SAN ANTONIO, TX – The International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) Fire-Rescue International (FRI) 2022 is officially in the books, wrapping up three days of education, exhibits and networking among some of the top leaders in the fire service today.
Thousands of attendees gathered at the Henry L. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio, TX from August 24-26 for the annual conference sponsored by the IAFC. During that time, these leaders were able to participate in the Officer Development Program, attend many expert-led discussions on matters important to the fire service and learn of the latest industry innovations on the massive exhibit floor.
During the conference’s General Sessions, attendees heard from keynote speakers such as Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, US Fire Administrator Dr. Lori Moore-Merrell, Retired Assistant Chief (LAFD) Kwame Cooper, and many more.
The IAFC’s Fire Chief of the Year Awards, sponsored by Pierce Manufacturing, were awarded to Volunteer Chief Marshall Turbeville of the Northern Sonoma County (CA) Fire Protection District, and to Career Chief Gary Ludwig of the Champaign (IL) Fire Department, and past president of the IAFC.
The IAFC presented its most prestigious award during the FRI 2022 General Sessions, the Ben Franklin Award for Valor, sponsored by Motorola Solutions. Captain Michael Kaake, Lieutenant Kris Prosser and Firefighter-Paramedic Tyler Abbatiello of the Colerain Twp. (OH) Fire Department were presented the award for their heroic actions in rescuing a drowning kayaker in the flood-swollen Whitewater River on July 24, 2021.
During the conference, the 2022-23 leadership of the IAFC was sworn in. Chief Donna Black of the Duck (NC) Fire Department is the new president and board chair of the organization. Chief John Butler of Fairfax County (VA) Fire and Rescue is 1st Vice President, Chief Josh Waldo of the Bozeman (MT) Fire Department is 2nd Vice President. Chief Steven Locke of the South Burlington (VT) Fire Department was sworn in for another term as IAFC Treasurer.
Chief Ken Stuebing of Halifax Regional Fire & Emergency was honored by the IAFC and attendees for his 18 months as president and board chair, guiding the organization through the COVID-19 pandemic and through turbulent financial waters.
The IAFC wishes to thank all of the FRI 2022 attendees, presenters and sponsors for an extremely successful event in San Antonio. The planning is already underway for FRI 2023 in Kansas City, August 16-18, 2023. For more information on IAFC conferences and events, please visit iafc.org/events.