Ok, so the other night, I gave you a little taste of our experience in Chicago but, I have to tell you that there was so much more. Yea, we had fun..ok.. we had a LOT of fun but, we also worked a little and learned even more. Although I wasn’t able to attend any of the lectures / seminars, because of where we were and who I was with, I actually got to hear the “meat and potatoes” of a lot of the “hot topics”. Let me explain. For starters, Dave Statter and The National Fallen Firefighter Memorial were a big reason and help in us (Rhett / firefighter netcast) being there. Statter is the host of Fire Hero Radio and did several interviews / pod cast while at FRI. If you don’t know by now, I am and have been a big fan of Dave and this week we actually got to meet face to face.
He was NOT a disappointment in person. Statter’s work and passion for the NFFF was not only admirable but intoxicating. We did a short pod cast late in the day on our last at the show. He and his wife spoke of the grounds and surrounding area of the memorial and the conversation was near spiritual. Beyond that podcast, I was also able to hear Richard Gist discuss the NFFF’s Behavioral Health Initiative as well as listen in on a talk with NFFF Director of Fire Programs Victor Stagnaro.
Other NFFF interviews included topics such as Everyone Goes Home Program discussed with Ralph Webster and Mike Brooks.
If you are not familiar with the National Fallen Firefighter Foundation YOU SHOULD BE. It was humbling to learn and see just a small piece of how much work and effort goes into keeping the foundation running and in the public eye. The 29th Memorial is coming up October 2nd and 3rd 2010, make plans to attend now.
Another huge reason for our attendance was due in no small part to Fire Rescue Magazine. We were set up in their booth. Tim Sendelbach is the Editor in Chief and he was with us from day 1.
Fire Rescue Magazine was a huge contributor / sponsor of FRI so Tim had access to all of the speakers. Tim began the week with an interview with Chief Conneally who was the event’s keynote speaker!
Tim stayed in front of the mic tirelessly to capture the hottest topics from FRI straight from the presenters mouths. We heard Tony Kern speak on “The War on Error Management”. We heard Billy Schmidt speak on “Training Management” as well as Martha Ellis on “Firefighter Fitness”. Rick Black, Butch Cobb and Ralph Donio were interviewed on ISO and Accreditation. Other interviews included Brian Crawford, Marc Revere. Adam Thiel spoke of Fire Service Challenges and the value of labor / management relationships.
Tim spoke with Chris Riley on Leadership and the Company Officer Handbook. I even got to hear Tim interview the past and newly elected President’s of The IAFC Jeff Johnson and Jack Parrow on the challenges and future plans for IAFC and FRI!Now, I didn’t list titles with any of the above names for fear of getting them wrong, but trust me.. everyone of them are a Chief Officer with “EFO” and /or “CEO” behind their name along with many more credits (these people know what they are talking about).
Another “big name” / company that was partly responsible for us being there was Go Forward Media. I have to tell ya.. if it involves the Internet or getting your name out there, Dave Iannone, Chris Hebert and Paul Andrews are the guys to see! That’s part of the big announcement I’ve been telling you about. I’m making the move and the guys are bringing me over to The Fire / EMS Blog Network. This is a humbling and HUGE step for me and this little rag of a blog. That said, I guess I’m gonna have to step it up a little. Now Chris and I talked quite a bit about it and he said to keep doing what I’ve been doing. Apparently people like my style of writing and enjoy the blog. I guess it has been my past content / post (here and at Engine 9 blog) that has allowed me to make the jump to such a well rounded and respected group but, I still feel that this group deserves a little more. That said, I will continue to post as I have in the past but plan to add a “spin” as well. I’ll try to weigh in on some local, state or national events / news and maybe add in a little training column here and there… who knows. I know you’ll like the new look and hope you’ll enjoy the small changes. I know I’m excited. Let me know w
hat you think. It will take us a week or so to make all the necessary changes so hang in there…it will be well worth the wait. Ok, so theres a little wrap up of Chicago, I’m on 4 day break and back in the hay fields but will try to get another post up soon. Don’t forget to follow me on Facebook and Twitter (this is a huge help for the “big switch” so tell all your friends too). Thanks again for following, stay safe and in the house, I’ll see ya soon.
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