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Fire Service Leaders to Convene in Dallas for Fire-Rescue International, August 8-11

Chantilly, Va. - More than 10,000 fire and emergency service leaders, experts, exhibitors, guests and industry partners from around the globe will assemble August 8-11 at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas, Texas, for Fire-Rescue International (FRI), the annual conference and expo of the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC).

FRI offers to current and future career and volunteer fire and EMS chiefs, chief officers, company officers and managers of emergency-service organizations throughout the international community the information, education and services needed to enhance their professional development and service delivery. In addition, FRI features more than 430 exhibitors who showcase their products and services for fire and emergency-service leaders.

“Fire-Rescue International is the largest annual gathering of fire and emergency service leaders anywhere,” said Fire Chief Tom Jenkins, IAFC president and chairman of the board. “It’s a rare opportunity when fire and emergency service leaders come together face-to-face to share ideas and find solutions.”

FRI General Session

Location: Convention Center Arena, Thursday, August 9, 8–11 AM

The general session will feature:

  • Two 15-minute presentations from fire and emergency-service leaders on topics important to today’s fire and emergency service:
    • Clark County (Nevada) Fire Chief Greg Cassell details the October 1 terror incident, uncovers how existing relationships played a significant role and offers firsthand advice on lessons learned.
    • Ben Hasan, senior vice president and chief culture, diversity and inclusion officer for Walmart Inc., will explore the evolution of the company’s culture, the development of behaviors that embrace diversity and inclusion and the promotion of the company’s external reputation.
  • Remarks from U.S. Fire Administrator G. Keith Bryant
  • Presentation of the IAFC Fire Chief of the Year awards
  • Presentation of the IAFC Ben Franklin Award for Valor
  • Presentation of the IAFC President's Awards of Recognition
  • Installation of the 2018-2019 officers:
    • Chief Dan Eggleston, Albemarle County (Virginia) Department of Fire and Rescue, as president and chairman of the board
    • Chief Gary Ludwig, Champaign (Illinois) Fire Department, as first vice president
    • Chief Otto Drozd, Orange County (Florida) Fire Rescue, as second vice president
    • Chief Tom Jenkins, Rogers (Arkansas) Fire Department, as immediate past president

    Diversity Breakfast

    Location: Convention Center C156, Friday, August 10

    The diversity breakfast is a great place to engage with other leaders interested in fostering diversity and inclusiveness in their department and throughout the fire and emergency service. Together, attendees bring unique perspectives as they work toward shared goals that will move us forward with a united mission.

    Guest speaker: Chief John Alston, New Haven (Connecticut) Fire Department. Chief Alston was a 10-year veteran of Jersey City’s Heavy Rescue Company which responded to the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.

    Education, Learning, and Professional Development

    Including all learning opportunities at FRI, there are more than 249 instructional hours offered from well over 200 presenters and speakers. Topics will include:

    • All-Hazards Management
    • Community Risk Reduction and Code Enforcement
    • Emergency Medical Services
    • Emerging Trends and Topics
    • Leadership
    • Safety, Health, & Wellness
    • Technology

    Sessions offered include:

    • Helping Your Community Be Wildfire Ready
    • Fire Department and University Partners Uncover Careless Cooking Behaviors
    • What is Disruptive Technology and How is it Changing EMS?
    • Digital Mapping and GIS Support for Special Events
    • Recognizing Signs of Human Trafficking for First Responders
    • Realistic Expectations - Dealing with Cancer in Your Department from A Survivor
    • My Battle with PTSD: The Danger We All Face

    Other sessions will explore social and cultural challenges that fire departments are facing both inside and outside the firehouse doors:

    • Top Ten Barriers to Behavioral Change to Consider Before Executing a New Initiative
    • Workplace Harassment Prevention in the Age of #MeToo
    • Breaking the Bullying Chain
    • Diversity & Inclusion: What Does It Mean & How Do I Start?
    • Mastering One's Relationship Skills Equals Success


    Exhibit Hall

    The FRI Exhibit Hall will feature hundreds of exhibitors displaying the latest products, services and technologies the fire-service industry has to offer. Exhibit hall hours each day:

Thursday, August 9, 4 –7 PM

  • (New) Big Bang Reception 5 – 7 PM
  • Friday, August 10, 10 AM –5 PM
  • Saturday, August 11, 10 AM – 1 PM
Information on all conference events and activities is available on the FRI website and mobile app. Members of the news media interested in attending FRI should contact Jim Philipps at 703-638-9206 or jphilipps@iafc.org.


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