By PENNWELL CORP., Correspondent | March 15, 2018 | NATIONAL
Story No. 031518105
Record attendance was achieved at FDIC International 2017. The Fire Department Instructors Conference International (FDIC International) announced a record-breaking attendance of nearly 34,000 attendees from 58 countries at its 90th annual training conference and expo, held at the Indiana Convention Center and Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, IN April 24-29, 2017.
“FDIC International 2017 was a huge achievement for PennWell and the fire service. Its continued growth reflects its reputation for delivering the most advanced training and education from the world’s finest instructors,” said Eric Schlett, Vice President/Executive Director, PennWell Corp. “And with 798 exhibitors demonstrating the latest apparatus and equipment advancements within the fire service, it is clear that firefighters will travel from all corners of the globe to attend this international event.”
FDIC International 2017 featured many special events and networking opportunities throughout the week. The NFFF 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb, the Scott Firefighter Combat Challenge, the Firefighter Throwdown Crossfit competition, the HEAT Competition, and the Real Time Outdoor Product Demonstrations provide firefighters with competition and educational opportunities. Many off-site industry association events also take place each year, as well as networking events such as the International Networking Event. As an official event of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Buyers Select Program, FDIC International also provides an International Lounge complete with local area information and translation services for attendees traveling overseas.
What to expect at FDIC International 2018:
The key to firefighters' success is training, education, and networking, all of which they aggressively pursue at FDIC and bring back home to local departments. Firefighters will see how every element of consequence that impacts firefighting is assembled at FDIC International 2018. The work behind FDIC International 2018 represents literally everyone you could imagine in the fire service.
There will be many new faces at FDIC International 2018—new instructors, new concepts, new products, new thoughts, and new approaches. This is our tradition, firefighters know that without tradition you have no connections; without connections, you cannot understand the past or the present, and you certainly can’t build a future. Our traditions are our foundation. The uninitiated think everything is new, but insiders, those with skin in the game, the FDIC people, know we are building on the foundations laid by millions who came before us and to whom we are grateful.
FDIC 2018 offers 28 hands-on training classes, 80 workshops, 200+ classes, the most inspirational keynotes of 2018, an emerging technologies summit, the most comprehensive fire exhibition, the largest stair climb, and countless networking celebrations and unique FDIC traditions that bind us, define us, and connect us. The hands-on training classes are delivered by the most respected and talented firefighters in the world. The workshops will provide the opportunity to get deeper into our personal development and professional expertise and allow for extensive one-on-one with thought leaders.
The Main Program speakers are Dan DeGryse, Gavin Horn, Ted Nee, and special guest FEMA Administrator Brock Long. The classes will again create the direction, the intellectual drive, the controversies, and the debates for the coming year.
There are literally dozens of special networking events. Beginning on Tuesday night, the Firefighter Cancer Support Network has its comedy night fundraiser. On Wednesday, the Fraternal Order of Leatherheads hosts its F.O.O.L.S. bash. Thursday is the Courage and Valor 5K Fun Run, followed by the National Fallen Firefighters Stop, Drop, and Rock ‘n’ Roll celebration. Also Thursday night is the MSA block party. Friday is the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation Stair Climb and the Indianapolis firefighters’ union party. All week long, the Firefighter Combat Challenge will be going on, as well as dozens of other events and gatherings, all of which are accessible to anyone attending FDIC.
Last year 34,000 attendees celebrated the art and science of firefighting. Men and women participated in a moving and respectful Opening Ceremony that commemorated our fallen and celebrated our finest traditions. Firefighters who attended classes shared information, met new friends, and honed their skills to an even finer edge to serve their communities and meet their obligations with even greater skill.
Firefighters attend FDIC because it represents who we are. We are the fire service, we are the community, we are neighbors, we operate in the real world together, we drill and train together, and we assemble at this FDIC conference and exhibition together. This is our show, firefighters, men and women who have skin in the game, who respond when called, who never accept how it is but only accept that it will be better. The classes, drills, instructors and speakers were all chosen by us, gritty, street-savvy firefighters who may not have the alphabet after their names, who sometimes drop the wrong kind of adjective when excited, but who struggle every day to be better than yesterday.
We hope we’ll see you at FDIC this April. We hope we will see you at our annual FASNY convention in August. Department members are urged to network with one another to purchase group pricing on our FDIC registrations. This is the conference that no volunteer, no career, no industrial firefighter should miss; a conferences that pays the utmost respect to local expertise, that put first and foremost in all they do the interests, concerns and well-being of firefighters and our mission first.
This article is a direct street report from our correspondent and has not been edited by the 1st Responder newsroom.