday after FDIC is a whopper!  So much happens in a compressed time, and I don’t want to miss or lose any of the great opportunities that I was lucky enough to be exposed to or experience.  Here’s a few of the highlights from my week at FDIC:

There is no civil…


Added by Eddie Buchanan on April 13, 2014 at 9:12am — No Comments

The Becoming of an Officer

Becoming an officer and an effective leader is not accomplished from passing tests or being the best interviewer or having the highest level degree or the most years on the department.

It is achieved by being a servant of the fire service. It is achieved through performing the most subtle acts on a daily basis that makes the fire service and others better.

It is achieved by making sure others come first and that the successes of those around us are as important as our… Continue

Added by Jason Hoevelmann on April 12, 2014 at 9:06am — No Comments

The Power of Networking

One of the great things about the fire service is that we are large in numbers. When you meet someone who is also a firefighter, there's an instant bond and conversation can easily flow. Regardless of how different your departments may be, you still have a lot in common with that person.

I have been fortunate enough to attend FDIC the last 2 years and experience the massive opportunities to talk with other firefighters and do some networking. The classes are great at FDIC, but a lot…


Added by Paul Strong on April 11, 2014 at 10:00pm — No Comments

Hump Day SOS - Courage and Valor

This Hump Day SOS is in honor of Lieutenant Gregory Pickard who posthumously received the Ray Downey Courage and Valor Award today at the Fire Department Instructors Conference.

Courage and Valor are traits are…


Added by David Rhodes on April 9, 2014 at 8:58am — No Comments


Recalling Cowboy

The red phone rang at the fire station with orders from the Fire Chief’s office. A tractor trailer had overturned on interstate 95 and cattle had escaped and were running on the highway and throughout the nearby neighborhoods. The State Police had requested that Lewis “Cowboy” Tunstall respond to round up the cattle.

Cowboy Tunstall was a Lieutenant in our department. He was a farrier…


Added by Warren Cersley on April 7, 2014 at 8:44am — No Comments

The Stone and the Blade

As many are preparing to make their way to FDIC or are already there, it is important to understand what our roles are as fire service instructors and leaders. Yes, you are both, whether you are an officer or not if you are helping to make the fire service better, you are a leader and instructor at some level.

I was using my knife the other day and it needed to be sharpened. I have an old stone that has sharpened knives for many years.  When you learn how to use that stone and are…


Added by Jason Hoevelmann on April 6, 2014 at 8:18pm — No Comments

Leadership Movement

Added by Brandon Lane on April 5, 2014 at 8:20pm — No Comments


Added by Brandon Lane on April 5, 2014 at 8:19pm — No Comments

I’ve Still Got It; Sort Of!

Sunday started out like most other Sundays.

I got up, went to my Room of Reflection and when I was through reflecting, I flushed and proceeded to wash my hands thoroughly with warm water and soap.…


Added by Art "Chief Reason" Goodrich on April 4, 2014 at 5:01pm — 2 Comments

The FDIC Journey

HERE WE GO!!!   It is that time of year again where 30,000 plus like minded progressive brothers converge in Indianapolis.  The trek for many is an annual pilgrimmage. Meeting up with old friends or making new connections within our industry.  The best part of the journey is the…


Added by Lt. Billy Greenwood on April 4, 2014 at 4:30pm — No Comments


In just a few days I like many of my fire service brothers will be heading to the greatest fire service conference on the planet FDIC!

While there we will take classes, walk around the exhibit floors, network, and enjoy the brotherhood that is hanging out with 40,000 like minded people.

The one other thing people will be doing is searching. Searching for that tid bit, that trick, that “secret of the fire service” .

Well I have figured it out! No it’s not RECEO,…


Added by Robert Owens on April 4, 2014 at 2:06pm — 1 Comment

Mutts, Catfish and FDIC

Next week, I, along with over 30,000 firefighters will make the annual journey to Indianapolis to “re-charge our batteries”.  We do this by surrounding ourselves with like-minded, passionate people and by learning from some of the greatest minds in the fire service.  An entire year of policy, politics and being around certain PEOPLE can be emotionally draining.  What if all of those things were actually in place in order to keep us sharp?  A story I recently heard makes a great case for…


Added by Grant Schwalbe on April 4, 2014 at 1:13pm — 4 Comments


With the excitement of heading to Indianapolis and participating in the best fire training event on the planet, I thought I'd post a little pre-FDIC (potty) humor.

NEVER stop training!

See you in Indy!

Click link below to see more of…


Added by Paul Combs on April 4, 2014 at 9:00am — No Comments

We Are More Than Just Employees!

Lately I have started to notice an increase of the word “employee” when describing a firefighter. I have heard it in casual conversations about evaluations, physical assessments, management etc. Why do we use this term? I know we are all employees of an organization in the eyes of council members and politicians, but shouldn’t we be more than just employees? If we refer to Merriam-Webster we see that an employee is defined as: “a person who works for another person or for a company for wages…


Added by Jarrod Sergi on April 3, 2014 at 7:35am — No Comments


Brothers and Sisters – I am giving up my words with this post to those who know how to write them – and write them well. Sarah Gura, Chief Kenny, and Lt. Olson have agreed to co-conspire with this post regarding our mentality of invincibility. Please read…




Added by Paul Combs on April 2, 2014 at 7:11pm — 2 Comments

Investing in the Human Capital of the Fire Service

In every class, we are getting NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) codes and standards jammed down our throats and god forbid you violate a code, they’ll have your badge. What I don’t understand is why we choose to enforce certain codes and not others, especially when life safety is a factor. The last ten years have produced tougher changes in sprinkler and building codes, life safety codes describing the 2 in and 2 out concept, and hundreds others that most certainly have their…


Added by Zach Schleiffer on April 2, 2014 at 3:30pm — No Comments


It would appear that I got a few of you in trouble last year with this cartoon;)

FDIC is the greatest fire training event on the planet, and I look forward to this week every year! Great friends, great classes, and great…


Added by Paul Combs on April 2, 2014 at 9:21am — No Comments

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