FDIC is, of course, well known for it's first class training. If you want to train with the best and be taught by the best, FDIC is where you go. When you think about the de facto standard of fire training, FDIC is what comes to mind first.
But one of the offshoots of FDIC is experiencing the camaraderie, and, if you're lucky, being able to listen to the leadership of the fire service.
I had the pleasure of sitting with three of the best last night at dinner. Well, I guess it would be more accurate to say that the three of them sat down together and I sat next to them. We were all out to dinner--fire service writers and editors.
Beyond the endless fire department stories, I was struck by a couple of things these three exhibited. Pride in their men and women and their love of the fire service.
During some of the storytelling, particular fire department member names came up. "Do you remember this guy?" "Oh, yeah, and he came up with so and so." "That's right. I remember both of them. Good firefighters. They were my boys!" The pride this battalion chief took in how "his boys" turned out after going through his battalion was refreshing to experience. It was on his face, and it was in his voice.
Another chief was relaying stories to how he listened to radio transmissions at a fire and how, well, the best way might be to say giddy, he was at how the incident went down without one hitch. He was so proud of his men and women on the scene.
Finally, the three were discussing one's retirement, and how the other two are almost ready, and how just when they are about to say, "It's time," another good run of calls comes in and they're right back to it, with retirement way down the road. The former deputy chief said, "All I can say is that no matter how long you stay, it's too short."
The FDIC experience is all about training. It's where the fire service trains. But it is so much more. It's the pride we all have when we put on the uniform. It's how seriously we take preparing our new recruits to eventually take our places. And, it's the knowledge that every moment in this brotherhood will be cherished forever.