NVFC Holds Expanded Training Summit in Oklahoma City

The National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) joined its signature Health & Safety Training Summit and Recruitment & Retention Experience conferences into one expanded NVFC Training Summit in 2023 to focus on critical issues impacting the volunteer fire and emergency services. The sold-out event was held in Oklahoma City, OK, on June 23-24.

The two-day training and networking conference drew over 150 firefighters, EMS providers, and fire service leaders from 37 states. The NVFC was able to provide travel stipends of up to $900 to 55 NVFC members to help offset the costs and enable more responders to attend. Attendees could choose between three training tracks featuring a combined 18 breakout sessions in addition to general sessions, keynote speakers, and opportunities to network to share ideas and best practices.

Highlights from the event include the following:

  • Attendees joined local firefighters and invited guests on the evening of June 22 at Harkins Theater Bricktown OKC for a special preview screening of the new volunteer fire service documentary Odd Hours, No Pay, Cool Hat. Three of the volunteer firefighters featured in the film were in attendance for the screening and the Training Summit. The NVFC thanks the John Deere Foundation for sponsoring the screening event.
  • The Training Summit kicked off on the morning of June 23 with a general session and keynote presentation on behavioral health by Chief Patrick Kenny.
  • Breakout sessions presented by renowned subject matter experts and educators covered a variety of topics relating to volunteer responder physical health, mental health, safety, recruitment, retention, operations, and leadership. In addition to classroom training, a hands-on component was offered with the electric vehicle response session. View the agenda here.
  • A special session on finding funding for health and safety initiatives featured Cathy Severs and Vanessa Hall from FEMA’s Grant Programs Directorate.
  • A Networking Expo was held on the evening of June 23, which included exhibit tables showcasing sponsor products and services.
  • Networking lunches were held each day to provide attendees with additional time to connect and share ideas.
  • A Closing Session and Debrief was held at the end of the day on June 24 to synthesize information learned and prepare attendees to take the information back to local departments.
  • The Oklahoma State Firefighters Association hosted a BBQ Social on the evening of June 24 at their headquarters.

The NVFC Training Summit launched in 2014 to bring together members of the fire and emergency services to participate in valuable classroom training and idea-sharing. While initially focusing on health and safety, the event has now expanded to incorporate additional critical issues including volunteer staffing and leadership. The next Training Summit will take place on June 21-22, 2024, in Buffalo, NY. Pre-register here to stay up to date on announcements.

The 2023 NVFC Training Summit was made possible thanks to a Fire Prevention & Safety grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The NVFC also thanks our sponsors: Buxus, Columbia Southern University, ESIP, Fire Engineering Books & Videos, FLAIM, HyperSight, IFSTA, Lincoln Financial Group, Oklahoma Pipeline Awareness Liaison, Oklahoma State Firefighters Association, PH&S Products LLC, Tesla, and Wendell’s Mint.

View the 2023 Training Summit video overview here.

Chief Patrick Kenny delivering the Keynote at Opening Session

Odd Hours, No Pay, Cool Hat movie screening

Networking Expo

Closing Session

Closing BBQ Social hosted by the Oklahoma State Firefighters Association

Meeting Challenge Coin produced by Wendell’s Mint