Education

Education Sessions

Thursday, May 2

8 am - 8:30 am
Opening Ceremonies

8:30 - 10 am
Keynote Address | Pave Your Own Way

Ali_Rothrik_300x250 Join Ali as she shares her experiences of overcoming adversity in the fire service and how refusing to fit into the gender stereotype that often accompanies women and the treatment that followed negatively impacted her mental health.

She will also discuss her PTSD diagnosis and how that affected all aspects of her life along with her recovery and what coping skills she learned to integrate into her life to stay well. You will walk away with mental health education as it's relevant to first responders including suicide prevention and the stress continuum.

Discover how Ali Rothrock, CEO, is Developing Resiliency: On the Job and Off

10:15 - 11:15 am
Your Training Program: What Every Chief Must Know
Training programs are the foundation blocks that keep your firefighters safe as they provide excellent service to your community.  Training programs should include compliance topics but still balance skill development and retention on critical skills and fundamentals.  This workshop will provide detailed information and resources to give the attendee proven methods of meeting compliance along with skill sets and schedules that will help improve any training program.  
Forest Reeder, Fire Chief, Tinley Park (IL) Fire Department

11:15 am - Noon
Professional Volunteers
Being a professional firefighter has nothing to do with earning a paycheck but has everything to do with attitude, appearance, commitment, and dedication. It includes how members approach the job, how they prepare and train, how they take care of their equipment, how they treat the public and their own members, and how they behave and interact with the public both on and off duty. The most important duty is to embrace the responsibility that comes by wearing the title of firefighter. Attendees will walk away with a clear understanding that developing, maintaining and upholding a professional reputation is the duty and responsibility of all firefighters – paid or volunteer.
Tom Merrill, Fire Commissioner, Snyder (NY) Fire Department

Noon - 1:15 pm
Lunch on your own

1:15 - 1:45 pm
Who Am I?
This TED talks style presentation will discuss one of the topics that create conflict within organizations between the generations. What do the generations want and how to improve relations. 
John Buckman III, Chief (Ret.), German Township (IN) Volunteer Fire Department

1:45 - 2:45 pm
10 Years Later - The Meadowood Court Mayday
On May 25th, 2008, while operating on a residential structure fire in Leesburg, Virginia, four firefighters from Loudoun County Fire and Rescue became trapped on the second floor while performing interior operations after conditions rapidly deteriorated.  Four firefighters received burn injuries and required hospitalization.  As the Engine Company Officer that day, Deputy Chief Micah Kiger, gives an ‘inside assessment’ as to the actions of himself and his crew that day, to include lessons learned and personal development following the incident.  A full investigative report was completed on this incident and he will present incident operations, provide video footage of the incident with respective radio transmissions, and departmental changes/recommendations, and the lessons learned from the company officer's first-hand perspective. This presentation will also cover how training yourself and crew the right way becomes second nature and how you can rely on training when it truly counts.  This presentation is geared to reach personnel from the level of a brand new recruit firefighter thru the chief of department.
Micah Kiger, Deputy Chief, Loudoun County (VA) Fire and Rescue

3:05 - 4:30 pm
Your Emergency is Not My Emergency
As evidenced by the many safety initiatives that have been undertaken and relatively low changes to corresponding emergency responder injury and fatality data, it is clear that leadership plays a critical role in safety, but personal accountability is the ultimate contributor to your own safety. Lifestyles, fitness, behavioral health and peer support should be combined with an organizational commitment to safety and situational awareness. Regardless of rank or position within the organization each member needs to take the initiative to follow all safety guidelines and to keep their mind and body in good condition while at the same time, looking out for each other. The program identifies three different working environments where emergency responders encounter significant risks. They include the station, the street and the scene.  The program, through interactive dialogue, identifies methods to manage the associated risks in those workplace settings. 
Ryan N. Pietzsch, Director of Education, Training & Consulting VFIS

Friday, May 3

8 - 9:30 am
Recruitment and Retention Roundtable
You asked for it, so now you have it! Attendees always walk away from the recruitment and retention forum wanting more time to discuss the topic. Hear from our facilitator as well as other attendees on how they are increasing their department numbers and holding on to them.
Bill Jenaway, Executive Vice President, Education Training & Consulting, VFIS

Talk is Cheap, Therapy is Expensive: How We Communicate
We have all been taught that people communicate different ways.  As a leader, it is challenging to work with personalities that don't match or compliment your own.  We don't always consider is how to use the personalities of our staff to our advantage: how to leverage someone's strengths instead of punishing them for their weaknesses.  Hear some great insights on how to flip your perspective and build a strong community in your department.
Nate Wambold, Director, Meetings & Conferences, American Anthropological Society

Modern Fire Behavior
Attendees of this program will have the opportunity to understand the impact of modern fire behavior on combination and volunteer fire departments or limited staffed fire departments.  This is an interactive presentation that will challenge what we thought we knew.  Attendees will have more resources to utilize to help them understand how to implement modern fire behavior into their organizations.  One size does not fit all and likewise not all research, tactics or equipment fits every department.
Jason Caughey, Fire Chief, Laramie County (WY) Fire District #2

10 - 11:30 am
Surviving the Job
Firefighters face an increase in personal safety issues when responding to major incidents such as structure fires. Are they prepared? Are they educated to the dangers they face when arriving on the scene? Fires of today have changed, and the need to prepare our firefighters to meet the issue of cancer in the fire service is now. The Lavender Ribbon Report has expanded to provide a curriculum based product that you, the leaders in the fire service, can take back to your stations and implement into your training and policy development. When you leave this session, you will leave with a multi-step approach to retaining healthy firefighters on the job.
Brian McQueen, Co-Chairman NVFC Cancer Committee, NVFC

Implementing the Yellow Ribbon Report
Learn how the VCOS Yellow Ribbon Report can help you and your department with behavioral health and wellness.  Objectives of this training are; understanding and accepting the individuals' role in managing personal behavioral wellness; the shared responsibility for behavioral wellness within the organization with the individual; their role in organizational culture attitude change toward behavioral wellness and the individual Responsibility to share emotional response following traumatic events.
Adam Farrar, Chief, Scott Township (IN) Fire & EMS; Joe Chornock, Chief, Montgomery County (MD) Fire Rescue Service

Changing the Culture - Reducing Bullying, Harassment and Workplace Violence
Speaker Coming Soon

11:30 am - 1 pm
Lunch on your own

1 - 2:30 pm
Recruitment and Retention Roundtable
You asked for it, so now you have it! Attendees always walk away from the recruitment and retention forum wanting more time to discuss the topic. Hear from our facilitator as well as other attendees on how they are increasing their department numbers and holding on to them.
Bill Jenaway, Executive Vice President, Education Training & Consulting, VFIS

Talk is Cheap, Therapy is Expensive: How We Communicate
We have all been taught that people communicate different ways.  As a leader, it is challenging to work with personalities that don't match or compliment your own.  We don't always consider is how to use the personalities of our staff to our advantage: how to leverage someone's strengths instead of punishing them for their weaknesses.  Hear some great insights on how to flip your perspective and build a strong community in your department.
Nate Wambold, Director, Meetings & Conferences, American Anthropological Society

Modern Fire Behavior
Attendees of this program will have the opportunity to understand the impact of modern fire behavior on combination and volunteer fire departments or limited staffed fire departments.  This is an interactive presentation that will challenge what we thought we knew.  Attendees will have more resources to utilize to help them understand how to implement modern fire behavior into their organizations.  One size does not fit all and likewise not all research, tactics or equipment fits every department.
Jason Caughey, Fire Chief, Laramie County (WY) Fire District #2

3 - 4:30 pm
Surviving the Job
Firefighters face an increase in personal safety issues when responding to major incidents such as structure fires. Are they prepared? Are they educated to the dangers they face when arriving on the scene? Fires of today have changed, and the need to prepare our firefighters to meet the issue of cancer in the fire service is now. The Lavender Ribbon Report has expanded to provide a curriculum based product that you, the leaders in the fire service, can take back to your stations and implement into your training and policy development. When you leave this session, you will leave with a multi-step approach to retaining healthy firefighters on the job.
Brian McQueen, Co-Chairman NVFC Cancer Committee, NVFC

Implementing the Yellow Ribbon Report
Learn how the VCOS Yellow Ribbon Report can help you and your department with behavioral health and wellness.  Objectives of this training are; understanding and accepting the individuals' role in managing personal behavioral wellness; the shared responsibility for behavioral wellness within the organization with the individual; their role in organizational culture attitude change toward behavioral wellness and the individual Responsibility to share emotional response following traumatic events.
Adam Farrar, Chief, Scott Township (IN) Fire & EMS; Joe Chornock, Chief, Montgomery County (MD) Fire Rescue Service

Changing the Culture - Reducing Bullying, Harassment and Workplace Violence
Speaker Coming Soon

Saturday, May 4

8 - 9 am
General Session

9 - 10:30 am
Sled Dog Leadership
Each year Dog Sled Teams from around the world travel to Alaska to tackle the “Last Great Race On Earth”.   The Iditarod Sled Dog race is a 1049 mile test of dog team and musher that pays homage to the 1925 act of service that saved a community from a developing diphtheria epidemic. In a race where simply finishing is an achievement to be proud of, mushers and dog teams tackle the challenges of the trail and work together to achieve their immense objective. To ensure success, Iditarod mushers must be the personification of servant leaders  - This session will review the behaviors that get the most successful teams to the end of the trail and how we in the Fire Service can use these lessons to inspire and lead within our own teams.
Alex Boyd, Assistant Chief, Anchorage (AK) Fire Department

10:50 am - Noon
Saving Those Who Save Us: A First Responders Battle and Victory over Stress, PTSD and Suicide
Stress, PTSD and Suicide take lives away from us each year.  These topics are just now being talked about and the stories we share can help save more lives in the future.  Hear stories on the trials, successes and having a strong partner to get you through the worst.
Mike Washington

Noon - 1:15 pm
Lunch on your own

1:15 - 2:30 pm
Extreme Leadership
Ever take a leadership class and say great presenter but that won't work for us? Well this won't be a Sunday Sermon. And are you struggling to engage your department's personnel? Extreme Leadership will provide the science of why! Come learn how to gain the leadership edge in building real workplace relationships for greater recruitment, retention, department morale and productivity using our 3 Pillars of New Power Leadership! Come learn how Intellectual Intelligence; Emotional Intelligence and Interpersonal Dynamics can change the game to become a visionary leader. This will be one of the best leadership classes you've ever attended.
Billy Greenwood, Assistant Fire Chief, Manchester-Boston Airport Fire Department and Lieutenant, City of Keene (NH) Fire Department

2:45 - 4 pm
Spiritual Survival in the Fire Service
Firefighters today are facing increasing challenges in their ever widening service delivery model, reduced staffing, salary cuts, and behavioral health problems are on the rise within the fire service. In the midst of all of this, many organizations and municipalities limit or restrict firefighters in their religious beliefs. Studies have shown that the majority of those who receive counseling prefer a faith based component or counselor from their faith background. And in many individual lives, their faith is often the most important area and where all of their values are based upon. The fire service has transcendent roots in a faith based value system in the very symbol we all carry on our uniforms. In this session, we will review our commonalities, our purpose, and how spiritual survival skills will improve firefighters overall behavioral health thereby improving their service delivery to the citizens.
Andrew Starnes, Battalion Chief

4 - 5 pm
Session Coming Soon
Ken Burris

Founding Sponsor

IamResponding logo