Why I Teach: Candice McDonald

In this series, Fire Engineering Associate Editor Rob Maloney looks at the things that motivated and inspired instructors to present on their topics at FDIC International 2016. Segments will be posted on a regular basis up to and through the conference, April 18-23.

Candice McDonald, Firefighter/EMS Officer, Winona (OH) Fire Department

Preventing Member Derailment and Embarrassment in the Fire Service

Friday, April 22, 8:30 a.m.-10:15 a.m

I chose this topic for FDIC because I want to protect the integrity on which the fire service was founded. Receiving the e-mail that my course was selected for FDIC was truly a highlight of my fire service career. I have been teaching in the fire service for about five years; this will be fourth year at FDIC and my first year presenting. I had always dreamed of being able to share the message at the largest fire conference in the world. I still can’t believe it is real!

My grandmother always wanted to be a firefighter, but in her era, it was still believed that women belonged in the kitchen and not on a fire truck. Her encouraging me that I could be a firefighter was a huge inspiration. I am living the dream she wasn’t offered the opportunity to.

My background as a certified counselor and years of experience in non-profit marketing provided me a unique opportunity to share a skill set. The high point of teaching is that I  can meet so many great people from around the world. The low point is there not enough time to travel around the country to fill all of the requests I get. I still I have a full-time job and a family that come first.

The small investment in attending FDIC can change your life! It’s the place enjoy amazing opportunities and make life-changing connections. I met some of my most valued mentors at FDIC, and where I chose to pursue becoming Dr. McDonald, which will become a reality this December! I have made lasting friendships from around the world here.

Outside of the firehouse, I work for NASA in the Office of Protective Services. Since I am in the last six months of my doctorate, I don’t have a lot of time for hobbies. However, I do enjoy camping with friends, scuba diving with my family, and any moment I can get with my kids. I look forward to finishing up my doctorate and being able to get back to writing articles for Fire Engineering!  I miss writing on topics I am passionate about.

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