The Fire Department Instructors Conference
The Editor’s Opinion Page
We will be down in Memphis again for the 39th Annual Fire Department Instuctors Conference, March 21-24. We doubt if there is anyone in the fire service who is not aware of this conference. But if there should be one, we want him to know that this is the largest fire conference held anywhere. Last year there were more than 4,000 persons in attendance—men who make their living either suppressing or preventing fires.
They come from every state in the Union and from more than 50 foreign countries. Branches of the military service fly their men in from all over the world.
It opens sharply at 9:00 a.m. on a Tuesday with the invocation and runs until the benediction at noon Friday. In between, there are 43 program items (some in the evening) almost all conducted in a big municipal auditorium that can seat everybody. And to make sure that the audience doesn’t get lost, the Memphis Fire Department puts on lunch for everybody, every day, in the same building. Memphis firemen and officers do all the cooking and serving.
Program items this year run from “How We Arrive at Fire Losses” through the “Moon Shot” by the fire chief at the Kennedy Space Center to “Gelled Water in Fire Control.”
The Memphis Conference offers the fire fighter, and particularly the fire chief and training officer, the opportunity to learn the latest in fire fighting and related technology from experts in their fields. It also provides each participant with an opportunity to meet and mingle with his peers. Such opportunity results not only in new friends from every state in the union, but in an exchange of ideas.
We know of one chief who was struggling with a problem—in his home town—that had already been solved by a chief halfway across the country. They met in Memphis and of course, the first chief went home a happier and more knowledgeable man.
Workshops are an important part of the conference and some are repeated in the evening for men who want to make more than one. Such workshops are divided among the military, industrial and municipal fire services.
During the years that we have been going down to Memphis, we have made hundreds of friends, many of whom had solved problems. The solutions to these problems found their way into the pages of FIRE ENGINEERING for the benefit of all our readers.
We would urge you to read all about the 39th FDIC in our May issue. But really, we would rather have you attend and find out for yourself.
We wouldn’t miss it for anything!