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  • Webinar - Social Fitness – Skills to Improve Community Relations for the Volunteer Firefighter

    Contains 2 Component(s)

    The public appreciates good customer service when dealing with an organization, and the same is true for your volunteer fire department. While performing skillfully during calls is the trademark of competent firefighters, the public may judge you on other things, such as how you acted during a call and how they were treated. Join Tom Merrill for this free webinar to sharpen your social fitness skills and improve your department’s customer service reputation. In a field where many situations are out of your control, learn more about what is in your direct control – a caring attitude, timely responses, and true empathy.

    The public appreciates good customer service when dealing with an organization, and the same is true for your volunteer fire department. While performing skillfully during calls is the trademark of competent firefighters, the public may judge you on other things, such as how you acted during a call and how they were treated. Join Tom Merrill for this free webinar to sharpen your social fitness skills and improve your department’s customer service reputation. In a field where many situations are out of your control, learn more about what is in your direct control – a caring attitude, timely responses, and true empathy.

    Tom Merrill

    Tom Merrill is a 37-year fire department veteran and serves with the Snyder Fire Department, which is located in Amherst, New York (first ring suburb of the City of Buffalo). He served 26 years as a department officer including 15 years in the chief officer ranks. He was chief of department from 2007-2012 and currently serves as a Fire Commissioner for the Snyder Fire District. Tom has conducted various fire service presentations throughout the country including FDIC, The National Volunteer Fire Council Training Summit, VCOS and many other national, state and regional conferences. His popular presentation "The Professional Volunteer Fire Department" is based on the series of articles he has written for Fire Engineering regarding developing and maintaining a professional reputation in the volunteer fire service. In addition Tom delivers keynote addresses and other presentations focusing on leadership, officer development, engine company operations and fire service history, heritage and pride.  Tom also hosts a regular podcast sponsored by Fire Engineering titled “The Professional Volunteer Fire Department” and he is employed full time as a fire dispatcher for the Town of Amherst Fire Alarm Office.

  • Webinar - Onboarding New Volunteers: Strategies for Long-Term Retention

    Contains 1 Component(s)

    Volunteer fire departments are constantly recruiting new members into their ranks. One of the most important, but often overlooked, steps in the recruitment process is onboarding new firefighters. The long-term retention of firefighters begins with the onboarding process. Join Jason Decremer, PhD, director of certification for the Connecticut Commission on Fire Prevention and Control, for this free webinar that will examine the best practices for onboarding new firefighters by taking participants through a series of strategies that will help ensure your department has a properly managed onboarding process that leads to long-term retention of firefighters.

    Volunteer fire departments are constantly recruiting new members into their ranks. One of the most important, but often overlooked, steps in the recruitment process is onboarding new firefighters. The long-term retention of firefighters begins with the onboarding process. Join Jason Decremer, PhD, director of certification for the Connecticut Commission on Fire Prevention and Control, for this free webinar that will examine the best practices for onboarding new firefighters by taking participants through a series of strategies that will help ensure your department has a properly managed onboarding process that leads to long-term retention of firefighters.

    Jason Decremer, PhD

    Jason Decremer, PhD, is the director of Certification for the Connecticut Commission on Fire Prevention and Control. He is responsible for over 40 levels of national certification testing for approximately 30,000 firefighters statewide. Decremer has been a member of the volunteer fire service for 20 years. He also is an adjunct professor at the University of New Haven and Goodwin University, teaching courses in Homeland Security and Fire Administration. He has taught Recruitment & Retention courses across the nation, most recently as an instructor with the IAFC. He received his PhD in public policy and administration from Walden University and a master’s degree in curriculum design and education from the University of Phoenix. He lives in Southbury, CT with his wife Carina and three children.

  • Virtual Summit 2021 - Extinguishing the Flames of Liability

    Contains 2 Component(s)

    This timely, interactive program will explore the leader's role and responsibility in keeping their firefighters alive, out of jail, and out of the local headlines. The course is appropriate for board members, line officers and general membership. We will discuss current trends and threats in the fire service that are causing issues for fire service organizations across the nation. Specific topics will include apparatus operations, sexual harassment and social media challenges, substance abuse, PTSD and poor leadership skills. The program will use real-life scenarios and challenge the students to ask themselves if each example could currently happen in their own departments.

    This timely, interactive program will explore the leader's role and responsibility in keeping their firefighters alive, out of jail, and out of the local headlines. The course is appropriate for board members, line officers and general membership. We will discuss current trends and threats in the fire service that are causing issues for fire service organizations across the nation. Specific topics will include apparatus operations, sexual harassment and social media challenges, substance abuse, PTSD and poor leadership skills. The program will use real-life scenarios and challenge the students to ask themselves if each example could currently happen in their own departments. 

    David Denniston

    As Director of Risk Management for Emergency Services Insurance Program with McNeil & Co, Dave works with emergency service organizations across the US . He is the Past Chief of The Cortlandville Fire Department in Upstate New York and A Fire Commissioner in the Virgil Fire District. Dave serves Cortland County as a Deputy Fire Coordinator and is a Director for the Association of Fire Districts in the State of NY. Dave served as the Foundation Secretary for the NVFC. His experience also includes being Treasurer of several non-profit organizations and a Board Member for the First National Bank of Dryden.  

  • Virtual Summit 2021 - Taboos in the Fire Service

    Contains 2 Component(s)

    We claim 200+ years of tradition unimpeded by progress. The truth is, we’ve seen dramatic changes in the fire service. Yet, there are things that we’re afraid to talk about; homosexuals, race relations, PTSD, suicide, cancer, relationships, female firefighters, substance abuse, resistance to change, the impacts of social media... the list is endless. This interactive session will touch on things we're afraid to talk about, and send you out thinking. Check your feelings at the door & be open minded.

    We claim 200+ years of tradition unimpeded by progress. The truth is, we’ve seen dramatic changes in the fire service. Yet, there are things that we’re afraid to talk about; homosexuals, race relations, PTSD, suicide, cancer, relationships, female firefighters, substance abuse, resistance to change, the impacts of social media... the list is endless. This interactive session will touch on things we're afraid to talk about, and send you out thinking. Check your feelings at the door & be open minded.

    Dan Maffia

    Dan has over 30 years fire service experience and is currently a Battalion Chief with the City of Fayetteville, NC, FD. He has also served with several volunteer & combination services rising to the rank of Assistant Chief. His instructing experience spans nearly 20 years, and he is an international lecturer, speaking on a wide variety of topics. He holds AA degrees in Fire Protection and Emergency Management, and is currently enrolled in the National Fire Academy's Managing Officer program.

  • Virtual Summit 2021 - Lessons Learned: Roadway Incident Safety & Survival

    Contains 2 Component(s)

    Struck-by-vehicle incidents involving firefighters and emergency vehicles at incident scenes are increasing. This session will look at several case studies of secondary crashes at incident scenes and review what has worked to protect personnel and motorists and review what still needs to be done to prevent struck-by-vehicle incidents. This session will explore what a fire department can do to protect personnel at incident scenes.

    Struck-by-vehicle incidents involving firefighters and emergency vehicles at incident scenes are increasing. This session will look at several case studies of secondary crashes at incident scenes and review what has worked to protect personnel and motorists and review what still needs to be done to prevent struck-by-vehicle incidents. This session will explore what a fire department can do to protect personnel at incident scenes.

    John (Jack) Sullivan

    CSP, CFPS

    Jack became a firefighter and EMS provider in 1972 and eventually served the Paoli (PA) Fire Co. as Deputy Chief. He has also served as a firefighter in Chesterfield County, VA, and as Lt. and Safety Officer for Lionville (PA) Fire-Rescue. Although retired from active emergency response after 23 years of service, Jack serves as the Director of Training for the Emergency Responder Safety Institute (www.respondersafety.com). Jack is a member of the Safety, Health and Survival Section of the International Assoc. of Fire Chiefs (IAFC), the International Society of Fire Service Instructors (ISFSI), and the Fire Department Safety Officers Association (FDSOA). He is a Principal Member of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Technical Committee for Traffic Incident Management Professional Qualifications which developed NFPA 1091: Standard for Traffic Incident Management Professional Qualifications (2019). In January of 2018 Jack was selected to receive the 2018 Fire Dept. Safety Officers Assoc. (FDSOA) Dave Dodson Lifetime Service Award and in April of 2019 Jack was recognized with an “Excellence in Instruction” Award from the International Society of Fire Service Instructors (ISFSI).

    Jack graduated from the Co-Op Program at Drexel University in Philadelphia in 1978 with a B.S. in Business Administration – Management. He is a Certified Safety Professional (CSP), and a Professional Member of The American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE), where he has served as President of the Colonial Virginia Chapter. He is also a Certified Fire Protection Specialist (CFPS). 

    Jack is a subject matter expert on roadway incident operations and emergency responder safety and promotes proactive strategies and tactics for protecting emergency workers from being struck by vehicles while working on or near roadways. He is a Technical Member of the National Committee on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (NCUTCD) and currently serves as the Task Group Leader for the Temporary Traffic Control Committee that is responsible for Chapter 6i of the Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD). Jack teaches Traffic Incident Management & Responder Safety Workshops for multi-agency emergency responder groups for the Emergency Responder Safety Institute and he is a Master Instructor for the FHWA SHRP 2 Traffic Incident Management Train-the-Trainer Workshops being taught nationwide.

  • Virtual Summit 2021 - Firefighter Cancer: Latest Research and Prevention Technique 2021

    Contains 2 Component(s)

    This class will discuss the latest research and cancer prevention techniques from departments across the country, as well as the latest changes in NFPA 1500 & 1851 standards relating to firefighter cancer issues, including personnel exposure reduction and the proper cleaning and storage of PPE. Lastly, we will discuss the research and justifications behind the "red/yellow/green" zones in fire station design, the "clean cab" concept, and what all this means for the future of the fire service!

    This class will discuss the latest research and cancer prevention techniques from departments across the country, as well as the latest changes in NFPA 1500 & 1851 standards relating to firefighter cancer issues, including personnel exposure reduction and the proper cleaning and storage of PPE. Lastly, we will discuss the research and justifications behind the "red/yellow/green" zones in fire station design, the "clean cab" concept, and what all this means for the future of the fire service! 

    Keith Tyson (Moderator)

    Keith Tyson is Vice President for Education and Research at the Firefighter Cancer Support Network.  He’s presented on the cancer issue within the fire service to the NVFC, IAFF, the IAFC, FDSOA, FDIC, NFFF Tampa 2 conference, and other relevant fire service organizations.  He sits on several national research committees addressing this pressing topic and has multiple articles published in fire service journals including, Fire Engineering, FDSOA, FASNY, PFIA Protector, JOIFF’s Catalyst & more.  

  • Virtual Summit 2021 - Congratulations, You've Been Promoted...Now What?

    Contains 2 Component(s)

    Are you prepared to survive - and better yet, thrive - as a newly promoted leader? This fast-moving presentation will run through the first one hundred days following your promotion - and beyond. What you should look for, what you should ask, and what you must do to keep moving forward. This presentation will cover a myriad of topics including lifetime learning, ethics, knowing your strengths and weaknesses, using social media, and more.

    Are you prepared to survive - and better yet, thrive - as a newly promoted leader? This fast-moving presentation will run through the first one hundred days following your promotion - and beyond. What you should look for, what you should ask, and what you must do to keep moving forward. This presentation will cover a myriad of topics including lifetime learning, ethics, knowing your strengths and weaknesses, using social media, and more.

    F.R. Montes de Oca

    Frank Montes de Oca is a former fire chief serving communities in FL, OH, and NC, with over three decades of experience in fire, rescue, emergency management, EMS response and management and disaster response.  Chief Montes de Oca began his career as a firefighter in Orlando in 1972 serving as Chief of Emergency Medical Services, Bureau Commander for Safety and Training and Senior Operations Officer. Currently, he develops and delivers training programs for fire and public safety responders throughout the United States as a recognized instructor for the National Fire Academy, Emergency Management Institute, US Environmental Protection Agency and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

  • Virtual Summit 2021 - Showing Why You Are Worth Volunteering With

    Contains 2 Component(s)

    The fire service is reportedly showing a decrease in qualified candidates to enter the workforce, both career and volunteer, but there is a limited change in how recruiting is done. This session will provide tools and information that can be applied in departments. One-in-three American labor force are millennials, making them the largest generation in the workforce. This program will show you compelling ways to bring this group to volunteer because they see the difference they can make.

    The fire service is reportedly showing a decrease in qualified candidates to enter the workforce, both career and volunteer, but there is a limited change in how recruiting is done. This session will provide tools and information that can be applied in departments.  One-in-three American labor force are millennials, making them the largest generation in the workforce. This program will show you compelling ways to bring this group to volunteer because they see the difference they can make. 

    Bill Gardner

    Chief

    Senior Director of Fire Products at ESO, Chief Gardner retired in 2019 as the Fire Chief in Leander, Texas. After retiring from his fire service career, he returned as volunteer Sr Advisor at Leander Fire.  Bill began his firefighting career in 1985, working at various Municipal Fire, Emergency Management and Emergency Medical Services Departments. He was recognized twice as the Paramedic of the Year (1999 & 2001) at Austin/Travis Co. EMS, received a nomination for International Association of Fire Chiefs for the Fire Chief, Central Texas Firefighter of the Year, and was a finalist for Texas Firefighter of the Year. Gardner also served as the President of the Texas State Firefighters and Fire Marshals’ Association.

  • Virtual Summit 2021 - Officer Development & Leadership Success in the Volunteer Fire Service

    Contains 2 Component(s)

    This presentation focuses on the unique challenges faced by volunteer fire officers on the firematic (operations) side of the organization as well as the often-forgotten-about administrative side. The presentation strongly emphasizes the important role and the immense responsibilities that all officers have in taking care of their organization. Aspiring officers will be provided with a variety of ideas that can assist them in gaining support from their fellow members and all attendees will learn eight proven leadership traits that all fire department members can use to create and maintain a more unified and harmonious operation.

    This presentation focuses on the unique challenges faced by volunteer fire officers on the firematic (operations) side of the organization as well as the often-forgotten-about administrative side. The presentation strongly emphasizes the important role and the immense responsibilities that all officers have in taking care of their organization. Aspiring officers will be provided with a variety of ideas that can assist them in gaining support from their fellow members and all attendees will learn eight proven leadership traits that all fire department members can use to create and maintain a more unified and harmonious operation.

    Tom Merrill

    Tom Merrill is a 37-year fire department veteran and serves with the Snyder Fire Department, which is located in Amherst, New York (first ring suburb of the City of Buffalo). He served 26 years as a department officer including 15 years in the chief officer ranks. He was chief of department from 2007-2012 and currently serves as a Fire Commissioner for the Snyder Fire District. Tom has conducted various fire service presentations throughout the country including FDIC, The National Volunteer Fire Council Training Summit, VCOS and many other national, state and regional conferences. His popular presentation "The Professional Volunteer Fire Department" is based on the series of articles he has written for Fire Engineering regarding developing and maintaining a professional reputation in the volunteer fire service. In addition Tom delivers keynote addresses and other presentations focusing on leadership, officer development, engine company operations and fire service history, heritage and pride.  Tom also hosts a regular podcast sponsored by Fire Engineering titled “The Professional Volunteer Fire Department” and he is employed full time as a fire dispatcher for the Town of Amherst Fire Alarm Office.

  • Virtual Summit 2021 - Media Mayday: A Volunteer Fire Department's Guide to Dealing with the Media

    Contains 2 Component(s)

    An intro to media relations for the fire service - with battle-tested tips on dealing with the press on the fireground, back at the fire hall, and in a crisis - will be shared. Roles and duties of the media will be reviewed, including news gathering techniques. A recipe for good media relations that can be applied by any fire department to any type of event or other positive press opportunity will be presented, including how to deal with the negative side of media relations: crises and scandals.

    An intro to media relations for the fire service - with battle-tested tips on dealing with the press on the fireground, back at the fire hall, and in a crisis - will be shared. Roles and duties of the media will be reviewed, including news gathering techniques. A recipe for good media relations that can be applied by any fire department to any type of event or other positive press opportunity will be presented, including how to deal with the negative side of media relations: crises and scandals.

    Robert Leonard

    With 30 years as a firefighter/officer and EMT, Robert has led communications for large and small emergency agencies, including serving as the FDNY’s Deputy Director of Public Information and Deputy Press Secretary for Uniformed and Emergency Services for Mayor Rudolph Giuliani.  He is a senior executive at a national public relations firm, leading the public safety and local government practice, and chairs the Public Relations committee for the Firemen’s Association of the State of New York.