Making the Fire Service a Better Place, One FDIC Conference at a Time

by Mary Jane Dittmar

“FDIC has been a staple in our training community here at Palm Beach County (FL) Fire Rescue (PBCFR),” began District Chief Doug McGlynn as he recalled some of the ways FDIC had had an influence on him and his department.

As for me personally, he explained, I took the engine company operations and truck operations classes and wondered how I could bring back a blend of the two for my department in an order of priority based on needs.  The end result, he said, “was a multi-faceted program that uses Bobby Halton and Ted Nees’ Recognition-Primed Decision (RPD) model they taught us based on the Gary Klein studies of the late nineties.”  We met Bobby Halton at FDIC and invited him down to Palm Beach when he was a deputy chief at Albuquerque.  We met so many fire service leaders through attending conferences at FDIC.

For PBCFR, RPD transitioned into the ICOPS program, referring to the initial company operations during the first 15 minutes of an evolving incident. The department has a host of the ICOPS classes available, which includes ICOPS Residential, ICOPS High-Rise, and ICOPS Commercial. The first two days, McGlynn explained, are a round robin of theme-related skill stations followed by an RPD/putting it all together in a multi-scenario in real time.
In addition, FDIC presented the department’s FDIC attendees with opportunities for “invaluable contacts” for the Rapid Intervention Program that the department began to develop in 2009. Assistance for this program came also from initial meetings with Mike Mason, Steve Chikerotis, and other FDIC icons.” We learned so much,” McGlynn noted. “Now we are putting together a comprehensive RIC program that involves a regional approach to rapid intervention and training. McGlynn reiterated:  “This all stems from our experiences up at FDIC, not just the classroom and H.O.T. workshops, but the networking opportunities as well.”  
McGlynn focused on the Digital Simulations training at FDIC 2014. He took classes on nothing but digital simulations training and classroom sessions.  “With what I learned from FDIC 2014, I now am integrating the FireStudio 5 software into our Officer Development Academies, and we’re using this technology to train our upcoming incident commanders,” McGlynn reports. The department has also established a Dropbox to share simulations with other training officers across the country.  “Again,” McGlynn concluded, “The networking opportunities mixed with the training from FDIC is how this all sort of ties together in making the fire service a better place, one FDIC conference at a time.”

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