A “Learning Experience” …

Chief John McGrath and Captain Willie Wines Jr of Ironfiremen com during 2013 NFFF Memorial WeekendOn the job, we have MANY of them.

I have them on a daily basis and have had my entire career. Some were easy lessons… others, not so much. Actually, some were HARD lessons…. VERY HARD.

I’m sure your career / service has been the same. I hope it has. If we are not learning every day, we are wasting our time. It’s our duty to learn and evolve on or ahead of the same pace that the situations and challenges we face daily are.  If we don’t, we are destined to fail. It’s an up hill battle and one that, at a minimum; requires dedication, determination, discipline and desire.

If you’re not facing a “learning experience” everyday, I’d invite you to open your eyes. There is one right in front of you!

Actually, one of the largest “learning experiences” in our industry / profession is coming around in less than 2 weeks …it’s called  FDIC 2015 (link) and you’re invited!

FDIC 2015

The 2015 Fire Department Instructor Conference (FDIC “International”) will be held April 20-15 at the Indiana Convention Center / Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, IN. If at all possible, YOU SHOULD ATTEND!

With 20 H.O.T (Hands On Training) classes, 80 Work Shops and 200 Classroom sessions, FDIC is THE PLACE TO BE to “get your learn on”!

The Fire Critic (Rhett Fleitz), Andrew Catron (Model City Firefighter.com) and I will be there. Unfortunately, Rhett and I will be working most of the time but I do have some classes I would recommend you attend. If nothing else, show up and at least buy a pass for the exhibit floor.

ALL of today’s leading products and technologies  will be on display. I’m not sure you can even see it all in a single day … IT’S THAT BIG!

View FDIC 2015 Exhibitors HERE

As far as classes go, you can’t go wrong. Browse through the list (by topic or instructor) and pick the one that fits your needs. You’ll have selections such as…

Issues and Challenges in Today’s Fire Service (link) 

Presented by: Chief (Ret.) Rick Lasky, Lewisville (TX) Fire Department; Battalion Chief (Ret.) John Salka, Fire Department of New York; and Chief (Ret.) Bobby Halton, FDIC Education Director/Fire Engineering and Fire Apparatus & Emergency EquipmentEditor in Chief

Urban Essentials (link)

Presented by: Lead Instructors: Lieutenant Ray McCormack, Fire Department of New York; and Battalion Chief Erich Roden, Milwaukee (WI) Fire Department

Gaining Relative Superiority: The 2 1/2-Inch Attack Line (link)

Presented by: Lieutenant Brian Brush, West Metro (CO) Fire Rescue

Truck Company: Essentials (link)

Presented by: Lead Instructor: Lieutenant Michael Ciampo, Fire Department of New York

Tactical and Strategic Perspectives of Residential Fires – Ventilation and Search (link)

Presented by: Deputy Chief/Training Officer P.J. Norwood, East Haven (CT) Fire Department; and Battalion Chief/Shift Commander Jim Duffy, Wallingford (CT) Fire Department

The Adaptive Fireground and Predictable Building Performance (link)

Presented by: Chief of Training Christopher Naum, Command Institute, Washington, DC

Taking it to the Streets: Training for Success (link)

Presented by: Assistant Chief Douglas Cline, Horry County (SC) Fire Rescue

10Commandments for the Company Officer: A Guide for Success Off the Fireground

Presented by: Captain/Training Officer Jason Hoevelmann, Florissant Valley (MO) Fire Protection District

Mayday for Mental Health (link)

Presented by: Chief Patrick Kenny, Western Springs (IL) Fire Department

Firefighter Mental Health and Suicide: Having Your Back (link)

Presented by: Firefighter (Ret.) Beth Murphy, Bellevue (WA) Fire Department

Behavioral Health Issues in the Fire Service (link) 

Presented by: Battalion Chief Daniel DeGryse, Chicago (IL) Fire Department

Find a complete list of available classes in the links below….

FDIC 2015 Classroom sessions HERE

FDIC 2015 Instructor Index HERE

And hey…. let’s face it… after all this training we will need time to unwind and share our experiences, what we’ve learned etc. FDIC is as much about The Brotherhood as anything. We’ve got you covered there as well.

The Fire Critic, Model City Firefighter and I will arrive in town on Wednesday. We have some business to attend to and will need to check into our hotel before heading over to the FOOLS BASH later that evening.

  • Indy FOOLS Brotherhood Bash Wednesday Night
    • Location: Corner of Jackson and S. Meridian St. Time: Wednesday, April 22, 2015 TBA
    • The gates will open at 1700 hours. There is a $5.00 donation entry fee; you must be 21 to enter. Brought to you by INDYMETRO  F.O.O.L.S.

On Thursday night, you’ll find us at the NFFF (National Fallen Firefighters Foundation) Stop, Drop and Rock n Roll event.

  • Stop, Drop, Rock n Roll

April 23, 2015 7:00 – 11:00 pm

Indiana Roof Ballroom – 140 S Washington St, Indianapolis, IN

Then, on Friday night; along with Firefighter wife.com we will be hosting OUR VERY OWN PARTY!

new logo

 Sign up on our “Event Page” HERE

10606429_10152812608582849_9083966775133665977_nThis Party is going to be EPICEVERYONE is invited and it’s FREE!

The event will be located at The Crane Bay (link) 551 West Merrill Street Indianapolis, IN 46225.

The doors open at 7pm and the first 500 in attendance will receive a free drink ticket, a Limited Edition Challenge Coin and MORE!

There will be plenty of FREE FOOD, a CASINO NIGHT (multiple tables) theme, RAFFLES, PHOTO BOOTH (provided by TECGEN), MUSIC, CASH BAR, PIPES AND DRUMS, BROTHERHOOD and MORE for everyone in attendance!
THANKS to all of our sponsors who helped make this happen….



During the day (Thursday-Saturday) you’ll find us in various booths throughout the exhibition floor. That schedule can be found below…


  • 11am – 1pm – TECGEN PPE Booth #13109
  • 1pm – 2pm – Viking Life Saving Equipment Booth #1100
  • 2pm – 4pm – Black Diamond Fire Equipment Booth #801
  • 4pm – 6pm – Demers Ambulances Booth #4731


  • 9am – 10am – TECGEN PPE Booth #13109
  • 11am – 12pm – Viking Life Saving Equipment Booth #1100
  • 12pm – 2pm – Demers Ambulances Booth #4731
  • 2pm – 4pm – Black Diamond Fire Equipment Booth #801


  • 10am – 11am – Viking Life Saving Equipment Booth #1100
  • 11am – 1pm – Black Diamond Fire Equipment Booth #801

I hope you make the MOST out of your FDIC experience, Rhett, Andrew and I certainly do. One of our favorite things is meeting up with all our Brothers and Sisters…. old friends and new. We hope you’ll take the time to find us and say hello.

Safe travels to you all … we’ll see you in Indy!

Captain Wines