Whether you’re new to the fire service, the senior man, officer level, chiefs, or really anywhere from the top to the bottom of the hierarchy at some point we get that feeling of hitting a wall. Whether it’s being told “we’ve always done it that way”, not being encouraged to train, abrasiveness amongst the members, death by memos, unwillingness of crews to train, a department “just getting by”, or even self-induced, the wall is real.
Feeling in a slump myself at times, it’s a struggle. One of the best ways over the last ten years or so that I have found to punch that feeling right in the throat is to get out and train elsewhere. I was in a good spot when a regional training on my calendar for a few months and the timing was perfect. Working a regular FT job outside of the fire service, working around a FD schedule, family schedule, and competition schedule, sometimes it can be daunting to squeeze things in, but it worked!
Over the last 19 years in the fire service I’ve had the great opportunity to attend trainings around the United States and Internationally. All sizes from a handful of people putting minds together to thousands of attendees of FDIC, but regardless of training size, one thing is true, that it can be a breath of fresh air.
I had the recent opportunity to attend the Miami Valley Fire and EMS Conference in SW Ohio back in February and walked away renewed. This conference and the organization, Brothers Helping Brothers, that puts it on is on fire! Its grown in size and no doubt that after the February topics and instructors I see a definite increase of popularity and size. I managed to squeeze in two of the three days for this training, both hands-on and classroom based, with topics that were pertinent to my area. Just as important was the opportunity to meet and socialize with peers that do the same thing. Brothers. Departments of all sizes, makes, and types were at the Miami Valley Conference. Firefighters from every background, age, body type, experience, and education were also present, but it didn’t matter, as we were all tuned into wanting to learn and work together.
I penned a blogpost about 5 years ago around the time of FDIC at Indianapolis. Titled, “Are you Signed up for Your Brotherhood CEU’s at FDIC,” and being less than two weeks out I think it’s a great time to discuss the topic. GET OUT!
Whether traveling solo, with firefighters from your house, or taking the family over, FDIC is big thing that’s coming up and for me at least it never ceases in being that booster shot that I need. Whether enjoying camaraderie, brotherhood, seeing new products, seeing new ideas, seeing different ways, whatever it is the event offers such a vast variety of opportunities for the firefighter new or veteran. This conference is what you make out of it, they can provide you the best of the best, but if you don’t engage and take the opportunities, then you will miss out.
Meet some new people, see new products, learn new ways, recharge your battery for this calling, and take it back to share with your house to make more of a difference.
Personally, I’m headed out for the exhibit floor, immersing in new technology, networking, brotherhood, and family time. Hope to see you there! #TRAINHARD