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I am extremely excited to be headed to Chicago this week for the very first Fire Engineering Weekend on Saturday and Sunday, July 19-20. I believe this fresh, affordable, and personal way to train is a huge piece of the future. I was always frustrated after a great class because I had so many questions to ask but, with an exhausted instructor and thirty other guys already asking questions, I never got to ask the ones I had. Then we thought: What if we all ate together where you might get to ask your question and had an unplugged session with all the instructors everyday? You could get all your questions answered.

This format combines the best opportunities, both one on one and the famous FDIC-style unplugged made famous by Bruno and Brennan. We considered who could hit it outta the park in a setting like this, in Northbrook where firefighters know great training. First off, we figured Dave Dodson. Okay, next question. What would be totally unique? How about the nation's leading voice on truck company operations, Lieutenant Michael Ciampo, Fire Department of New York, who is presenting "Truck Company Operations: A Hundred Things To Do." If you needed any proof of Mikes spot on style, read this month's Street Scenes in the July 2008 Fire Engineering.

We are in Chicagoland, so we naturally asked two of America's leading instructors, and world class firefighters, Gene Ryan and Rich Edgeworth, if they could share some of the stuff they are doing with UL labs and bingo--"Understanding and Evaluating Today's Technology in Fires." Perfect! Sunday, we needed to address the new hot topic: standpipes. These are now more routine than unusual, so who else to tackle this subject but Dave McGrail. Bill Gustin, one of the most insightful fire service educators ever, presents a class which is critical to everyone of us, operations at one- and two-family residences. And we were extremely lucky to secure Ricky Lasky, who steps up with "Getting the Rear." Of course we have table talk each day, where you drive the show and no one can tell where it will go.

I will be doing some podcasts and On the Road interviews from the show, so stay tuned and if you are near Northbrook I will see you at the Hilton. Otherwise, I'll see you soon in at the Fire Engineering show in your town. As always, remember: be careful out there.


posted by Bobby Halton
7/15/2008 09:26:00 PM

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