FIREGROUND STRATEGIES: When Buildings Changed the Rules of the Game

Deputy Chief Anthony Avillo (Retired)

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This course will focus on those issues that firefighters must be aware of to operate more safely in the buildings we are entering.  Discussed will be how different types of construction and occupancies change the rules of the game and how personnel on scene must adjust the strategy and tactics to meet that challenge. Renovations, lightweight and large area structures and vacant buildings and the structural carcass dangers will also be covered. Strategies regarding these buildings and their idiosyncrasies will be a further focus point, offering solutions to address the concerns discussed.

BEDS TO BUNDLES: The Flexibility of Stretching Hoseline

Captain Anthony Rowett

Engine company operations rely on effectiveness and efficiency when stretching hoselines. Not all fires and not all buildings are the same, and this requires flexibility when stretching. From preconnects to bulk beds and short stretches to long lines, stretching hoselines requires the ability to estimate the stretch and determine how much hose is needed as well as the ability to make adjustments on the fly. Do you always pull the same length preconnect at every fire? What happens when the fire can’t be reached with the standard preconnect, do you have a plan? Will you be able to adjust and effectively make the stretch or will you stretch short? We will discuss all of this during this class. From preconnects and bulk beds to skid loads and bundles to apartment lays and extending lines and stretching from standpipe systems; all of these stretches will be covered during this class. 


Dustin Martinez

Nick Ledin

Life safety is the focus. This class will analyze the experimental data from over 1,250 actual fireground rescues. The datsa ranges from the ongoing fire dynamics research done by the UL FSRI and anecdotal evidence from the thermal imaging and helmet cam videos of first-hand rescues, all while focusing on what is the best for those trapped inside a burning building. The overall goal of this class is to use all the evidence available to us to help enhance our efficiency on the fireground...for THEM. Specifically, we will discuss a proper search size up, firefighter rescue survey statistics, UL FSRI data, how to coordinate search with attack ad ventilation, decision making on the fireground and best practices for our search and rescue operations based on science and the street. We will also examine the three key components of a successful search, and search culture -- leadership, the training division and the personnel. Whether you're a numbers nerd, a 30-year jake, or a new slay pony looking for his pasture, this class is designed to tap in and discus why against all odds, success only happens because of search and rescue.


Robert James

Cameron Peek

Forcible entry tools and tactics have been around for ages. The need for keeping up with the ever so-changing game of forcing our way through things on the street is changing on us fast, and we have to be prepared. This interactive, forcible entry program is designed to teach the firefighter no matter the level of experience the main, basic and advanced principles of street smart forcible entry. This program focuses on new and older, but yet safe, street approved methods and techniques for conventional forcible entry tactics. During this time we will discuss and show techniques for making entry through and around locks, for both residential and commercial structures. Students will also learn quick access into urban steel roll gates and how to defeat the locks and locking mechanisms for them. Overcoming street hatches, additional security features like drop bars, slide bolts, burglar bars and modified locks will be covered as well. Because this class is an interactive class, students will be faced with forcible entry scenarios and explain how they would overcome the challenges as well.  


Captain Mike Gagliano

The toughest and most critical choice made on the fireground is, “We can get it” or “It's Lost.” Learn an intuitive learning model that expands as you use it and gain more experience. The model, which has three profiles--Rescue, Building, and Fire--is intended to be a useful strategic and tactical tool on the fireground as well as a dynamic instructional tool for enhancing fireground aptitude during drills. Students will leave with tools with which to drill their troops and continue to grow in their ability to make great decisions.

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FULL CONTACT LEADERSHIP: From the Firehouse to the Street

Deputy Chief Anthony Avillo (Retired)

This course will introduce the tenets of Full Contact Leadership and how it applies to the Fire Officer as well as those who aspire to become Fire Officers.  The class will center around the Prime Directive: Nothing shall interfere with your ability to maintain the in-service and ready status of your Command / Company / Self.”  Understanding and addressing the often uber-uncomfortable personnel conflicts and subordinate / superior relationships and the application to the fireground will be a major focus of this class.  The steps to personnel conflict resolution will be compared and made applicable to the familiar fireground evolutions that most fire operators are comfortable with...sort of a way to introduce a level of comfort into the areas of command and leadership discomfort.  The discussion of expectations required, self-evaluation, monitoring, and follow-up as well as skills such as observation, active listening, knowledge-based analysis, and informed resolution will give fire officers the tools to operate in the often treacherous waters of both soft environment and eventually hard environment command and control.  The student will understand that leadership, discipline, and accountability come out of the firehouse just like every tool we use to mitigate an emergency and their application on the street is based on how we handle the soft environment.  Examples and practical fireground application of these principles will be discussed.  Failure to maintain these attributes of leadership in the soft environment will inevitably come to roost in the hard environment of the emergency ground.  This course is a must for all levels.


Deputy Chief Anthony Avillo (Retired)

This presentation is aimed at all Officers, newly installed or promoted as well as those moving up the ladder to higher ranks.  We will base our objectives on what it takes to be an effective officer and an integral part of the organization.  Discussed will be the utilization of command boards and how the Accountability Officer and Incident Commander can maintain a cooperative and effective approach to the critical priority of fireground safety.  Company and Battalion level integrity and accountability will be a focus and discussion will include proper decentralization of the fireground to maximize information gathering which allows an addressing of strategies, accountability and safety.  PAR’s will be discussed as well as Safety Officer duties and Rehab guidelines.  In addition, structural fire analysis as well as risk management and the role of the Officer will be covered.  The Officer’s role in supervision will also be addressed in order to meet our highest priority: Get ‘em in safe, work ‘em safe, and get ‘em out safe. 



Mike & Anne Gagliano

This is a post-conference workshop that will be on Sunday following the expo from 1pm-4pm. Marriage can either be a passionate, intimate love affair that lasts a lifetime or a toxic, contentious experience that ends in utter heartbreak. The divorce rate is on the rise for all professions, but for the firefighter, the rate is through the roof. In this class, real life husband and wife team Mike and Anne Gagliano take an honest, hard-hitting look at what is happening to firefighter marriages and why. They examine what makes this profession different than any other and how those differences impact marriage. With their 30 plus years of experience, they will share what they have learned that has helped their marriage stand the test of time and defy the odds.