Firehouse asked Kevin Lewis about his "Risking a Little to Save a Lot" program that he will be presenting during Firehouse Expo in July.
What will attendees to your program walk away with?
Vent, Enter, Isolate, Search (VEIS) are still considered to be an "advanced" tactic for most fire service professionals. While attending this class, you'll receive the tools necessary to help you make split second decisions relating to this search tactic. A thorough understanding of the relationship between VEIS as related to recent scientific studies and reduced staffing situations are paramount to making these decisions accurately and safely. We do this to maximize firefighter safety while preserving the lives we are sworn to protect. This will allow us to operate as safely as possible while providing the maximum level of proficiency on the fireground. When you leave the class you'll know the history of search, VEIS size-up, evaluating risk/need for VEIS, specific step-by-step and how-to techniques.
What is the story behind your class?
It has been over six years in the making and it evolved from me having the desire to become a better firefighter. This, coupled with several near-miss incidents, injured members, and poorly executed VEIS techniques, all forced me to go back to asking myself what is our primary mission? Nothing has changed, it is still life safety. Search is at the top of this list and I want to help others to become better at it.
Tell us about your time in the fire service.
The fire service for me has been 19 years of fun, sorrow, excitement, pride and lots of passion. It has been a great learning experience every day and will continue to be for me. I still love coming to work as a lieutenant in Cobb County, Ga. every tour.
What has been the highlight of your career?
The highlight of my career has been my involvement with several firefighter charities and giving back to those who were lost, injured, and suffering. There is no greater feeling than stepping up to help one of our own who is down and in need. Seeing the look of "thanks, I knew you'd be there for me" is priceless every time.
What’s one piece of advice that you can give to Firehouse Expo attendees to make it a great experience?
Relax, enjoy and take it all in. Don't be shy, ask questions and share your experiences. I plan on learning as much from the attendees as I hope they might learn from me.
The 31st Firehouse Expo will take place in Baltimore, MD, July 15-19, at the Baltimore Convention Center. This year's conference offers over 90 education sessions, including hands-on training, in-depth workshops and classroom sessions. Find out more about Firehouse Expo, the exhibitors who will be showcasing their products and learn how to register go to: FirehouseExpo.com.