2019 Seminar Program – Exchanging Knowledge to Advance Our Mission

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.

2019 Seminar Schedule

31st Annual National Fire and Emergency Services Symposium and Dinner
“Exchanging Knowledge to Advance Our Mission”
Course Schedule
(All seminars are eligible for 0.1 Continuing Education Units (CEUs) from Columbia Southern University)

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Opening Session: Exchanging Knowledge to Advance Our Mission
10:00 a.m. – 10:50 a.m.
Georgetown West, Washington Hilton
The opening session will reflect upon the mission of the national fire services organizations as it relates to advocacy on Capitol Hill, and how that mission has evolved over time.  What lessons can current fire service leaders impart on the next generation of advocates? What are some of the challenges we will face in the future?
Moderator: Bill Webb, Congressional Fire Services Institute
Kevin O’Connor, O’Connor CARES Solutions
Andy Quinn, McAllister & Quinn
Seth Statler, National Fire Protection Association

The Continuing Evolution of Fire Service-Based EMS
11:00 a.m. – 11:50 a.m.
Georgetown West, Washington Hilton
Fire Service-Based EMS policies, regulations, response models, training and other requirements continue to evolve. These critical service delivery systems have become sophisticated in every aspect of management and practice. This session covers recent evolutionary changes in fire service-based EMS in the areas of deployment, response, emergency transportation, and integrated community health care. Panelists will also discuss the ongoing work of the Fire Service-Based EMS Advocates.
Moderator: Chief Dennis Compton, International Fire Service Training Association
Panelists: Dr. Lori Moore-Merrell, International Association of Fire Fighters/International Public Safety Data Institute
Steve Austin, Congressional Fire Services Institute’s Board of Directors
Chief Mary Cameli, Mesa (AZ) Fire and Medical Department

Fire and Emergency Services Personnel Safety Enhanced with the Adoption of NFPA 4
11:00 a.m. – 11:50 a.m.
Georgetown East, Washington Hilton
NFPA 4 (Standard for Integrated Fire Protection and Life Safety System Testing) was developed to provide a level of confidence that active and passive fire protection and life safety systems are installed and tested as required by codes and standards, and as specified by the design documents and local ordinances. Proper Integrated Testing is needed to ensure that these systems will provide the level of fire and life safety protection for building occupants and first responders required by the applicable building codes. This seminar will cover the history of NFPA 4 and explain the basic requirements, scope and application of the standard.
Panelists: Terry Victor, Johnson Controls
Division Chief John T. Lane, Anne Arundel County (MD) Fire Department
Terin Hopkins, National Fire Sprinkler Association

Highway Incident Safety with Connected and Autonomous Vehicles
12:00 noon – 12:50 p.m.
Georgetown West, Washington Hilton
Highway Incident Safety is a primary concern of emergency services personnel who respond to motor vehicle crashes, vehicle fires, brush fires, medical assists, hazardous materials incidents and other emergencies along the nation’s roads and highways. Distracted drivers pose serious safety risks to firefighters and EMTs every time they respond to a highway incident, while the emergence of new automotive technology both hinder and help in response efforts. Panel members will discuss the benefits of connected vehicle technology for the fire and emergency services. They will also address some hazards and concerns presented by semi-autonomous and fully autonomous vehicles (AVs)  operating on roadways nationwide. As technology advances, it presents both benefits and challenges for scene safety and fire service leaders need to understand both to be able to collaborate with government officials as they race to accommodate and accept AVs on local roadways.
Panelists: Steve Austin, Congressional Fire Services Institute’s Board of Directors
Chief Charles Werner,  National Council on Public Safety UAS
Cory Hohs, HAAS Alert
Jack Sullivan, CVVFA Emergency Responder Safety Institute

Using Data to Tell the Story: Fire Department Response Capability and Performance
12:00 noon – 12:50 p.m.
Georgetown East, Washington Hilton
One of the greatest challenges for public safety is measuring its value in a quantifiable manner. The importance of data collection, analysis and reporting cannot be overstated. Data and the information gleaned from it can confirm the need for prevention and public education programs, and optimum emergency response capabilities that include appropriately staffed and deployed apparatus necessary to ensure optimal performance positive outcomes.  Fire department leaders and political decision-makers need to understand how fire department resource deployment in their local communities affects response outcomes in three important areas: firefighter injury and death, civilian injury and death, and economic loss. Panel members will offer their insights on the effectiveness of specific data-gathering and analytical systems in addressing these three areas.
Moderator: Chief Dennis Compton, International Fire Service Training Association
Panelists: Dr. Lori Moore-Merrell, International Association of Fire Fighters/International Public Safety Data Institute
Tyler Garner, Prominent Edge LLC  

The Fire Fighter Cancer Cohort Study
1:00 p.m. – 1:50 p.m.
Georgetown West, Washington Hilton
Cancer is a leading cause of illness and death in the fire service due in part to the multiple carcinogens to which firefighters are exposed.  While we are making progress in understanding cancer as an occupational disease, there’s much we need to learn to reduce the threat and provide better treatment.  Supported by an initial 3-year framework development grant from FEMA, the Fire Fighter Cancer Cohort Study (FFCCS) was established to gain greater insight into the cancer risks faced by the fire service. The seminar will describe our progress towards: (1) establishing a fire service oversight and planning board to provide study oversight and foster communication among fire organizations; (2) creating a data coordinating center and harmonized survey data protocols; (3) developing and validating a firefighter carcinogen exposure matrix and exposure data collection system; and (4) creating a biomarker assessment center to identify cellular mechanisms by which firefighter exposures increase cancer risk.
Moderator: Dr. Jefferey L. Burgess, University of Arizona Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health
Panelists: Casey Grant, Fire Protection Research Foundation
Dr. Alberto Caban-Martinez, University of Miami Miller School for Medicine
Dr. Kenneth Fent, National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health  

The Need for National Response Policies: Increasing Responder and Civilian Safety Through a Like-Minded Approach to Turning Out for Incidents
1:00 p.m. – 1:50 p.m.
Georgetown East, Washington Hilton
For over a decade, vehicle-related deaths remain the second leading cause of firefighter fatalities. This statistic and the related short- and long-term human suffering that results have remained relatively static for over a decade.  We must do more to address this problem. Panel members will share their knowledge on this issue and offer important steps that every firefighter behind the wheel should take to reduce vehicle-related fatalities in the fire service.
Moderator: Chief John Tippett, National Fallen Firefighters Foundation
Panelists: M. Kyle Minick, South Carolina State Firefighters Association
Kevin Roche, FACETS Consulting  
Mike Wieder, International Fire Service Training Association

Taking Care of Each Other: Cancer and Behavioral Health in the Fire Service
2:00 p.m. – 2:50 p.m.
Georgetown West, Washington Hilton
This seminar will cover the importance of taking care of each other in the fire and emergency service. Panelists will focus on 11 best practices outlined in the 2018 Lavender Ribbon Report to implement in your department to help prevent firefighter cancer. In addition, panelists will discuss a proactive approach to ensure firefighter mental wellness as outlined in the VCOS Yellow Ribbon Report.
Panelists: Chief Charles Flynn, International Association of Fire Chiefs Volunteer and Combination Officers’ Section
Chief Norvin Collins, International Association of Fire Chiefs Volunteer and Combination Officers’ Section
Chief Brian F. McQueen, National Volunteer Fire Council
Chief Kevin D. Quinn, National Volunteer Fire Council

NFPA 3000: Standard for an Active Shooter/Hostile Event Response (ASHER) Program
2:00 p.m. – 2:50 p.m.
Georgetown East, Washington Hilton
The seminar will cover the impetus and content of NFPA 3000, the new national standard for Active Shooter/Hostile Event Response (ASHER) programs. As part of their presentation panelists will describe the content of the standard and give examples of why and how it is being used, and outreach efforts to educate first responders about the new standard.
Moderator: John Montes, National Fire Protection Association
Panelists: Dr. Lori Moore-Merrell, International Association of Fire Fighters/International Public Safety Data Institute
Paul Brooks, U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Chief Otto Drozd, Orange County (FL) Fire and Rescue Department

Surviving the Fire Service: Translating a Decade of Science to the Street
3:00 p.m. – 3:50 p.m.
Georgetown West, Washington Hilton
This session reviews the most relevant research conducted on firefighter health, wellness and survival of the past decade, with a focus on the three preventable occupational health threats to firefighters: cancer, cardiovascular and behavioral health.  The presentation will also focus on personnel and departmental case studies and strategies that have been effective in mitigating these risks and assuring the highest level of firefighter and organizational survival.
Presenter: Chief Todd LeDuc, International Association of Fire Chief’s Association Safety, Health & Survival Section

Everyone Goes Home in the Wildland: The NFFF/WFF Effort to Improve Safety in the Wildland and Wildland-Urban Interface Environment
3:00 p.m. – 3:50 p.m.
Georgetown East, Washington Hilton
The threat of fire in the wildland-urban interface (WUI) is leaving few areas of the country untouched. Thousands of firefighters across the nation have been deployed in recent years to suppress these fires that have destroyed homes and caused significant loss of life. With the number of WUI fires on the rise, a new generation of firefighters will require additional training and knowledge to respond to these fire, while minimizing the threat to their own safety. This seminar will address the scope of the wildland firefighting problem and outline the joint efforts by two organizations, the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation and the Wildland Firefighters Foundation, to reduce future line-of-duty deaths in wildland fires, appropriately honor a loss when it occurs, and support the families and co-workers after a tragedy.
Moderator: Chief John Tippett, National Fallen Firefighters Foundation
Panelists: Rick Best, National Fallen Firefighters Foundation
Chief Tom Harbour, International Association of Wildland Fire
Kimberly Lightly, U.S. Forest Service
Robert Madden, Bend (OR) Fire Department
Rick Mason, National Fallen Firefighters Foundation

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Smart Smoke Alarms and New UL Testing Standards for Safety and Performance
10:00 a.m. – 10:50 a.m.
Georgetown West, Washington Hilton
This seminar will give an overview of the latest safety and performance requirements for new “smart” smoke alarms. Participants will learn how research has enhanced technology that can recognize different fire and smoke characteristics created by changes in home design, building techniques and modern furnishings and how this new technology is being incorporated in the new smoke alarms that are expected to be in the marketplace in 2019. These changes will show how smart smoke alarms will enhance safety in residential occupancies. The presenter will discuss the advancement of  “multi-criteria” sensing technology and how these new alarms will be less likely to alert from nuisance sources such as cooking smoke.
Presenter: Chief Sean DeCrane, Underwriters Laboratories

Leadership Strategies for Promoting an Inclusive Fire and Emergency Services
10:00 a.m. – 10:50 a.m.
Georgetown East, Washington Hilton
Maintaining an open and inclusive workplace is critical to the successful operation of a fire department. Fire and emergency services personnel should be treated with dignity and respect regardless of their backgrounds.  Leadership is a critical component in creating this environment. This seminar will review examples of successful practices that have been implemented throughout the country and provide fire service leaders with the tools to enact positive change in their departments.
Moderator: Preet Bassi, Center for Public Safety Excellence
Panelists: Chris Neal, CFSI Board of Directors
Fire Chief Josh Waldo, Bozeman (MT) Fire Department
Deputy Chief Cindy Bonham, Charlotte (NC) Fire Department

Data Analytics, Essential for Quality Service
11:00 a.m. – 11:50 a.m.
Georgetown West, Washington Hilton
This seminar will address the value of data analytics as essential tools for developing a community risk assessment for a proactive community risk reduction (CRR) program. The presentation will define the specific elements required for risk assessment, recommend how to use the data to define risks, and establish mitigation plans to minimize risks. It will also demonstrate how a solid risk assessment and CRR program benefits a community in their ISO grading and service delivery.
Panelists: Chief Tom Weber, ISO
Chief Sheldon Gilbert, Emergency Services Consulting International

Time to Hit the P.A.N.I.C. Button!  Community Risk Reduction is Here to Stay
11:00 a.m. – 11:50 a.m.
Georgetown East, Washington Hilton
Find out what the P.A.N.I.C. is all about. Community risk reduction (CRR) is a process to identify and prioritize local risks, followed by the integrated and strategic investment of resources to reduce the occurrence and impact of those risks. Fire departments have much to gain by implementing comprehensive CRR program, but many of them are hindered by certain challenges. During this session, panelists will break down 5 strategic actions modeled in the acronym P.A.N.I.C. that drive successful CRR implementation, using model CRR programs to illustrate their points.  Additionally, panel members will address how CRR adds value to fire department operations by improving response capabilities and safety for first responders.
Panelists: Karen Berard-Reed, National Fire Protection Association
Dr. Matt Hinds-Aldrich, National Fire Protection Association
Chelsea Rubadou, National Fire Protection Association

The Impact of Drones on the Fire Service and Public Safety
12:00 noon – 12:50 p.m.
Georgetown West, Washington Hilton
Participants will learn about the impact of drones on all aspects of the fire service and public safety. Additionally, participants will learn about the standards (NFPA, APSA, ANSI, ASTM) and FAA regulations that outline the requirements necessary to implement a safe, effective and legal fire service drone program. This seminar will also take a look at the challenges posed by unauthorized drones and counter-drone technology, and the legal issues surrounding those technologies.
Presenter: Chief Charles Werner, National Council on Public Safety UAS

50 Retention & Recruitment Tips in 50 Minutes
12:00 noon – 12:50 p.m.
Georgetown East, Washington Hilton
The volunteer fire and EMS service is experiencing its biggest challenge to date with volunteer retention and recruitment. In today’s era of competing demands for the volunteer/potential volunteer, the question becomes, “What strategies are volunteer fire departments using to successfully retain and recruit volunteers?”  Join Retention & Recruitment experts Dr. Candice McDonald and Chief Tiger Schmittendorf as they team up to share a rapid-fire overview of the research and the real-world resources available to successfully retain and recruit volunteer firefighters. These highlighted strategies offer practical professional applications. Participants will leave with an introduction to the tools and resources to improve retention and recruitment outcomes.
Panelists: Dr. Candice McDonald, Cumberland Valley Volunteer Firemen’s Association
Chief Tiger Schmittendorf, First Arriving

CFSI Town Hall Meeting: Preventing Occupational Illnesses, Injuries, and Deaths
2:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Georgetown Room, Washington Hilton
Firefighter health and safety is garnering more attention than at any time in our history. Research continues to show that firefighters face significantly higher risks for cardiovascular disease and cancers than the general population due largely to repeated exposures to heat and toxins, and exertion under extreme conditions. In addition to the physical hazards, firefighters often suffer emotional and mental stress after responding to traumatic situations. Access to comprehensive wellness programs that address both the physical and psychological health issues are critical.  Fortunately, the mindset that firefighter deaths and injuries are an “acceptable” part of our calling is no longer an accepted norm. However, without sustainability through appropriate support and resources, we are at risk of losing momentum. This town hall meeting will feature an open discussion between attendees and subject matter experts representing several of the nation’s prominent fire service organizations to address this sustainable need.
Moderator: Chief Ron Siarnicki, National Fallen Firefighters Foundation
Participants: Dr. Sara Jahnke, Center for Fire, Rescue & EMS Health Research
Chief Todd LeDuc, International Association of Fire Chief’s Association Safety, Health & Survival Section

John Niemiec, International Association of Fire Fighters
Chief Kevin D. Quinn, National Volunteer Fire Council