Practice Makes Perfect

A firefighter will do all he or she can to ensure a victim's safety; FDIC 2009 is ready to return the favor

Being a firefighter certainly presents dangers. To mitigate them, a lot of time and effort is spent preparing for any occurrence. Constant planning, daily equipment checks, regular practice exercises, physical fitness maintenance, and ongoing instruction and training are part of this. The reason for these measures is evident. If firefighters aren't properly prepared, people die, including the firefighters themselves.

Making common cause to reduce firefighter fatality rates, manufacturers, firefighters, and fire service organizations will attend this year's FDIC 2009 Fire Department Instructors Conference and Exhibition, which takes place April 20-25 at the Indiana Convention Center & Lucas Oil Stadium.

Class in Session

Now in its 81st year, this event is expected to draw more than 29,000 firefighter professionals, 500 speakers and instructors, and 900 exhibitors showcasing the latest and greatest products and services, including technology, apparatus, trucks, equipment, protective gear, and more. Training will play a large part,with 160 classroom presentations and 60 Hands- On-Training (H.O.T.) evolutions and workshops scheduled to take place.

The four-hour evolutions cover a wide range of instruction topics, such as updates on pneumatic rescue equipment, techniques for stabilizing vehicles and extricating victims, laying the foundation for a successful fire attack, and more. For those looking for a bigger challenge, eight-hour training evolutions will also be offered covering fire investigation, first-due engine and truck tactics, handling elevator emergencies, rapid intervention team combat drills, structural collapse rescue, team search, and more.

Show Your True Colors

This year's Annual National Fire Department Honor Guard Competition will take place in the Indiana Convention Center Sagamore Ballroom 3-4-5 at 8 a.m. Saturday, April 25. Teams will face off for their chance to proudly display their station's flags with military precision during the presentation of colors. Individuals will be judged on uniformity, neatness, cleanliness, and military bearing. Their drills will be judged on precision and symmetry using a demerit accounting system.

Exhibition Hours & Highlights

Wednesday, April 22: 8 a.m.-5 p.m. (upstairs exhibits only)
Thursday, April 23: 2 p.m.-6:30 p.m.
Friday, April 24: 9:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.
Saturday, April 25: 9 a.m.-3 p.m. (upstairs exhibits only); 9 a.m.-noon (outside demo exhibits)

This article originally appeared in the April 2009 issue of Occupational Health & Safety.

About the Author

Marc Barrera, former e-news editor of Occupational Health & Safety, is Content Manager at Generations Federal Credit Union in San Antonio, Texas.

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