By Richard Marinucci
There are many fire service conferences throughout the year, and one of the most unique is the Fire Department Safety Officers Association (FDSOA) Apparatus Specification and Maintenance Symposium.
It will be held January 15-18, 2017, in Orlando, Florida. It is different, in part, because of the size and format of the conference, which strongly encourage regular interaction of all attendees in addition to the outstanding programs and workshops.
Relationships are essential in every industry. This is especially true in the fire service, and those who embrace this are likely to be more successful in all aspects of the service. To take it a step further, strong relationships can greatly help in the entire area of fire apparatus management. This would include a “cradle-to-grave” perspective-obtaining the best apparatus with the funding available and maintaining that apparatus until it is retired. Reliable fire trucks that stay in service and provide for the specific needs of an organization are absolutely critical for those departments that have high expectations for quality service delivery.
The 29th Annual Fire Apparatus Specification and Maintenance Symposium is one such event that not only delivers quality workshops but also has many opportunities to improve your network. This is applicable to both suppliers and end users. Fire department personnel and vendors (manufacturers and suppliers) have many chances to talk and discuss all aspects of fire apparatus management. Any time there is interaction of this type, there is a boost to the knowledge of all participants. Those on the public sector side and those who are responsible to get quality fire trucks to municipalities both benefit from the formal and informal interaction.
The symposium is presented in cooperation with the Fire Apparatus Manufacturers’ Association (FAMA) and Fire Apparatus & Emergency Equipment. These relationships help to bring players from all aspects of the industry. As stated, relationships are extremely important for those in fire departments and those who provide the products. And, it is not just anyone who participates. Fire service attendees are the members of organizations that have influence or make decisions. They are passionate about apparatus. The apparatus and supplier attendees are those who have detailed knowledge of their products. The combination ensures that the most important information is being exchanged, and all attendees get the maximum benefit.
The symposium begins on Sunday January 15, 2017, with preconference sessions. The official program begins on Monday with the opening general session and concludes with a closing keynote on Wednesday. In between are various workshops covering all aspects of apparatus management. There are no large fire truck static displays because the purpose is to encourage interaction on more specific details. Almost all of the attendees will be in the same hotel-the Wyndham Hotel on International Drive-so there is plenty of opportunity to interact throughout the day.
As an added bonus, the FDSOA will hold its annual Safety Forum beginning on Wednesday, January 18, 2007. The opening keynote, presented by Dr. David Griffin of the Charlotte (SC) Fire Department, will also serve as the closing keynote for the Symposium. This event brings together safety officers from all around North America to hone their skills and to build their network. Those attending the Symposium are encouraged to stick around for this informative Forum. During this holiday season, give yourself a present and register to attend one or both of these conferences. You will not be disappointed. For more information on how to register and program content, go to www.fdsoa.org. We look forward to seeing you.
RICHARD MARINUCCI is the executive director of the Fire Department Safety Officers Association (FDSOA). He retired as chief of the Farmington Hills (MI) Fire Department in 2008, a position he had held since 1984. He is a Fire Apparatus & Emergency Equipment and Fire Engineering editorial advisory board member, a past president of the International Association of Fire Chiefs, and past chairman of the Commission on Chief Fire Officer Designation. In 1999, he served as acting chief operating officer of the U.S. Fire Administration for seven months. He has a master’s degree and three bachelor’s degrees in fire science and administration and has taught extensively.