By Chris Mc Loone
The days start early at the Fire Department Instructors Conference (FDIC) in Indianapolis as hundreds gather to participate in the most intense training available. It is easy to separate the new attendees from the return attendees by the dark circles under their eyes or lack thereof.
Once HOT attendees load the buses however, whether you are a new or return customer, the anticipation to get started is tangible as well as the enthusiasm once on site.
The first thing one notices when arriving at some HOT sites is the complexity of the training. For example, Tim Moore’s group at Zore’s year after year works with FDIC HOT instructors to create rescue scenarios you don’t see anywhere else. As Moore put it, when the instructors arrive at his salvage yard, the question he received this year is, “can we go shopping?”
Not only is the buy-in from Indianapolis and surrounding communities and businesses invaluable to FDIC, but also support from the equipment providers. Not only are firefighters learning techniques, they are also using top-of-the-line tools and equipment. The beauty of FDIC is the knowledge it imparts for today’s fire service leaders to bring back to their own departments, but also the recommendations for equipment.
As the week progresses, the circles under the eyes may get darker, and it may be harder to get out of bed, but it’s for the right reasons—training today’s leaders so they can return to their departments and train tomorrow’s leaders.