Registration Opens for Firehouse World

The conference features more than 70 percent new classes and a few surprises.

There’s arguably no better place to be than San Diego in February, so why not head there for Firehouse World which is scheduled for Feb. 19-23 at the San Diego Convention Center.

Registration has just opened and this year marks the 10th anniversary of the show, convening in the Southern California city by the sea.  Many of the classes, especially those involving hands-on-training (HOT) have limited enrollments and fill quickly.

“We have added a number of timely topics this year,” said Harvey Eisner, Editor-in-Chief of Firehouse magazine and Firehouse Event Conference Director, who has responsibilities for selecting and organizing classes.

Eisner said there are more than 10 new topical classes covering events that have been in the news from natural disasters to financial catastrophes and issues that many of the nation’s fire departments are facing daily.

Ed Nichols, vice president of events for Cygnus’ Public Safety and Security Group, said, “The entire team is energized and working incredibly hard to deliver a new experience at this year’s Firehouse World consistent with the innovative thinking that the fire-service expects from the Firehouse brand.”

Among those new things  is Firehouse’s co-hosting of a fundraising event onboard the USS Midway, docked in San Diego, with the proceeds going to the San Diego Burn Institute through the San Diego County Chiefs Association. This is the third year Firehouse has been in a contract with the Burn Institute to increase support for the organization.

Another new feature of this year’s show is a firefighter health and wellness area on the show floor with some hands-on CrossFit training programs with firefighters and instructors from San Diego County.

Even 70 percent of the classes are new this year, according to Nichols.

Among those topical classes is one on finances called “The Economy and Concepts that Frame our Future” –  a leadership class taught by Cliff Jones, a retired Tempe (Ariz.) Fire Chief. The class will look at current economic conditions and how leaders need to approach them for the 21st century.

A related class called “Group Purchasing…Save Time and Money!” will look at a trend gaining traction in the fire service because of the saving and the avoidance of RFPs. The class will be taught by Jeff Johnson, CEO of Western Fire Chiefs Association.

Also ripped from the headlines is a class devoted to lessons learned from several hurricanes that have recently wreaked havoc. Called “From Katrina to Irene: Lessons in Healthcare Facility Evacuation,” the class will look at the challenges encountered and lessons learned while evacuating facilities due to devastating storms.

Another hot button in the fire and emergency medical services is the use of social media as the popularity of those types of communications blossom.

That topic will be covered in a class taught by Nick Schuler, Field Battalion Chief with CAL Fire Incident Command Team 9. The class, called “Social Media Best Practices for EMS and Fire Agencies,” will look at innovative uses of social media for communicating with the public and how CAL Fire has started using Skype to give live interviews to the media from the field.

A new class that is sure to be popular due to its name is “Damn that was Close.” Taught by Mike Dugan, a captain with FDNY and a contributing editor to Firehouse magazine, the fireground decision-making class will review problems confronted by firefighters and officers that endanger them and their teams.

A class that is sure to be an emotional rollercoaster is one being taught by a Winnipeg, Canada firefighter who survived a flashover in 2007 that severely injured four firefighters and killed two veteran captains.

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