Report from FDIC 2003

Indianapolis, IN-It’s been a busy two days for FDIC attendees as Hands-On Training (H.O.T.) evolutions and workshops commenced. For some, it’s been a grueling two days, but the end result makes their toils no less rewarding. No one comes to FDIC without knowing more than when they arrived in Indianapolis-which is the wish of any instructor.

New and returning attendees have once again been awed by the breadth of FDIC’s resources. This year students were treated to a practically endless supply of vehicles to learn some new techniques for vehicle rescue, and to revisit the basics-for those multi-vehicle accidents when hydraulic tools are tied up on one vehicle and firefighters improvise, building on the basics they’ve learned through the years. More importantly, returning to the basics instills in the students, many of whom are instructors at their own departments, the importance of revisiting an re-teaching the fundamentals.

Although some of the evolutions moved to a new site this year, the scope of FDIC’s resources is evident, particularly at the building collapse and firefighter survival evolutions. The housing complex is slightly different this year, but once again, students got real world training as they shored up a collapsed, multiple occupancy structure. Various shoring techniques are used during this evolution including air shores, pneumatic struts, and wood shoring. And right across the way, in a separate multiple occupancy unit, instructors taught students the basics of truck company venting operations, laddering operations, and forcible entry operations-a blend of advanced techniques with the basics.

So now, after two days, attendees get a much needed rest and time to process everything they’ve learned during the past two days. After all the ceremonies and show floor walking, they’ll return to their departments, no doubt still absorbing everything they’ve learned. Like thousands of firefighters before them, they’ll impart these lessons to other members of their departments. What they learn here is important not for just their own survival in the field, but for the survival of those that look to them for the answers, that look to them as their instructors. The students here in Indy this week will be teaching our firefighters of tomorrow. The batons are passed once again.

–Chris Mc Loone, Web Editor/Firefighter

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