The National Fire and Emergency Services Symposium is something you can only experience in our nation’s capital. No other event in the fire service features federal policy makers and national fire service leaders for a program that covers a broad array of important federal issues being considered by Congress or implemented by federal agencies. Nor does any other event boast such an extensive assembly of distinguished and knowledgeable experts on national fire service issues.

Our seminar presenters include association leaders and policy makers who are experts in such areas as first responder communications, emergency medical services, building codes, leadership, public safety education, and health and wellness.

Federal presenters participate and listen to how our government can be more responsive to the concerns and needs of the fire and emergency services.

The CFSI seminar program delivers a unique two-day educational experience to learn about the inner workings of the legislative process and policy implementation, increase your understanding of federal programs that benefit the fire service, and communicate directly with federal agency officials.

Attending the seminars program and interacting with federal policy makers serves to enhance greater awareness about our needs and challenges. It is important for all fire and emergency services officials to participate in this event, and for city and town officials to encourage them to attend.

There is not another opportunity during the year for this distinct opportunity to meet federal agency officials, national association professionals, fire officials, and industry leaders of so many diverse organizations who advocate for the fire service on Capitol Hill.

2018 Seminar Schedule

Schedule is tentative and subject to change.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Opening Session: 30th Annual National Fire and Emergency Services Symposium
10:00 a.m. – 10:50 a.m.
Columbia Hall 7, Washington Hilton

The Congressional Fire Services Institute is honored to host the 30th Annual National Fire and Emergency Services Symposium and Dinner. The opening session will reflect upon the many successes the fire service has experience on Capitol Hill over the past three decades and will discuss some of the challenges we will face in the future.

Looking to the Future: How to Recruit a More Diverse and Inclusive Workforce
11:00 a.m. – 11:50 a.m.
Columbia Hall 7, Washington Hilton

A diverse and inclusive workforce enables trust between the  community and its local fire department. Leadership is the key in creating an inclusive environment.  This seminar will review specific ideas and successful practices that have been implemented throughout the country to recruit people with different skill sets and backgrounds to enhance the capabilities of department.

Introducing Resources for Public Education on Safe Driving Practices at Emergency Response Scenes
11:00 a.m. – 11:50 a.m.
Columbia Hall 5, Washington Hilton

Every day across America, distracted and uninformed drivers pose a major threat to the safety and wellbeing of first responders who risk their own lives when they respond to traffic incidents. This seminar will showcase fire service training and public outreach tools that can be used to keep first responders and the public safer at roadside incidents.

Synthetic Opioids and the Risks to First Responders
12 noon – 12:50 p.m.
Columbia Hall 7, Washington Hilton

Synthetic opioids, such as fentanyl, can have a potency 50-100 times greater than morphine.  As these dangerous substances are increasingly used as an additive in heroin and other controlled substances, they pose a great risk to firefighters, EMS personnel, and other first responders engaged in emergency medical response.  In June of 2017, the Drug Enforcement Agency DEA) released guidelines for first responders regarding the handling of fentanyl, carfentanil and other synthetic opioids.  This session will review policies and procedures first responders should consider when encountering synthetic opioids.

Recruiting Your Replacement (And Keeping Them There)
12 noon – 12:50 p.m.
Columbia Hall 5, Washington Hilton

For centuries, the foundation of the fire service has rested upon the dedication of individuals who are committed to responding when their communities are in need. Yet, as that mission continues to increase in frequency and complexity, fewer people are willing to serve. This seminar will review actual examples of successful recruitment and retention activities and explain factors that cause manpower and morale issues and thwart them before they take hold.

National Level Policy Challenges and Opportunities in Fire Service-Based EMS
1:00 p.m. – 1:50 p.m.
Columbia Hall 7, Washington Hilton

This seminar will focus on national-level policy challenges and opportunities that impact the delivery of fire service-based EMS within the fire and emergency services community. The session will address how potential changes in national health care might impact EMS management and regulation. It will also discuss the EMS 2050 Project and how it could impact fire departments that provide EMS. An overview of the Fire Service-Based EMS Advocates Coalition will also be provided.

Game Changing New Technologies for Community Risk Reduction
1:00 p.m. – 1:50 p.m.
Columbia Hall 5, Washington Hilton

The seminar will present information on changes in technology that can greatly impact the most prevalent fires in the U.S. – kitchen fires – and will address the reasons why nearly two-thirds of people who die in home fires do so where a smoke alarm is either not present, or not working.  It will also present advances in technology that have the potential to reduce risks for local communities.

Firefighter Health, Wellness and Safety: Federal Policy – Regulation – Legislation
2:00 p.m. – 2:50 p.m.
Columbia Hall 7, Washington Hilton

This seminar will explore the status of specific federal policies, regulations and legislation that address  firefighter health, wellness and safety. Panelists will cover such areas as injury and line-of-duty death prevention; physical well-being and monitoring; psychological and emotional wellness; and firefighter  occupational cancer among other diseases.

Preparing to Better Manage and Respond to Wildfire in the Wildland-Urban Interface: Fire Adapted Communities
2:00 p.m. – 2:50 p.m.
Columbia Hall 5, Washington Hilton

Wildfires  continue to increase, leaving a swath of destruction across many parts of our country.  These fires pose increased risks to firefighters and citizens and destroy any property in their path.  Recent disasters, such as the Chimney Tops 2 fire in Tennessee and the California wildfires, demonstrate  just how devastating fires in the Wildland-Urban Interface (WUI) can be when wildland fuels and homes intersect. The presenters will cover the concept of fire-adapted communities, outlining how departments and local communities can prepare for the next disaster.  Examples of best practices from communities around the country will be presented that demonstrate how these approaches can be incorporated into local policy.

Occupational Health & Safety Research: Where are We Now and Where are We Going?
3:00 p.m. – 3:50 p.m.
Columbia Hall 7, Washington Hilton

FEMA’s Assistance to Firefighter Grant’s (AFG) Research and Development Program has dedicated significant funding to understanding the health and safety needs of United States firefighters. The investment has led to dramatic advancements in research on firefighter health and safety issues by a broad collection of scientific teams. Panelists will review the increased knowledge of the cardiovascular risks of firefighting, cancer risk, behavioral health, modifiable risk factors, and concerns specific to women and minority firefighters that have resulted from the research. Ideas  for future areas of  research also will be discussed.

Coalition for Construction Fire Safety
3:00 p.m. – 3:50 p.m.
Columbia Hall 5, Washington Hilton

Fires during construction occur when the structure is most vulnerable: fire protection systems and equipment may not be in place, fire resistive construction and opening protectives may not be complete, and a huge variety flammable and combustible material has accumulated on a job site.  To address the problem and bring public safety into focus, several global and national organizations have joined together to create the Coalition for Construction Fire Safety.  This seminar will review the work of the Coalition to collect information on these construction fires, analyzes their causes and consequences, and develop strategies to reduce the number and severity of fires.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

CFSI Town Hall Meeting: “Engaging Future Leaders”
2:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Columbia Hall 7, Washington Hilton

The theme of the 30th Annual National Fire and Emergency Services Symposium and Dinner is “Engaging Future Leaders.” To maintain the strength and active presence of the fire service in Washington, DC, it is imperative to encourage future leaders to step forward and contribute their talents and expertise to our mission.  The 2018 CFSI Town Hall Meeting will be an open discussion on how the current generation of fire service leaders can identify and develop potential future leaders within their organizations and departments.