Different Fire Departments, Same Outcomes

This conference will have some of the most sought after speakers in the national fire service to place a laser focus on confronting the challenges in the fire service with LODDs. Various case studies of LODD incidents will be highlighted that continue to show that firefighters are dying for the same reasons time and time again.

The “elephant in the room” is that our profession has to confront these issues more directly if there is any chance to reduce many LODDs that were caused by preventable errors. Attendees will be challenged to become change agents in their respective fire departments to provide the leadership that is desperately needed. This conference is a must for firefighters at all levels to gain valuable insights that will have a positive effect on the profession we all love. We owe it to those that made the ultimate sacrifice!

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Nearby Hotels
  • Holiday Inn Express

    820 Thousand Oaks Drive, Hurst, TX 76054

  • Hyatt Place

    1601 Hurst Town Center Drive, Hurst, TX 76054

  • Hampton Inn

    1600 Hurst Town Center Drive, Hurst, TX 76054

  • Chief Billy Goldfeder, Loveland-Symmes FD
  • Chief Alan Brunacini
  • Gordan Graham
  • Don Abbott
  • Chief Tim Sendelbach, Editor Firehouse Magazine
  • Dr. Sara Jahnke, Director & Principal Investigator
  • Center for Fire, Rescue & EMS Health Research
  • Chris Connealy, Texas State Fire Marshal
LODD Schedule
  • Tuesday, Nov 15

    8:00 a.m. – 8:30 a.m.
    Opening Ceremonies

    8:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
    Firefighter Death & Injury: Fire Officers And Chiefs: WE OWN THIS
    Chief Billy Goldfeder, Deputy Chief, Loveland-Symmes FD, OH

    Billy will present an in-depth program featuring specific and very recent fireground events with a strong focus on fires that ended with tragic results. The program focuses specifically on the LESSONS LEARNED so that these incidents (and those involved) don’t ever become forgotten.

    From our history, to today’s focus on fire science that proves-or disproves how we should operate-this supervisory, operational and tactical based program is presented to provide you with an excellent opportunity to understand what happened-and what company officers and chiefs can do about it.The goal of the presentation is to have you leave fire officers more knowledgeable, educated and informed but most importantly THINKING HARD about their clear responsibility in their day to day operations….and how they must own it well before the fire.

    11:30 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
    Lunch (provided)

    12:15 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
    How Health Behaviors Impact Death and Disease in the Fire Service. Dr. Sara Jahnke, Director & Lead Investigator, Center for Fire, Rescue & EMS Health Research. Firefighter health research suggests that some of the most dangerous risks firefighters face are not on the fire ground. Instead, they are the daily choices that negatively impact health and increase risk of serious injury or death. Current research on the state of the science related to health among firefighters will be presented as well as steps to improve health and safety.

    2:30 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.

    2:45 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
    Top 20 Tactical Considerations from Firefighter Research
    Stephen Kerber, Director UL Firefighter Safety Research Institute

    Over the past several years, Underwriters Laboratories (UL) and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have been working with the fire service to examine fire dynamics and firefighting tactics. More than a hundred experiments have examined the changes in the fire environment over time, the impact of ventilating ventilation-limited fires, and the implications of flow control and effectiveness in suppression tactics. These experiments were conducted with firefighters from across the country from departments of different types and with varying levels of staffing, resources, and operating procedures. The NIST and UL studies have produced tactical considerations that have become common themes over several studies; they may change the way you view your standard operating guidelines.

  • Wednesday, Nov 16

    8:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
    Reviewing the “Causes” of Tragedies

    Gordan Graham, President, Graham Research Consultants

    The program will commence with some thoughts on the “cause” of tragedies in any occupation or profession, focusing on the difference between “proximate” cause and those problems “lying in wait,” sometimes for years, that went ignored and really led to the given tragedy. The attendees will be provided with strategies for recognize the problems “lying in wait” so that they can be properly addressed prior to the occurrence of a tragedy. Mr. Graham will then transition into topic of focus  “The Seven Rules of Admiral Hyman Rickover” – and spend some time on each of the seven rules and how they apply to your operations in fire service operations.  These rules are Continuous Improvement, Quality People, Solid Supervision, Respecting Risk, Constant and Rigorous Training, The Importance of Audits and Continuous learning.   Gordon will explore each of these “rules” in depth and show how the can improve your specific fire service operations when taken seriously.

    11:00 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.

    11:15 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
    Project Mayday

    Don Abbott, Command Training Center, Phoenix FD

    The “Mayday Project” is a comprehensive investigation into more than 1,000 maydays in the last two years, by both volunteer and career fire departments. Determining when, where, why and how maydays take place and the results they produce. The project looks at an in-depth examination of the actions taken by the participants (firefighters, rescuers, and command).  The project lists some of the major reasons for maydays and some recommendations for prevention and response to maydays.

    12:30 p.m. – 1:15 p.m.
    Lunch (provided)

    1:15 p.m.– 4:15 p.m.
    The Incident Commander’s Role in Preventing LODDs

    Alan Brunacini, Phoenix Fire Chief, (ret.)

    The IC is responsible for the overall control and management of hazard zone operations – the  eight standard functions of command create the foundation and framework for completing that responsibility. The command functions have been developed, applied and refined over the past fifty years and have created the definition and description of how the IC manages the position and function of firefighters operating in the hazard zone for overall operational effectiveness and tactical safety. These functions create a practical and doable job description for the strategic level of command and control at local incidents and are the basic command tools used by the IC to continually balance risk and safety. Firefighters get injured and killed on the fireground when they are in offensive positions under defensive conditions – their safety and survival depend on a competent IC who understands the capabilities and limitations of the organizational safety system in relation to the current and forecasted risk in the hazard zone. The fire quickly creates gritty, awful, unforgiving conditions that love to injure and kill firefighters.  In this session we will use an open (no balogna) discussion to graphically and realistically describe how the IC actually uses the command functions to protect the troops whose job requires them to get up close and personal with toxic, thermal and collapse risks.

    4:15 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

    4:30 p.m. –  5:00 p.m.
    To be determined

  • Thursday, Nov 17

    8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.
    Impacting a Fire Department’s Culture – the Good and the Bad

    Chris Connealy, Texas State Fire Marshal
    This presentation will guide lieutenants through fire chiefs on how to reinforce the good aspects of the organization’s culture to make needed changes that negatively impact the department on a daily basis. This is one of the most difficult organizational changes any officer will ever confront in their career. A fire department’s culture permeates everything in the organization. In the context of negative cultural influences that expose firefighters to a level of risk beyond established best practices, the battle must be fought with strong leadership, collaboration, patience, planning, and consistency. The utilization of threats and other strong-arm tactics will only reinforce negative reactionary behaviors that will lead to failure. The process of modifying an organizational culture that makes the department better and safer is a long strategic endeavor. There are no quick fixes. Chris will share his lessons learned on this topic from his experiences in Houston, Cedar Park, and the Texas State Fire Marshal’s Office. 

    9:00 a.m. – 9:15 a.m.

    9:15 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
    Going Beyond the Low Hanging Fruit
    Tim Sendelbach – Editor-in-Chief, Firehouse Magazine
    For years the American fire service has worked to reduce firefighter injuries and LODDs, to the credit of many, great strides have been made, yet there is still work to be done. This high-energy, high impact program will challenge attendees to go beyond the traditional low hanging fruit of the modern fire ground and address the most critical factor of all – the Human Factor. This program is a no holds barred presentation designed to uphold the mission of our profession while challenging our daily routines and the decisions that accompany them.

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