Conference Agenda

Attendees at IFOC 2019 can register to participate in either a 2-day educational conference or a 3-day Hands-On Training Program. At the completion of the programs the participant will receive a certificate for their selected topic area.

Download the Onsite Guide (pdf)

Monday, 25 February

8:30 - 10 AM
General Session | Al Noor Hall


Dan Eggleston, IAFC President and Chairman of the Board

Reaching Across Borders

Keith Bryant, Fire Administrator, U.S. Fire Administration

Extinguishing Fires from Using Sand to Nano Technology

Rashid Thani Al Matroushi, Major General, General Director of Civil Defense in Dubai

Planning for Mass Gatherings: Hajj Safety Management

Dr . Hani Hashim Al Nabulsi, Brigadier General, Dr. Engineer, Director of the Department of Advisors, General Directorate of Saudi Civil Defense

10 – 10:30 AM
Networking Break | Prefunction Area


10: 30 - 11:45 AM
General Session | Al Noor Hall

UAE's Experience in Introducing Firefighting Robots 

There are certain scenarios such as (Tunnel, Oil field, Factory) fires in which firefighters are almost unable to table a blaze without it causing them almost certain catastrophic harm; this is why we introduce to our fleet the firefighting robots. An advanced (manless) remotely controlled extinguishing robot that is agile and mobile to handle the toughest situations safely and effectively. 
Mohammed Abdullah Al Nuaimi, Brigadier General, UAE Fire Protection and Safety Affairs, UAE Civil Defence

Marine Hazards Awareness

This session will be presented in Arabic.
Introduction of the Marine Fire Department in the State of Kuwait. Addressing the most important marine hazards that workers or passengers on ships and boats may be exposed to. As well as, what is the role of search and rescue personnel in prevention and reduction of damage that society might face in order to preserve their safety and the environment.
Abdullah H Alhenaiyan, Colonel, Marine Fire Directorate, General Directorate of Fire Services Kuwait

Collaboration Between AHJ and Stakeholders

This speech exhibits the importance of stakeholders’ role in the continuity of the “Authority Having Jurisdiction” work, enhancement of the safety culture and engaging the public.
Mohammed Alaabar, Captain Eng., Head of Inspection Section, Bahrain General Directorate of Civil Defence

11:45 AM – 1 PM
Lunch | Masaya Hall


1 - 2:30 PM
General Session | Al Noor Hall

Fire Service Operational Overview
Fire Protection Department - Business Continuity in the Fire Services

Fire Protection department faces variety of unforeseen events that can adversely affect the delivery of efficient and safe emergency response services. The Department had taken steps to continue delivering the emergency services regardless of what had happened. The development of Business Continuity Management Plan had helped the Department in ensuring readiness to various type of operational interruptions of critical response services. This presentation will share Saudi Aramco’s Fire Protection Department model in applying principles of Business Continuity plans to perform critical support functions during emergency response operations.
Manhal  al-Jazireh, Fire & Rescue Specialist, Fire Protection Department, Saudi Aramco Oil Company

Engineering Solutions for Fire Truck Accessibility

One of the main issues that emergency responders face when responding to a fire is that they cannot approach the burning building due to road limitations and nonstandard fire truck access roads. Therefore, fire truck drivers suffer when approaching and parking near buildings or process equipment due to not taking into consideration the fire truck dimensions, minimum turning radius requirements, and minimum and maximum distance required for fighting fires. This presentation will go through several examples of fire truck access issues and how they were engineered to meet the international building code requirements.
Mohammed A. AlSaeefan, Fire Protection Engineer MEng, CFPS, Fire Protection Department, Saudi Aramco Oil Company

Fixed Fire Protection Systems from Fire Operations Perspective

It is evident that the fixed fire protection systems play a key role in saving precious lives and also saving the properties they are protecting. Perfecting the design of these systems will further enhance the efficiency of our fire operations. These fixed fire protection systems vary in their applications, it can be as complex as manipulating the generated smoke in a large facility or as simple as discharging a specific water spray to cool a structure. Fire protection engineers spend a great amount of time in working to achieve the optimum design and also verify that is going to operate as intended through a series of rigorous tests. This presentation will also shed some light on historical statistics on the effectiveness of fire protection systems.
Sami R. AlYami, Fire Protection Engineer MSc, CFPS, Fire Protection Department, Saudi Aramco Oil Company

Vapor Cloud Explosions

This topic concerns plant safety, in particular how to predict, mitigate and model hydrocarbon vapor explosions. This is a topic that applies to both technical and operational personnel, including firefighters, chiefs and engineers.
Majed Marri, Fire Protection Engineer MSc, CFPS, Fire Protection Department, Saudi Aramco Oil Company

2:30 – 3 PM
Networking Break | Prefunction Area


3 – 4:30 PM
General Session | Al Noor Hall

Rosenbauer Concept Fire Truck: Future Firefighting Technology 

The Concept Fire Truck (CFT) provides a foretaste of the fire truck of tomorrow, Rosenbauer’s development engineers having focused on the vehicle architecture that emerges during the design process when a systematic and uncompromising emphasis is placed on the demands that the fire services will face in years to come. 
- A multifunctional basic concept for universal applicability
- A new type of vehicle architecture offers optimized ergonomics
- An alternative drive concept results in low emission and noise levels
Christian Mairzedt, Senior VP, Rosenbauer

Challenges in Fighting Large Atmospheric Storage Tank Fires

Michael Sorensen, Lead Firefighter, Business Development, Williams Fire & Hazard Control Products and Services for Johnson Controls, Inc. 

Lessons Learned from 36 Years of Flammable Liquid Fires

Flammable liquid fires are infrequent and, when they do occur, it is paramount that an in-depth investigation take place to gain a thorough understanding of the event causes and the response efficacy. Comprehensive incident analysis helps shape risk mitigation strategies, response tactics, and equipment design to meet tomorrow’s most challenging oil, gas, chemical, and industrial flammable liquid hazards. This presentation will discuss insights learned from over three and a half decades of firefighting response to actual incidents. Takeaways to be discussed include foam application rates, fuel volatility, fires involved in low oxygen atmospheres and more.
Eric LaVergne, Lead Firefighter, Business Development, Williams Fire & Hazard Control Products and Services for Johnson Controls, Inc.

7 - 9 pm
Opening Ceremony | Al Noor Hall
Dinner | Masaya Hall

Arabian culture is world-renowned for its hospitality and, in that spirit, the International Association of Fire Chiefs and the Saudi Aramco Fire Protection Department warmly invites all conference attendees to be its' guests Monday evening. The event, hosted in the Al Noor Ballroom, will be an opportunity to hear from distinguished guests, meet colleagues from around the world, and share a wonderful meal together. The dinner will begin at 7 PM and will open the conference in style and substance. We look forward to welcoming you to the conference.

Special Guest Speakers:
  - Ghassan G. Abulfaraj, Manager, Saudi Aramco
- Col. Ali Mohammed Saad Al Hooti, Deputy Director General, General Directorate of Civil Defence, Kingdom of Bahrain 
- Aali M. Al-Zahrani, Executive Director of Safety & Industrial Security, Saudi Aramco
- Dan Eggleston, President and Chairman of the Board, IAFC

Master of Ceremonies:
Hamad Melaihi, Training Coordination Group Leader, Fire Protection Department, Saudi Aramco

Tuesday, 26 February

9 – 10 AM
Breakout Sessions


Fire in Existing Cladded Buildings: Causes and Solutions

Al Noor Hall
Insulations which are generally classed as Class B and below usually result in high toxicity levels on the smoke index.  Not using insulation behind ACP/MCM systems can create thermal bridges which allow fire to spread easily through panel joints, abundance of oxygen in such areas act as fuel to the fire. The use of cavity barrier and fire stop at every floor or level to prevent the fire spread and smoke penetration from one area to the other. Ensuring the use of non-combustible class A1 Insulation within the composite system.
Khalid Al Khatib, CEO, NAFFCO Group

GIS Changing the Landscape of Public Safety

Al Noor Hall
Join IAFC and Esri personnel as they present on the next generation of Geospatial Information Systems and how they are changing the way Emergency Services provide their services. Esri's Arc GIS Online has created the “WEBGIS” an online GIS platform that allows users to capture, create and distribute data instantaneous. This data can be shared to decision makers anywhere to make decisions during large-scale emergencies and disasters it is critical for response personnel to have easy access to data. The IAFC and Esri have partnered to create a central, web-based environment that allows IAFC to effortlessly connect to partner agencies and organizations during response efforts.

Attendees will understand how response agencies leverage the IAFC/Esri GIS platform and mobile applications to collect real time data during the response to significant incidents. Public safety agencies will learn how to deploy these capabilities to collect, analyze, and communicate incident intelligence to multiple agencies during emergency operations.
Jeff Dulin, Senior Advisor/Chief (Ret.), International Association of Fire Chiefs/Charlotte (N. Carolina) Fire Department (USA) 

My Station Is My Responsibility

Al Gahzal 1
This is a system of administrative governance in the Fire Stations, with the aim of unifying all administrative processes, organizing the procedures in the civil defense Stations, as well as highlighting the roles and duties of the officers of the Stations and their employees in a detailed and highlighting the volume of daily work carried out.
Humaid Abdalla Hassan Mohamed Al-Ali, Captain, UAE Civil Defense 

Fire Scene Management and Challenges

Al Gahzal 2
Fire scene management is a process which needs to be learned, practiced, and reviewed on a regular basis. There are internal and external factors which could influence its overall outcomes.
Waleed A. Rahman Althawadi, Captain, Bahrain General Directorate of Civil Defense

Effect of Internationally Approved Standards, Regulations and Bodies on Fire and Rescue Operations

Al Gahzal 3
This session will handle the topic of the effect of the international standards on firefighting and rescuing operations.

Ibrahim Al Hammadi, Chief Executive Director, Emirates Fire and Rescue Company

10 – 10:30 AM
Networking Break | Prefunction Area


10:30 – 11:45 AM
Breakout Sessions



Al Noor Hall
Followership. A seldom-discussed element of organizational success, yet, one of the most critical elements of leadership and organizational success at all levels. During this session, Chief Kirtley will discuss effective followership and its relationship to leadership and organizational success. In addition, he will discuss the leader's responsibility for creating support of followership and day-to-day methods for developing followers who can effectively carry out the mission of the organization.
Ed Kirtley, Assistant Dean of CEAT Engineering Extension, Oklahoma State University (USA)

Hazmat in Bahrain

Al Gahzal 1
Description of the status of hazardous substances in the Kingdom of Bahrain, equipment in the hazmat branch, and exercises and training.
Qasim Saleh Alyafei, Head of Hazmat Branch, Bahrain General Directorate of Civil Defence

Results of the Latest Compressed-Air-Foam Research Programs and Their Relevance for Firefighting Operations

Al Gahzal 1
Compressed-Air-Foam was invented in the 1930‘s and finds more and more users these days. Yet the exact effects of CAF on the fire and scientific explanations for these are missing. A number of recent research projects have now delivered scientific explanations that may have impact on the day to day operations of fire departments.
Dirk Schmitz, CEO, Schmitz Fire & Rescue (One Seven)

US&R Incident Support Teams – Response to Natural Disasters

Al Gahzal 2
For urban search and rescue (US&R) resources to save the most lives and limit suffering, they must be deployed and coordinated effectively. The cross-discipline functions that comprise a US&R team and the integration with local resources and other like-responders, necessitates a strong incident management component.  This presentation will address how to effectively deploy and manage US&R resources during a natural disaster.
David Downey, Fire Chief, Miami-Dade (Florida) Fire Rescue (USA) 

Post Fire Investigations and Codes

Al Gahzal 3
Does your department support the personal growth and development of its fire investigators and inspectors? Fire investigation and fire inspections are two educationally intensive positions that are critical to fire department success. Understand the ramifications to the organization of having certification rich personnel that lack practical experience. This session provides an overview of the training, certifications, codes and standards that govern fire investigation and fire inspections personnel. Discussion on the tools, organizational structure, policy development and leadership strategies for personal growth that promote employee retention and are critical for long term success in these two core business functions.
Stephen Hrustich, Assistant Chief, Gwinnett County (Georgia) Fire and Emergency Services (USA)

11:45 AM – 1 PM
Lunch | Masaya Hall


1 – 2 PM
Breakout Sessions


Fire Service Leadership - Establishing the Foundation

Al Noor Hall
Most often, leadership does not come naturally, it must be learned and practiced. Leadership is an art rather than an exact science and the most effective leaders practice their art throughout their career. This presentation will focus on establishing a solid foundation upon which leadership is built.
David Downey, Fire Chief, Miami-Dade (Florida) Fire Rescue (USA)

Fire Laboratories

Al Gahzal 1
Ali Hassan Almutawa, Assistant Director General for Protection and Safety,  Directorate General of Dubai Civil Defence

Human Behavior in Fire

Al Gahzal 2
Human behavior, under fire conditions when survival is threatened, can be perceived as irrational to an outside observer. However, research shows that human behavior is mostly predictable and rational when survival is a possibility. Alternatively, when survival is not ensured, human behavior becomes much more complex. This has implications for fire protection engineers, emergency response personnel, as well as building code and fire safety professionals. It is a truism that human behavior under life threatening conditions is characterized by delayed decision-making, the misperception of risk, and responses conditioned by the group; this is commonly known as “herd-mentality”. As a result, fire safety response drills, training, and response guidelines should be designed and operationalized around neuroscience, cognitive psychology, and evidenced based policies. This presentation will explore these issues through contemporary research, real-life examples, and case studies.
Michael Rip, PhD, MSc (Med), Director, MindLeap LLC and Director, Program in Healthcare Management, Michigan State University; Mark Vroman, MBA EFO, Co-Director, MindLeap LLC and Battalion Chief, Meridian Township (Michigan) Fire Department (USA)

The Science Behind Cooking Fires and Prevention Through Heat Limiting Technology

Al Gahzal 3
Understanding the anatomy of a residential cooking fire and identifying multiple intervention strategies including heat limiting technology for prevention and mitigation. The largest fire threat to the safety of our communities, unattended cooking fires cause tens of thousands of dollars of damage and are the largest cause of fire injuries to each jurisdiction annually. Traditional methods of dealing with cooking fires have been based on event mitigation following ignition. The introduction of Heat Limiting Technology (HLT) places a new weapon in our arsenal to truly move toward preventing cooking fire ignition. Learn what HLT means to the fire service and how the new UL858 standard impacts the future of electric coil top ranges.
Stephen Hrustich, Assistant Chief, Gwinnett County (Georgia) Fire and Emergency Services (USA)

2:15 – 3:15 PM
Breakout Sessions


Hazmat Case Studies

Al Noor Hall
Case studies convey lessons learned and best practices that enable others to learn from the experiences of responders who participated in specific incidents or events. The domains that are typically addressed include Plans, Training, Resources, Capabilities, and Facilities, as these are the areas that incident managers can effectively address if properly supported and funded. This program will look at the lessons learned and best practices from several hazardous materials incidents.
CDR Joseph J. Leonard, Jr., USCG (Ret.), MEP, MCP, CEM, CHPP, CPE, Principal Consultant, PENTA Consortium, LLC (USA)

Leveraging Critical Thinking Skills for Improved Performance on the Fireground

Al Gahzal 1
This presentation is carefully structured around the fundamentals of human thinking, how to become a critical thinker, and why it is central to problem-solving and decision-making capabilities of fire service professionals. Participants will learn about the two systems of human reasoning, a practical definition of critical thinking, a novel systems-based model of thinking, useful thinking tools, and how to apply critical thinking. Critical thinking techniques are important to both company and command level officers as well as frontline fire crews. These techniques are aligned with the principles and practices of High Reliability Organizations. The overall goal is to leverage the minds of firefighters to achieve improved performance.
Michael Rip, PhD, MSc (Med), Director, MindLeap LLC and Director, Program in Healthcare Management, Michigan State University; Mark Vroman, MBA EFO, Co-Director, MindLeap LLC and Battalion Chief, Meridian Township (Michigan) Fire Department (USA)

High-Rise Fires: Challenges for Resource Deployment and Evacuation

Al Gahzal 2
High-rise fires pose unique operational challenges to fire service resource deployment and represent a high hazard life safety scenario. Key challenges include the sheer scope and scale of conducting search and rescue operations, difficulty moving people and equipment vertically to the fire area, the size of the fire based on the time it takes to initiate firefighting operations, and logistical management of the significant number of firefighters and equipment required to complete critical tasks. Despite the apparent hazards however, there are no scientifically-based tools available to community and fire service leaders to assess the effects of fixed sprinkler systems, fire suppression equipment or resource deployment and staffing decisions. Though community and fire service leaders have a qualitative understanding of the effect of certain resources allocation decisions, there is a universal lack of a sound basis for quantifying the total effects. This session will provide insights into on scene resource deployment, fireground tasks, fixed fire protection systems and occupant evacuation for high hazard, high-rise structure fires. 
Dr. Lori Moore-Merrell, President and CEO, International Public Safety Data Institute (USA)

3:15 – 4 PM
Networking Break | Prefunction Area