Recall: Fire Service Vets Shared Expertise at Firehouse Expo '14

Another Firehouse Expo is in the books.

Many personnel took advantage of learning from some of the nation’s fire service veterans.

In addition to hands-on opportunities at the Baltimore City Fire training academy and an acquired structure, firefighters heard about such things as  basement fires, fitness, foam systems and arsonists in the ranks.

The audience fell silent during open ceremonies as David Griffin, an engineer with the Charleston Fire Department, told them about his bout with depression following the deaths of nine colleagues.

He spoke of his battles as well as the pride he feels seeing the changes his department has made.

Attendees also learned how a small town fire chief in Canada handled the unthinkable last July -- his entire downtown was on fire following a fiery derailment of cars carrying crude oil.

In his first presentation in the United States, Lac Megantic Fire Chief Denis Lauzon discussed how no amount of training or plans could prepare him for what he faced. 

The incident -- which claimed 47 lives -- was deemed the greatest environmental disaster in Quebec history. 

In another offering, crews learned that not all firehouses look alike. In fact, some are downright cool, as one architect put it.

A presenter showed photos of a simple shoebox-shaped fire station in Germany, a station with a public park on its roof in Taiwan as well as one like a palace in  Tromso, Norway.

Firehouse's Station Design project director Janet Wilmoth said she was pleased with the day-long session.

Among the other presentations was one on a top many wish would be extinguished forever – firefighters who start fires.

Montgomery Township, Pa. Fire Chief Bill Wiegman said a centralized data collection system is necessary.

He also outlined certain behaviors that may indicate there’s a fire-setter in the midst.

Take a look at other sessions presented at Firehouse Expo, and make some of these part of your next drill or discussion: