15,000 from Fire & Emergency Field Set to Respond to Dallas Conference

Leaders of fire and emergency services worldwide will convene in Dallas Aug. 25-29 for the International Association of Fire Chiefs' 2009 Fire-Rescue International Conference and Expo. IAFC predicts the event will draw 15,000 attendees, including chief fire officers, firefighters, fire marshals, company level officers, arson investigators, training officers, EMS chiefs, special rescue team members, and military fire officers, representing industry leaders in fire and emergency from the United States and Canada and 25-30 other countries.

Featured speakers at the general session on Aug. 27 will include DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano; FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate; and Ltc. Greg Gadson, a decorated Iraq war veteran and double amputee who IAFC notes has a record of inspiring and motivating others to greatness. The keynote address at the Aug. 28 general session will be delivered by recently confirmed U.S. Fire Administrator Kelvin Cochran, speaking on leadership.

Other conference highlights will include educational sessions led by experts in first response to a variety of critical events--fires, natural disasters, terrorism, hazmat incidents, wildland fires, and incidents with multiple injuries and deaths. Courses also will cover diverse leadership topics, including lessons learned from recent high-profile events and developments such as the H1N1 influenza; the Supreme Court decision in Ricci v. DeStefano; the Washington, D.C., Metro transit crash; and a recently published consultant study raising serious discussions related to the issues of fire fighting and cancer, presumption, and credibility. Other sessions will cover new trends such as "green" fire station design and planning, innovative labor-management initiatives, and the use of social media in fire service.

More than 650 companies will showcase their equipment, products, and services for fire and emergency medical services in the event's exposition, geared for every type of fire department. A new Technology Pavilion will highlight new technologies to improve fire response and firefighter safety, and the new Solutions Showcase will offer discussions and demonstrations of innovative products and services. The Expo will be open Aug. 28, 10:30 a.m.– 5 p.m., and August 29, 10 a.m.– 5 p.m. for registrants.

During the Aug. 28 general session, IAFC will present the 2009 International Benjamin Franklin Fire Service Award for Valor and the IAFC Fire Service Award for Excellence.

Local runners can join FRI attendees to show their shared commitment to fitness while helping to raise money for scholarships for future fire service leaders by participating in the annual "Fit-to-Fight" 5K Run, which will start at 8 a.m. on Aug. 29 near City Hall. Proceeds will benefit the IAFC Foundation.

For complete event details, visit www.iafc.org/fri.

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