I was blessed with the opportunity to finally attend FDIC. I has been on my to do list for some time. My opportunity to attend was made possible by the leadership and vision demonstrated by my Fire Chief. Indy became FDIC with building high banners and 38,000 Firefighters filling downtown streets, restaurants, and of course spots to "network".
The heart of the international fire service was FDIC. The streets and buildings were filled with firefighters from all walks of life- big city career, volunteer companies, young and old, salty and bright eyed all with one mission, to serve people. It was also a memorial service for the late Bobby Halton. For those who are not in the know he was the heart and soul of FDIC and the Fire Engineering magazine. Grown men were wiping their eyes as his words filled the halls of FDIC one last time. Hearts pounded with pride and big smiles crossed faces of hard men as a montage of his impassioned opening statements were played out on the big screens, but even those large displays were not big enough to fill the h*** left by his passing.
The lectures and presentations offered a wide variety of topics from accountability to how to manage Gen Z firefighters. There was every gadget reinvented, revised, and retooled on display or for purchase lining the hallways. I listen to old mentors, met new people, generated networks, but the most important of all reconfirmed why I have committed well over have my life to the job.
Looking back on the blur of those three days spent breathing in the spirt of the brother and sisterhood: my batteries are recharged, my focus is clearer and my purpose is redefined. Now to help move the people I serve forward, preparing them for their next steps.