As Firehouse Sees It: A "Golden" Opportunity

The Firehouse World conference and exhibition returns to San Diego in the “Golden State” of California Feb. 17-20, 2014. The state’s nickname was made official in 1968, but traces its roots back to the discovery of gold there in 1848. Firehouse World traces its roots back a dozen years following the success of Firehouse Expo, born in 1984. This year in Baltimore, we will celebrate Firehouse Expo’s 30th anniversary.

This year, there are many reasons to attend the event at the San Diego Convention Center, including a variety of special opportunities for firefighters, officers, chiefs, EMTs, paramedics and a wide variety of other personnel designated in the emergency services. Attendees may choose from multi-faceted training and education sessions, including state and nationally certified classes in the fire and EMS fields. We have included a brand-new Integrated Mobile Health Care Summit among 18 EMS sessions as parts of this year’s program. All courses are available for continuing education units (CEUs).

Part of the excitement of the conference is a two-day exhibit hall featuring the latest and greatest apparatus, command vehicles, EMS units and the specialized equipment and protective gear that goes with it. Whether you recommend, specify or purchase, the equipment and associated products are on display in a one-stop-shop. Finally, there will be several social events where members of the fire and EMS services can meet other fellow members from around the city, state, region and country to compare, discuss and relate stories, fires and emergencies in a relaxed atmosphere. New this year is the Firefighter Throwdown, which is a new competition involving SoCal Crossfit that will bring firefighter athletes from around the country. This exciting new competition will be held adjacent to the Exhibit Floor. (See page 16 for details about the Firefighter Throwdown.)

On Tuesday night, Feb. 18, we are partnering with the San Diego Burn Institute to hold a fundraiser on the USS Midway Museum. Two years ago, this event held on the aircraft carrier’s hangar and flight deck was a success in both attendees having a great time and a lot of money being raised for the local Burn Institute. Those who attended the evening event on the Midway before have been looking to go back. This event is sponsored by many companies, including title sponsor Avon Protection. On Wednesday night, Feb. 19, the annual party at the San Diego City Fire Museum sponsored by Fire Etc. will be held. Over the years, I have met firefighters from all over at this event and we shared our stories. The places where the firefighters come from may change, but the firefighters stay the same.

Learn more about Firehouse World 2014 at


Recent headlines from Detroit concerning a judge’s ruling that the pensions of retired city workers, including firefighters, may come into question in the future. This is just the beginning and I am sure there will be much more discussion on this subject, especially in hard-hit, financially strapped cities and towns around the nation. n