Firehouse Expo Speaker Profile: Michael Terpak

Michael Terpak is presenting "Fires in Lightweight Construction" at Firehouse Expo in July. Learn more about Deputy Chief Terpak and his program.

What will attendees to your program walk away with?

Firefighter and fire officers from every town and city across the country has buildings in their area of responsibility that are built of lightweight construction. Identifying the inherent dangers, diagnosing the options, and providing an operational guideline is what attendees will walk away from my program with.

What is the story behind your class?

As a member of the fire service for the last 38 years, my department had to transition to understanding the challenges of lightweight construction. During that time, I took a more analytical  approach to when we could "dig-in" and when we couldn't. This class is based on that transition and change.

Tell us about your time in the fire service.

I have been in the fire service for 38 years with the last 34 years at the Jersey City, N.J., Fire Department where I am a deputy chief and city-wide tour commander. During my I worked in the city's Lafayette and Greenville, Rescue 1, was a battalion chief in the second battalion and headed the city's training division. I travel extensively around the country lecturing on fire and rescue topics and. I founded  Promotional Prep, a New Jersey-based consulting firm designed to prepare firefighters and fire officers studying for promotional exams. 

What has been the highlight of your career?

Each day is a highlight. Responding to incidents with a compliment of firefighters and fire officers and being able to return home with the same number of men and women. I hope that continues.

What’s one piece of advice that you can give to Firehouse Expo attendees to make it a great experience?

The key to successful firefighting is based on your ability to anticipate. There are only two avenues to pursue to become a good anticipator. Anticipation is based on your education and experience. As a attendee of the Firehouse Expo you're in the right place to enhance both. Enjoy it!

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: