Fairfax, Va. – More than 10,000 fire and emergency service leaders, experts, exhibitors, guests and industry partners from around the globe will assemble August 26-30 in Atlanta’s Georgia World Congress Center for Fire-Rescue International (FRI), the annual conference of the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC).
FRI will offer current and future career and volunteer fire chiefs and chief fire officers throughout the international community information and education to enhance their professionalism and capabilities. In addition, FRI will feature more than 400 exhibitors who’ll showcase their products and services for fire and emergency service leaders.
Watch highlights from FRI 2014 in Dallas.
Education and Professional Growth
More than 170 educational sessions will be offered as a forum for leaders to share information and best practices on a range of topics important to the fire and emergency service. Topics will include firefighter health and safety, operations, community risk reduction, emergency medical services, leadership, all-hazards response management and administration/human relations. Sessions include:
- Firefighter Safety Through Advanced Research (FSTAR)
- Terrorism Impact on the Fire Service
- Taking Community Risk Reduction to the Streets
- Pipeline Emergency Preparedness: Creating a Preplan for Your Department
- Beyond Compliance: Fire Safety for People with Disabilities
- Overcoming Leadership Challenges in Volunteer and Combination Fire Departments
Other sessions will explore social and cultural challenges that fire departments face both inside and outside the firehouse doors. Sessions include:
- Identifying and Removing Barriers to Advancement of Women in the Fire Service
- Challenging Racism in Emergency Services
- Do You Have the Courage to Practice Inclusive Leadership?
- Challenging Sexism in the Fire Service – 2015 and Beyond
The general session, 8–11 AM Thursday, August 27, will feature a panel discussion among high-profile fire chiefs on topics most important to fire and emergency service leaders. In a free-flowing open-dialogue setting, several accomplished fire chiefs will share what they’ve learned through their careers and discuss the challenges facing today’s leaders.
Also during the general session, the 2015 Fire Chief of the Year awards will be presented by Chief G. Keith Bryant, IAFC president and chairman of the board, and Pierce Manufacturing. One volunteer and one career department chief will be honored as Fire Chiefs of the Year for their leadership, innovation, professional development, integrity, service to the public and contributions as a whole to the fire service.
Bryant and Motorola Solutions will then present the IAFC’s most prestigious award, the International Benjamin Franklin Fire Service Award for Valor. Since 1970, the award has honored a first responder for his or her expert training, professional service and dedication to the duty displayed in saving a human life.
The general session concludes with the installation of the 2015-16 officers. They include Chief Rhoda Mae Kerr, Austin (Texas) Fire Department, who will become the first woman in the IAFC’s 142-year history to serve as president and chair of the board; Chief John Sinclair, Kittitas County (Wash.) Fire District 2, who will be installed as first vice president; the second vice president pending the outcome of the membership election and Chief Bryant, Oklahoma City Fire Department, who will be installed as 2014-15 past president.
The FRI exhibit hall will feature hundreds of exhibitors displaying the latest products, services and technologies the fire service industry has to offer. Live demonstrations, health and wellness exhibits and a silent auction are some of the events planned. The exhibit hall will be open Friday, August 28, and Saturday, August 29.
Other FRI Highlights
- IAFC Diversity Breakfast
Friday, August 28, 7-8:30 AM
Leaders discuss fostering diversity and inclusiveness in their departments and throughout the fire and emergency service.
Speakers: Joel Baker, fire chief, Atlanta Fire Department; Ernie Mitchell, U.S. fire administrator; Rhoda Mae Kerr, fire chief, Austin Fire Department and incoming IAFC president.
- Firefighter Throwdown
Friday, August 28–Saturday, August 29
Description: The Firefighter Throwdown combines firefighters and fitness in a challenging athletic competition that requires overall strength, endurance and a tough spirit.
- 9/11 Stair Climb
Saturday, August 29. Climb begins at 9:10 AM
Description: Honor those first responders who lost their lives on September 11, 2001. Participants will climb the equivalent of 110 flights of stairs, the same number of floors as the World Trade Center. This is not a timed event or race; it’s a way for firefighters to honor and remember the fallen firefighters from that day. Proceeds benefit the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation.
Members of the news media interested in attending FRI should contact Jim Philipps at 703-537-4829 for information.
About the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC)
The IAFC represents the leadership of firefighters and emergency responders worldwide. IAFC members are the world's leading experts in firefighting, emergency medical services, terrorism response, hazardous materials spills, natural disasters, search and rescue, and public safety legislation. Since 1873, the IAFC has provided a forum for its members to exchange ideas, develop professionally and uncover the latest products and services available to first responders. Learn more