Course Title: “What is “Real” Risk Management”

In this program, Gordon will show you how to recognize, prioritize, and mobilize by identifying issues that historically have caused similarly situated agencies problems.  By the end of the program, the engaged attendees will be able to:

  1. Identify potential problems lying in wait in their respective fire service agencies.
  2. Identify and implement effective control measures to address these problems.
  3. Enhance the feedback loop to prevent future similar problems from occurring.
  4. Learn from the mistakes of similarly situated fire service agencies around America.
  5. Leave the program with an expanded level of knowledge regarding real risk management and how it applies to their specific job in their fire service agency.
Course Title: “Cool Command”

This session will describe the physical and emotional dynamics of the person serving as an Incident Commander managing an active emergency event.  We will discuss the basic self-control characteristics of a “cool commander”.  An effective IC must first identify the signs and symptoms of stress and then employ a set of personal response behaviors to somehow sort out and deal with the typical difficult incident conditions that are waiting down on Main Street for them.  The emergency scene leadership responses we will discuss apply to most of the other situations a boss faces and must survive every day.  Bosses will get tested a lot more frequently as a “cool commander” managing a difficult person sitting across from their desk than managing a difficult fire burning across from their SUV…most of us prefer the SUV to the desk.

Course Title: “A Tale of Two Cities: Automatic Aid in the Lowcountry”

Over the last eight years, five fire departments in the Charleston Metro Area have formed an automatic aid partnership that is a model of cooperation, candor and tenacity. Chiefs Minick and Tippett will deliver a fast paced, interactive, two-hour presentation that candidly discusses the process the five departments have used to forge a partnership that has improved service delivery to the five participating departments and strengthened relationships from the company level to the chief’s office. This fast-paced, frank discussion will highlight the elements that have fostered relationships and offer advice on dealing with the inevitable resistance to change.

This presentation discusses the Unsafe Acts, Unsafe Behaviors and Unsafe Conditions   (A-B-C’s) that must be considered by the Incident Safety Officer and the Incident Command to prevent accidents and/or injuries to firefighters. With more than 100 of our members dying in the line-of-duty and another 85,000 reportable fire fighter injuries occurring on average each year, this program is a “must attend” for all that respond to emergency alarms. Chief Rubin will use a combination of straightforward, no non-sense lecture and class interaction, along with case study review materials to get his points across.  If you are interested in becoming a better chief fire officer, you will want to learn from Rubin’s experiences. The textbook, “Rube’s Rules for Survival” is the accompanying material for this course and is available for purchase.

Course Title: “National Urban Search and Rescue”

This presentation will discuss the components of the National Urban Search and Rescue (US&R) Response System and how they all came together during the largest disaster that has ever occurred in the Western Hemisphere, the 2010 Haiti Earthquake.  This presentation comes from the perspective of a member of the National US&R System and the Task Force Leader for FL-TF1 (USA 3) who responded as part of an 80-person search and rescue team to the devastation in Haiti.  With over 250,000 lives lost during this massive earthquake, FL-TF1 is credited with rescuing 11 survivors from collapsed buildings over their 2-week deployment.  The presentation will discuss lessons learned by this task force that can be applied here in the United States.

Course Title: “How to Improve Volunteer Firefighter Recruitment and Retention: New Evidence”

The numbers of volunteer firefighters in the United States have declined by over 10% in the last two decades.  Today, only 8% of fire departments nationwide do not utilize volunteers.  For the other 92% in wholly volunteer and combination departments, volunteer firefighter recruitment and retention is paramount.  This presentation is based on the recently published dissertation titled, “Assessing Member Satisfaction within the Volunteer Fire Service in South Carolina.”  Given that South Carolina is experiencing a decline of volunteer firefighters that is similar to other states, the results of this research will likely be of interest to fire service leaders across the country.  This presentation will discuss empirical data that illustrates volunteer firefighters’ motives to join, expectations to continue serving, satisfaction levels during service, and how a myriad of factors affect eventual service length.  Recommendations will be made, based on the empirical evidence, to improve the recruitment and retention of volunteer firefighters.

Course Title: “Unifying Volunteer/Combination Departments”

Unifying a combination career/volunteer department requires a true commitment and often results in occasionally setbacks. Whether a fire service leader is just starting the career staffing planning process or there are career/volunteer staffing issues currently at hand, a commitment to a unified department is the key to eliminating “Us verses Them.” This workshop addresses the issues relating to the process of integrating career staff in a volunteer system. The presentation will provide the participants’ solutions to real-life issues that arise from career staff integration. When possible, actual case studies will be provided to help emphasize learning.

Course Title: “Observations from 30,000’ – Challenges and Opportunities for the Modern Fire Service”

As fire inspectors and fire officers we oftentimes view the problems we face day-to-day as local or unique, but the reality is that most of the problems we face in the fire service are shared by fire inspectors and fire officers throughout the nation (volunteer, paid, urban, suburban and rural).  This high impact, high-energy program will highlight the challenges being faced by fire inspectors and fire officers throughout the nation while sharing critical insight as to the opportunities these challenges bring to current and future leaders of the fire service. This program is a no holds barred presentation designed to uphold the mission of our profession while challenging our daily routines and the decisions that accompany them.

Course Title: CRASE – Civilian Response to Active Shooter Events

In the past two decades, horrific mass shootings have been thrust into public consciousness. Mitigating the effects of these sudden incidents is the responsibility of those who serve in our communities’ public safety organizations. The public expects an effective and swift response to these threats and the sequence of events that follow them.

Research has shown however that many of the mass shootings, or active shooter events, are over before law enforcement responders arrive on the scene. Civilians who find themselves in an active shooter event must be prepared to take immediate action to save their own lives before law enforcement arrives. The average response time for police response to an active shooter event is three minutes. Without effective, preplanned response options for civilians at the scene of the attack, many victims can be seriously injured or killed during these three minutes.

The Civilian Response to Active Shooter Events (CRASE) course, is designed and built on the Avoid, Deny and Defend (ADD) strategy developed by ALERRT in 2004. The course provides you guidance and a proven plan for surviving an active shooter event. Topics include the history and prevalence of active shooter events, civilian response options, medical issues, and considerations for conducting drills.

Course Title: Everyone Goes Home

The “EVERYONE GOES HOME” program is designed to help the U.S. Fire Administration achieve its objective of reducing the number of preventable firefighter fatalities. During this session, you will hear an overview of what the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation does and learn of the resources available that can help departments ensure their firefighters and medics return home safely after every shift. Like the 16 Firefighter Life Safety Initiatives that have deeply informed the emerging safety culture in the US fire service, and become the bedrock foundation for thousands of fire departments and EMS organizations; the Fire Hero’s Learning Network developed by the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation in partnership with some of the most recognized experts in the fire service; and, of many more resources and services that are available through the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation. To close out this session, you will hear from the South Carolina Firefighters’ Association and how they are reaching out, helping our own. A program dedicated to emotional health and well-being of our firefighters and their families.