New York State
Association of Fire Chiefs

Providing Service to Those Who Serve

Schedule of Education Programs

Open to Conference Full Term Registrants only.
*Denotes programs where certified EMS providers can earn CEUs for attending.
The following fire/EMS education programs will be held at The Oncenter near the Ballroom (lower level).


9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

“It’s Just a Routine House Fire – Or Is It? Today’s Private Dwellings”
Retired Battalion Chief/Shift Commander Jim Duffy, Wallingford (CT) Fire Department

If your fire department is like mine, most of your fires are in private dwellings. Just because it’s the most common fire you go to, that doesn’t mean you should let your guard down. A significant number of firefighter injuries and deaths occur at house fires, the most common type of structure fire in New York state. 75 percent of fire deaths occur in residential dwellings, and about 2,500 civilians die in these structures annually. Structural members are made lighter and cheaper, and fuels have higher heat release rates. This interactive and challenging program will explore command, fire attack, ventilation, and search at house fires. It will also cover current studies and how they relate to tactics. Lessons learned can be applied to other types of fires.
The Oncenter Rooms 1-2

1:00 – 2:30 p.m.

“The Two Beats”
Firefighter/Haz-Mat Technician Carissa Campbell-Darmody, Ottawa (Canada) Fire Department

Carissa Campbell-Darmody was involved in a high-profile fire only three months into her career. The Forward Avenue fire seriously injured a crew of firefighters who bailed out of a third-floor window. As tragic as it was, the fire helped guide the Ottawa fire service toward implementing new safety features and making positive changes in this high-risk job. Campbell-Darmody will share her firsthand experience of having been involved in this fire, as well as other events that led to psychological trauma and the eventual diagnosis of PTSD. She is sharing her story, challenges, and lessons learned to assist others.
The Oncenter Rooms 1-2

2:30 – 4:00 p.m.

“Lightweight Materials in Residential Buildings – Thinking Outside the Box for Interior Operations”
Firefighter Timothy Duffy, Scarsdale Fire Department

Education and identification are paramount when dealing with buildings using lightweight components, and simply writing them all off is not the answer. Participants can expect active discussions on nomenclature, structural hierarchy, common challenges, and tactics that will help identify the use and locations of lightweight components within buildings. Understanding these materials and how they will affect interior operations is imperative regardless of rank, making this program valuable for everyone, from the new firefighter to the chief officer.
The Oncenter Rooms 1-2


9:00 – 10:30 a.m.

“Stop the Hype: Debunking the Myth of Opioid Exposures”*
Firefighter/Paramedic Douglas Hexel, Schenectady Fire Department

As the opioid crisis continues across the country, heroin is being combined with powerful synthetics for a better, cheaper high. It seems like every week, there’s news of a first responder overdosing as a result of casual exposure to these synthetic opioids, such as fentanyl. These casual exposures usually consist of a responder handling a bag containing the drug or brushing powdered drug off of the hands or uniform. This program will use strictly evidence-based medicine to evaluate and qualify these alleged overdoses on their scientific merits. Based on known absorption rates, the likelihood of encountering enough to overdose will be discussed.
The Oncenter Room 6

12:30 – 2:00 p.m.

“Death by PowerPoint – An Instructor’s Guide to Educating Modern-Day Firefighters”
Lieutenant Jay Dixon, Torrington (CT) Fire Department

This program will delve into modern-day education techniques to better understand the ideal medium and instructional methods used to communicate and effectively pass on knowledge and the traditions of the fire service. Observations show that fire service instructional styles have not advanced at the same pace as those in mainstream school systems. As modern-day firefighters’ means of learning have changed, so must instructional styles. During this program, tools to help better communicate with firefighters and understand the needs of firefighters as learners will be presented. This program will also delve into the core pedagogical and cognitive needs of learners and teachers. Time will be invested in discussing memory traits and how active instructors must be devoted to learning, not teaching. This, in turn, fosters an environment of motivation, excitement, and forward progress. Without effective instruction and cognition, the ability to advance as a whole is hindered.
The Oncenter Rooms 1-2

“Apartment House Fires”
Retired Deputy Assistant Chief John Norman, Fire Department City of New York (FDNY)

This program will focus on the deadliest fire in America – fire in apartment houses or multiple dwellings (MDs). It will include an introduction to the scope of the problem, a review of death and injury rates in MDs, and a discussion of construction deficiencies related to fire spread. Other topics to be addressed include fire attack, hoseline selection, placement, and water supply; search and rescue – vent, enter, isolate, and search (VEIS); fires in voids – shafts and cocklofts; and roof ventilation, including trench cuts. Emphasis will be placed on developing workable tactics that your organization can implement on the fireground under a variety of common, and not so common, conditions.
The Oncenter Room 3

“Managing Volunteer and Combination Emergency Service Organizations”
Education Specialist Tim Boel, VFIS

You can’t run your organization the way you used to! Today’s emergency service organization (ESO) is not simply an “emergency response agency.” Your ESO is a quasi-business requiring a number of management practices, particularly regarding finance, personnel issues, and planning, in order to function and survive. Each ESO has a number of leadership positions to divide the workload and provide for more focus. In essence, ESOs have changed from their original mission of response to an emergency to one of identifying potential problems, planning to deal with risks, educating the public, preparing the community in the event of an emergency, and responding to manage the problem that exists.
The Oncenter Room 4

“Leadership Failures: What Are We Missing?”
Captain Ben West, Gallatin (TN) Fire Department/National Fallen Firefighters Foundation

Leading up to and after becoming an officer, we spend countless hours researching and reading everything we can find regarding leadership. We go over the principles of leadership until we memorize them. We study the attributes required to become successful in a leadership position. We all look back at the great examples set by leaders we have had the privilege of serving under, hoping to glean as much as possible from those individuals to apply in our own leadership roles. So, given the availability of all this information, why is it not guaranteed that we will be successful leaders? This program will highlight issues responsible for leadership failure or shortcomings. These include knowledge without effort, losing sight of the mission, and the inability to self-evaluate. The goal is for students to leave the program with ways to combat common leadership failures as they fill their roles as leaders within their departments.
The Oncenter Room 5

“Street Drugs: What You Need to Know”*
Sergeant/Haz-Mat Technician Douglas Wildermuth, BS, NRP, New York State Police/E5 Support Services, LLC

Another overdose... great! Can you figure out what the patient overdosed on from the way he or she presented? Today’s street drugs are ever-evolving. From the different types of fentanyl to drugs like DMT, the names keep changing, so shouldn’t we be able to keep up? This program will review the more common ones out there, how they are consumed, and how responders can look at the patient to identify them.
The Oncenter Room 6

2:15 – 3:45 p.m.

“Surviving the Fireground”
Deputy Chief (Ret.)  Robert “Butch” Cobb, Jersey City (NJ) Fire Department

Search ropes – not a tool for the toolbox – a tool to carry in your turnout gear or on your shoulder at every call. According to a past NFPA Fire Analysis and Research Report, the number of structure fires has dropped. The rate of firefighter deaths at structure fires has not. It is noted in the report that a major cause of fireground injury and death is firefighters lost inside structures – they ran out of air! This program will look at search ropes deployed from the pocket for smaller buildings and deployed from a rope bag for commercial buildings. It will cover the training and tactics necessary to complete a successful search operation inside a smoke-filled burning building. Several search rope training techniques will be reviewed, along with strategy and tactics for searching with or without a TIC. Search ropes – a tool to survive the fireground.
The Oncenter Rooms 1-2

“The Foundation of Leadership”
Battalion Chief Robert Burns, Fire Department City of New York (FDNY)

Effective leadership, like most other things in this world, is built from the ground up. As leaders, we need to establish ourselves as trustworthy and competent individuals if we expect others to be willing to follow us. The best way to do this is to build and maintain a personal reputation of “leadership legitimacy.” To be viewed as legitimate, we need to earn the trust and respect of others by virtue of our actions and behaviors – not our title or rank. In the long run, it is this “leadership legitimacy” that serves as the real source of our authority, power, and influence. So how do fire service leaders earn leadership legitimacy? We earn it by demonstrating the qualities that serve as the four cornerstones in the foundation of leadership: character, competence, credibility, and consistency. This program will explore these four qualities and present ways to strengthen them within ourselves as leaders.
The Oncenter Room 3

“Fire Command and the Law: Essential Legal Decisions for Chiefs”
Attorney Mark Butler, Esq., The Law Office of Mark C. Butler and
Attorney Terrance Hannigan, Esq., Hannigan Law Firm

This program will examine court cases and other laws that impact operational decision-making for chief officers. It will present real-life examples of what the legal thresholds are for liability and other exposures to the legal system in New York. The lively, interactive program will be presented by two of the leading fire service attorneys in New York with extensive litigation and trial experience.
The Oncenter Room 4

“Training as the Priority in the Volunteer Fire Service”
Chief Justin Bailey, Oliver Springs (TN) Fire Department

Making training a priority in volunteer or mostly volunteer fire departments can be a struggle. This can lead to catastrophic results, such as an increase in risk for injury and/or death and failing to meet the expectations of the communities served. This program will help firefighters determine the need for training, for themselves and their departments, and how to make it the leading priority. Topics to be discussed include organizational training needs and expectations; the selection of a training officer; training program delivery; and personal responsibility in maintaining a healthy training environment. Attendees will leave the program with the knowledge of how and why to make training a priority in their departments, as well as their personal lives.
The Oncenter Room 5

“Lines and Drains and Tubes! Oh My!”*
Paramedic Melodie Kolmetz, MPAS, PA-C, EMT-P, Gates Volunteer Ambulance Service, Inc.

Increasing numbers of patients across the age spectrum are living lives dependent on technology. EMTs and paramedics can encounter these patients at home or in different levels of assisted care. In order to care for these patients, EMS providers require a basic understanding of the various types of technologies that they may encounter, as well as an understanding of the various indwelling tubes, lines, and drains that connect patients with these technologies.
The Oncenter Room 6

4:00 – 5:30 p.m.

“Stop the Gusher – There’s a Whole Lot of Bleeding Going On”*
Senior Manager for Medical and Safety Services Michael Murphy, NASCAR

This program will explore the history of tourniquet use from the Roman Empire to the Persian Gulf War battlefields. The present techniques and recommendations for tourniquet use will be examined and discussed. The program will also examine the history of, action of, and current trends in the use of hemostatic agents.
The Oncenter Room 6


8:30 – 10:00 a.m.

“It’s Always About Leadership!”
Chief Dennis Rubin, Upper Merion Township (PA) Fire and Rescue

Chief Dennis Rubin will share 13 “mission critical” leadership rules in an open, honest presentation. Students will be engaged in a discussion as to how these 13 rules can be adopted into all volunteer, career, and combination fire departments. Participants will review several case studies and determine how these leadership rules were applied to these events. They will also learn how to apply the 13 leadership rules in real-life situations to improve their leadership skills and their own departments.  
The Oncenter Rooms 1-2

“Small Boats for Rescue”
Retired Detective/Ex-Captain David Norman, NYPD Emergency Service Unit/Inwood Fire Department

This program will provide an overview of small crafts that are typically used by fire, police, and rescue units during the performance of their duties. It will cover practicality of certain boats, design and problems associated with each, as well as towing, launching, equipment, and the maintenance that goes along with daily operations. In addition, the program will address righting of small boats, PPE, and 4x4 and night operations. This program is for all persons involved in the use of small boats for rescue or law enforcement.
The Oncenter Room 3

“Fighting Today’s Private Dwelling Fires – It’s Not Just a Routine House Fire!”
Retired Battalion Chief/Shift Commander Jim Duffy, Wallingford (CT) Fire Department

The private dwelling fire is the most common type of structure fire in New York state. 75 percent of fire deaths occur in residential dwellings, and about 2,500 civilians die in these structures annually. If your fire department is like mine, most of your fires are in private dwellings. Just because it’s the most common fire you go to, that doesn’t mean you should let your guard down. A significant number of firefighter injuries and deaths occur at house fires. Structural members are made lighter and cheaper, and fuels have higher heat release rates. This highly interactive and challenging program will explore command, fire attack, ventilation, and search at house fires. It will also cover current studies and how they relate to tactics. Lessons learned can be applied to other types of fires.
The Oncenter Room 4

“Controlling the Narrative – Managing the Message Before, During, and After a Critical Incident”
Chief Kevin Sylvester, Ossining Police Department

Our residents have an intense appetite for information. Never is this more evident than during a critical incident. People expect to know what’s happening and how it will impact them. More important, they want to receive this information immediately and in a format that’s easy to understand. This program will review strategies for engaging your community throughout the year, so you have a following when it counts. It will also cover tips and tricks for using social media during a critical incident to keep your messaging fast, efficient, and direct.
The Oncenter Room 5

“Weeding Through What You Should Know About Cannabis –
MMJ Patients, Recreational Users, and the First Responder”*
Paramedic (Ret.)/Fire Service Instructor Jennifer Salomon, CIC

Medical marijuana is available in over half the states in this country. Historically and currently, it has been used for a range of symptoms. Recreational legalization is also on the rise, increasing overall use. First responders and other health care practitioners are likely to encounter cannabis usage among patients and this program will help them prepare to manage care.
The Oncenter Room 6

10:15 – 11:45 a.m.

“The Aggressive Truck and Engine Company Chauffeur”
Lieutenant Gary Benedict, Fire Department City of New York (FDNY)
and Chief Dave Campbell, Lawrence-Cedarhurst Fire Department

Company chauffer is perhaps one of the most important jobs on the fireground. After you complete the training required to become a chauffeur, you must continue training and expanding your knowledge while doing your job. In addition to response routes, rig positioning, and knowing where your water is coming from, you must use your other senses and powers of observation to continually evaluate the fireground. Your role as chauffeur can change in an instant. Being aggressive may mean that the ladder chauffeur stretches a line to protect a crew in danger or an exposure, or the engine chauffeur deploys a ladder to make a rescue. This program will review some of these actions and the conditions that mandate such actions.
The Oncenter Rooms 1-2

“It’s Not a Costume – Keys to Crossing the Doorplate”
Chief Paul Hasenmeier, Sunset Beach (NC) Fire Department

Certain things that others do make your skin boil on the job. Is it a rookie firefighter that doesn’t think pulling and racking a hoseline again is important? Is it a seasoned firefighter that doesn’t want to participate in physical fitness training? Is it a crew boss that spends more time in the office than on the bay floor? Is it a chief officer that is disconnected from the mission of taking care of people? This program will help students improve upon their direction, as well as the direction of their crew and organization, through strategic accountability. You will give your boss a reason to believe in you before and after crossing the doorplate. Be ready for a high energy presentation twist that includes pictures and drawing to keep you guessing as to what’s coming next.  
The Oncenter Room 3

“Addressing Firefighter Suicide: A Proactive Approach to Prevention”
Captain Dena Ali, Raleigh (NC) Fire Department

This program is designed to explain how creating an environment to encourage help-seeking behavior can alter an individual’s trajectory from reaching suicide. Individual, company, and departmental methods for prevention will be explained. While there are numerous causes of suicide, there are a few common risk factors that can be identified to help with intervention. The Interpersonal Theory of Suicide demonstrates that suicide occurs when three factors intersect: thwarted belonging, perceived burdensomeness, and capacity to engage in lethal action. Suicide risk is reduced by eliminating one factor. By creating a culture of acceptance and understanding through positive social support, we can make strides in preventing suicide.
The Oncenter Room 4

“Hazard Identification for the First Responder”
Lieutenant John Lewis, Passaic (NJ) Fire Department and Chief Robert Moran, Brewster (MA) Fire Department

The safety officer is tasked to identify and eliminate the hazards associated with unsafe actions and tasks on the fireground. By definition, a hazard is an unwanted contact with, or an unplanned release of, an energy source that can cause harm or damage to humans, property, or the environment. This program will take a look at the many forms of energy present at emergency incidents. It will review risk management, which is defined as eliminating the probability that exposure to a hazard will lead to a negative consequence.
The Oncenter Room 5

“Behavioral Issues… You Think?”*
Sergeant/Haz-Mat Technician Douglas Wildermuth, BS, NRP, New York State Police/E5 Support Services, LLC

Putting drugs aside, the behavior of some patients can be odd and unsettling. Figuring out why is our job to assure the best possible care for the patient, and most importantly, responder safety! Students will learn about the most common behavior disorders, as well as some proactive measures to deal with patients “from all walks of life.”
The Oncenter Room 6

12:00 – 1:30 p.m.

“Fire Officers Roundtable”
Chief James Seymour, Scarsdale Fire Department

Have you ever asked yourself, “How do I deal with this?” If so, you’re not alone. Each day, fire officers are faced with new challenges that threaten both organizational and personal success. During this guided discussion, participants will be presented with actual scenarios and review alternatives to produce positive resolutions to these challenging issues. You will be encouraged to share previous experiences and talk about potential future concerns to help fellow participants become better prepared when faced with similar difficulties.
The Oncenter Rooms 1-2

“The Art of Go/No Go!”
Captain Mike Gagliano, Seattle (WA) Fire Department

The toughest and most critical decisions you make in your career typically revolve around committing to an interior attack or choosing another route. Seasoned officers know the difference between “We can get it” and “It’s lost.” You should, too. Utilizing a simple framework that allows you to build on your experiences, and those of others, you can develop an intuitive approach that grows with you throughout your career. This is not a magic class, and no one becomes a great decision-maker by attending a few classes and watching a few videos. The goal is to create a framework of three varying profiles: rescue, building, and fire. These profiles allow you to keep focused on your decisions and give you the ability to draw on what you’ve learned and react to changes in the dynamic fire environment.
The Oncenter Room 3

“Stretching for Success”
Lieutenant Steve Robertson, Columbus (OH) Fire Department

This program will expose participants to aspects of “go” and “no go” situations. During “go” situations, students will be given critical knowledge of what it takes to win the fight, starting with positioning of the apparatus, size up, and line selection. A special emphasis will be placed on the pace of the attack, water flow while advancing, and using the reach of your stream inside the structure. Additionally, overcoming difficult stretches and dealing with knee wall fires will be discussed. The fire service continues to have close calls and LODDs due to rapid fire growth. Within the modern fire environment, we must throw more water than BTUs being produced. Whether it’s interior or a transitional attack, bottom line... water wins!
The Oncenter Room 4

“Command and Control – Is This the Right Model?”
Chief of Operations/Past Chief Thomas Richardson,
Fire Department City of New York (FDNY)/Deer Park Fire Department

The Incident Command System (ICS) has been a successful model for managing fires and emergencies for many years. In particular, managing a large-scale incident lends itself to all of the tools available in the ICS toolbox. Although many of the basic tenets of ICS are useful when managing bread and better fires and emergencies, there are times when a Command and Control model may not be best. During this program, Chief Tom Richardson will take a look at what might be called a Command and Feedback model. This thought-provoking presentation will provide many takeaways for all attendees.
The Oncenter Room 5

“Kinematics – Speed Kills”*
Senior Manager for Medical and Safety Services Michael Murphy, NASCAR

In this program, students will examine the relationship of velocity to mass as it applies to kinetic energy. Ballistic injury patterns will be addressed, along with the lethality of various calibers and velocities. Motor vehicle injury patterns will be examined as applied to vehicle speed and restraint mechanisms. Current treatment regimens will be discussed.
The Oncenter Room 6

1:45 – 3:15 p.m.

“Riding Shotgun”
Deputy Fire Chief Timothy Cowan, City of Oneida Fire Department   

Riding the right front seat is one of the most important positions in the fire service. The company officer is the lifeblood of the fire department. This program will take an in-depth look at the roles and responsibilities of the person riding the seat, both on and off the fireground. Often, firefighters are not aware of the expectations that come along with this position. Decision-making while on the scene of emergencies is only one small part of the larger responsibilities of the company officer. Company officers need to understand that they will not only be fire officers, but also parental figures, coaches, counselors, and much more to their crews. Students will be presented with the tools needed to be successful on and off the fireground.  
The Oncenter Rooms 1-2

“Takes More Than Plastic Fire Hats”
Captain/Paramedic and Community Support Officer Daniel Byrne, Burton (SC) Fire District Fire/Rescue

This program is designed to get students to rethink their department’s approach to fire prevention and communicating with the public in order to best influence attitudes and change behaviors in an effort to reduce fires and generate much needed support. Topics covered will include changing your department’s culture, the elements and steps needed for a dynamic and comprehensive fire prevention program for all ages, targeting public education to maximize effectiveness, forming effective messages, and working more closely with your community and the media.
The Oncenter Room 3

“Chart a Course for Success!”
Fire Protection Specialist Christina Mastrella,
NYS Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services Office of Fire Prevention and Control

Searching for your next training opportunity, but not sure where to start? The New York State Office of Fire Prevention and Control has done the research for you and is presenting a comprehensive list of educational offerings you can discover across New York state and beyond. In addition to fire/EMS/haz-mat/technical rescue, life safety topics will be explored that address Community Risk Reduction initiatives, ranging from car seat installation and boater safety to disaster preparedness and Stop the Bleed. We understand training resources can be limited, so this program will expose you to low or no-cost options, as well as potential scholarship opportunities. Don’t miss this chance to map out your training future!
The Oncenter Room 4

“298 Beacon Street: The Story of Lieutenant Ed Walsh and Firefighter Mike Kennedy”
Lieutenant Sandy Lasa, Boston (MA) Fire Department

In late March 2014, a box was struck for a reported building fire. What seemed like a routine fire in a four-story brownstone turned into a deadly inferno that trapped Lieutenant Ed Walsh and Firefighter Mike Kennedy in the basement. Companies tried in vain to get to them while battling a fire that was fed by 60-plus mph winds. This program will include a discussion of what happened, as well as what the Boston Fire Department learned and has done in order to prevent another similar tragedy. Also, the findings of the Boston Fire Department Board of Inquiry and NIOSH report will be addressed.
The Oncenter Room 5

“Under Pressure: Crush Injuries”*
Firefighter/Paramedic Douglas Hexel, Schenectady Fire Department

Crush injuries are far more common than most providers think. Though they are often taught in conjunction with technical rescue incidents, such as building collapses and natural disasters, they’re more commonly encountered in elderly fall victims with prolonged time down. Regardless of the cause, special considerations and prompt treatment are required for the best possible patient outcome. This program will focus on the techniques and strategies for methodical treatment and patient removal following crush injuries.
The Oncenter Room 6


9:30 – 11:00 a.m.

“Hoarder House Fires: Our Worst Nightmare”
Lieutenant Tim Klett, Fire Department City of New York (FDNY)

Fires in hoarder houses can present a multitude of problems on the fireground, from water application to searches for possible victims. This program will review the signs, including some less-commonly seen ones, that indicate the possible presence of hoarding conditions. It will cover initial operations, including access and egress, to the three main types of conditions where firefighters can expect to find hoarding, as well as how to manage each condition individually. The program will outline some of the serious dangers fires present to firefighters operating in and around areas with hoarding conditions and explain how firefighters can effectively do their jobs while safely evaluating problems. It will also cover the information chain, as it is critical for the incident commander to constantly monitor for progress or lack thereof, which would require an immediate change in tactics.
The Oncenter Rooms 1-2

“The Fire Officer – A View From the Front Seat”
Past Chief Michel Healy, Central Nyack Fire Department and
Firefighter/Past Chief Robert LaGrow, Fire Department City of New York (FDNY)/West Haverstraw Fire Department

As we often say in the fire service, the real firefighters are the people from the engine company, and everyone else is a helper. 100 years from now, water will still be extinguishing fires. The officer in charge of the engine company has many important decisions to make prior to and after arrival at the scene of any type of incident. Where is my water supply coming from? How many lengths of hose will we have to stretch to ensure we don’t stretch short? Do I drop a supply line or come directly into the scene for a quick attack? These and many other aspects of this important job will be addressed.
The Oncenter Room 3

“The Challenges of a Firefighter Marriage”
Captain Mike Gagliano, Seattle (WA) Fire Department and Anne Gagliano

Marriage can either be a passionate, intimate love affair that lasts a lifetime or a toxic, contentious experience that ends in utter heartbreak. The divorce rate is on the rise for all professions, but for the firefighter, the rate is through the roof. In this program, real-life husband and wife team Mike and Anne Gagliano will take an honest, hard-hitting look at what is happening to firefighter marriages and why. The program will examine what makes this profession different from any other and how those differences impact marriage. With their 30-plus years of experience, the Gaglianos will share what they have learned that has helped their marriage stand the test of time and defy the odds.
The Oncenter Room 4

“Top Floor Fires”
Lieutenant Michael Scotto, Fire Department City of New York (FDNY)

This program will address strategic and tactical operations at top floor fires involving several building types. Problems that may interfere with operations, including solar panels, cell sites, green roofs, rooftop bars, and lightweight construction, will be discussed. Strategies shall be guided by these and other issues, in addition to normal operational considerations. Construction types and occupancies play a major role with regard to tactics. Chief officers and company officers need IAPs for many of these conditions. Students will review tactical decisions to see options and the reasons for our decisions. Firefighting is an evolving process at each operation. Here, the attendee’s knowledge and experience will be used to formulate a more effective and safer decision-making process for members.
The Oncenter Room 5

11:15 a.m. – 12:45 p.m.

“The Contemporary Fire Problem: Lightweight Multi-Unit Residential Complexes”
Lieutenant John Lewis, Passaic (NJ) Fire Department and Chief Robert Moran, Brewster (MA) Fire Department

The intensified market for affordable housing and urban “downtown” residential living space throughout the country has led to the increased construction of large-scale townhouse and multi-unit residential complexes in both urban and suburban environments. The lightweight materials and pre-engineered methods used to construct these developments along with other inherent design weaknesses, such as limited access and egress, inadequate sprinkler protection, pedestal construction, exposure hazards, and significant life safety issues, present unique fire suppression and incident command challenges. This dynamic program will take an in-depth look at these hazards while providing valuable fireground information concerning size up, plan review, incident management, pre-planning, and fire suppression strategy and tactics. The instructors will also examine the 2000 and 2015 Avalon complex fires in Edgewater, N.J. in a roundtable discussion focusing on the lessons learned during each event.
The Oncenter Rooms 1-2

“Developing Mature Fire Officers”
Deputy Chief Thomas LaBelle, Henrico County (VA) Division of Fire

Every fire chief seeks to have a team of officers that he or she knows can be trusted to get the job done on and off the fireground. At the same time, every fire officer hopes to be the kind of officer that members can trust to “do the right thing.” This program will focus on what you can do in your own department and with your own development. Firefighters understand what makes good officers great and great officers legends. Once you understand the process that makes a consistent, strong officer, you can help an officer become the type of mature leader that everyone wants and wants to be.
The Oncenter Room 3

“Are You Enhancing a Cultural Change in Your Fire Department?”
Shift Commander/Chief Tony Perez, Tampa (FL) Fire Department

Enhancing a cultural change in the fire service is a journey and there will be challenges, but working through them will only provide a positive result. The fire service continues to change, from the incidents we respond to and the equipment we respond with, and firefighters are responsible for keeping up with this change. So, how do we begin a cultural change within the fire service that will have a positive result? This program will challenge firefighters of all ranks to step outside of their comfort zones and to embrace positive change within our profession. Embracing positive change in the fire service is not a bad thing. To ensure that all firefighters are included and understand what is at stake, students will discuss important elements that can help establish a cultural change within their departments. If members do not have a full understanding of the vision, they will revert back to resisting the change!
The Oncenter Room 4

“Perils and Pitfalls of an Inadequate Fire Investigation”
Unit Supervisor/Instructor Joseph Galloway, Syracuse Fire Department and
Supervisory Special Agent/Certified Fire Investigator Dixon Robin, U.S. Department of Justice, ATF  

This program will focus on the potential pitfalls of a poorly executed fire investigation and perils of an inadequate investigation. It will review topics of obligations of 204(d) and the concept of spoliation. The program will also address the growing trend of insurance carriers seeking injunctions to prevent demolition of burnt structures in order to perform their own origin and cause investigations. It will also highlight a new Criminal Procedure Law passed this year in New York that details very strict rules on preserving paperwork and the imperative timeline in which discovery must be made. Lastly, the increasing trend of accreditation within the fire investigation community, as well as what it means for you or your fire investigation team, will be discussed.  
The Oncenter Room 5