NVFC Holds Successful Training Summit in Grapevine, TX
June 7, 2016
The National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) held its second Training Summit on June 3-4 in Grapevine, TX. The summit brings together fire and EMS personnel and leaders for two days of educational sessions, networking, and idea sharing. Close to 100 attendees from 28 states participated in the summit.
Thanks to support from a Fire Prevention and Safety Grant, the NVFC was able to offer scholarships to help more volunteers attend. Scholarships covered up to $500 in travel expenses and the registration fee was waived.
Sessions focused mainly on health and safety topics, including firefighter cancer, behavioral health, modern fire behavior, functional fitness, community risk reduction, and more. Additional courses focused on topics relating to recruitment, retention, and leadership. The following courses were presented:
- Buildings on Fire: Lessons from the Fireground 2016 – Instructed by Christopher J. Naum
- The Professional Volunteer Fire Department – Instructed by Thomas Merrill
- Developing a Chief 101 Program in your State Addressing Firefighter Health and Safety – Instructed by Wesley Hutchins
- From the Xbox to the Box Alarm: Engaging Today’s Firefighters – Instructed by Tiger Schmittendorf
- Emerging Issues in the Volunteer Fire Service – Instructed by Keith Padgett
- Preventing Legal Fires – Instructed by John Murphy
- Saving Those Who Save Others – Instructed by Jeff Dill
- Volunteer Recruitment for the Fire and Emergency Services – Instructed by Jeff Cash
- Cancer in the Fire Service – Instructed by Brian McQueen and James Seavey
- Modern Fire Behavior – Instructed by Brian P. Kazmierzak
- The Fundamentals of Firefighter Functional Fitness – Instructed by Dan Kerrigan
- Effective Community Risk Reduction through Marketing and Leveraging Community Resources – Instructed by Michael McLeieer
Attendees also had opportunities to network with fellow attendees, including a hosted lunch. In addition, a special presentation was provided featuring Minnesota firefighter Scott Geiselhart, who shared his struggles with PTSD, addiction, and suicide attempts. Geiselhart ultimately sought help from the Fire/EMS Helpline, provided by American Addiction Centers in partnership with the NVFC’s Share the Load program. He now travels the country to raise awareness about behavioral health issues in the fire service and to let first responders know help is available.
This is the second Training Summit hosted by the NVFC. The first took place in June 2014 in Myrtle Beach, SC.
“We thank all those who were able to attend the Training Summit, as well as the instructors, presenters, and the support we received from the State Firefighters’ and Fire Marshals’ Association of Texas and Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service (TEEX),” said NVFC Chairman Kevin D. Quinn. “Training and education are of the utmost importance in the fire and emergency services, and we are pleased to be able to provide opportunities such as the Training Summit to our boots-on-the-ground firefighters, EMTs, and fire service leaders. The attendees have committed to taking the information back to their communities and departments to implement changes to increase the health, safety, and well-being of their colleagues.”
Summit courses were eligible for continuing education units provided by TEEX. For those who were unable to attend the Training Summit, the NVFC provides online, on-demand courses through its Virtual Classroom. Members can also take advantage of education benefits including individual, discounted access to Action Training System’s online fire and EMS training and discounts to several colleges and universities that offer online programs.