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 war.
If you were there, you heard Erich Roden make mention of it in his awesome keynote. This refers to the ongoing battle between the “inside” and “outside” armies that do most of their fighting on the social media battle field. The key going forward is to look at the science and research, and figure out how you can apply it to your department, using your resources. There is no “one-way” approach that fits every department and every fire. We’re pretty happy with our approach in our department and will keep refining our tactics as the research continues. If someone asks you to pick a side, they’re picking a fight that never really started and never will.
The vendors are paying attention!
I walk a lot of exhibit hall floors and many of the people there are personal friends and friends of the fire service. This is the first year I noticed products that support the latest fire dynamics research. Maybe they have always been there, but this is the first year I noticed flow path control devices, advanced piercing nozzles, etc on the exhibit floor. This equipment needs to be evaluated by our tactical experts to see how and if they fit into our operations. I have a stack of information to dig through and share with our sharpest company officers for their opinion.
There was an underlying theme at the conference on behavioral health. I tend to have a “walk-it-off” attitude, but I had the honor of speaking with brothers and sisters who have had some real challenges. The experience opened my eyes to the need and I’ll be doing what I can to make some things happen in this area. The ISFSI will help facilitate some resources to get the information into the hands of instructors so they can use it in their departments. If our guys and galls are hurting, then need to “send the RIT” to get them some help.
These are just a few of the major themes and highlights! There are many more, like seeing Steve Kerber get the George D. Post, Instructor of the Year Award, Ronny Coleman getting the Tom Brennan, Lifetime Achievement Award, and Steve Pegram taking on the lead of the ISFSI as President from Doug Cline. The opportunity to be physically present for historic events is never lost on me at FDIC. I’m always very blessed to have the opportunity to attend.
And to Chief Bobby Halton, Diane Rothschild and all of the FDIC advisory board and staff, once again you delivered an unprecedented training and educational experience that will save lives and advance our profession. What an honor to be a part of it!
See ya next year! Now let’s start digging through all this stuff!