FDIC 2020. Why Fire Service Training is a Long-Term Commitment
By Alexandra Serban
October 04, 2019
Life-and-death situations require Superman-type strength, dedication, and courage. Yet mastering the skill set required to save lives doesn’t happen overnight and firefighters know better than anyone how important continuous learning is to their mission.
Firefighting is a career of continuing education.
Firefighting academies offer formal education – 3-4 months of teamwork, emergency medical services, math and science, survival skills, fire inspections, rope rescue, athletics etc. But some of these skills rarely get used in real-life situations.
And sometimes, as with other fields, the school curriculum doesn’t advance as fast as the industry. Education often fails to meet evolving market requirements – for instance, personal development skills such as leadership skills, stress management or effective communication take a back seat, while practical skills hands-on training remains critical.
The fire service is a competitive field, with applicants outnumbering job openings. That is why mandatory firefighter certification renewals, of existing knowledge and practical skills, are not enough to stand out. The more hours spent in post-secondary training, the more chances to get become a better fire-fighting professional.
Staying up-to-date with the newest techniques and technologies is also paramount to career development. Here is where industry events and alternative courses come in.
In 2013, Honeywell launched the first FDIC Scholarship Program to provide deserving first responders the opportunity to attend the Fire Department Instructors Conference (FDIC), the world's largest firefighter training and expo.
FDIC offers 35,000+ fire and rescue professionals an intense week of training and learning activities, including classroom training, seminars, exhibits, and Hands-On Training (H.O.T.) Evolutions*. Plus, over 800 exhibitors showcase the latest technologies in firefighting products and services.
In 2014, Honeywell and DuPont partnered together to provide FDIC Scholarship recipients with airfare, lodging, and full show admission. To be considered for the scholarship, a firefighter, emergency medical technician, paramedic or another first responder professional must be nominated by a colleague from their department.
“My experience at FDIC was amazing, there are so many people to connect with, from all over the world”, Lisa Hanover, a Lieutenant at the Virginia Fire Department, Minnesota says. “You get to see what types of things they do at other departments. It’s made me love my job.”
“We are proud to offer this merit-based scholarship to firefighters for the sixth consecutive year,” said Tom Rozema, general manager of Honeywell’s First Responder division. “We’re proud to highlight individuals that are not only setting the gold standard for service, courage and selfless dedication but have demonstrated an intense desire for education and training.”
So far, the FDIC scholarship has provided advanced training to over 100 first responders, many of whom have gone on to become teachers or leaders in the fire service.
“The Honeywell-DuPont scholarship offers a true grassroots benefit to communities because firefighters come back to their departments inspired and eager to share fresh knowledge and tactics from their training,” Rozema adds.
FDIC 2020 will be held April 20-25, 2020, at the Indianapolis Convention Center and Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, IN.
Nominate a deserving first responder today and invest in the future of the fire service!