Everyone loves a good trade show, and the Baltimore Firehouse Expo 2014 had something for everyone. Held at the Baltimore Convention Center July 15th – 19th, 2014, the Expo showcased the latest in safety gear and communications; pumpers, towers and first responders on display from all over the state; live demos; and seminars for everything from administration and management to training and Fireground Command. There was even an iPhone app to help make sure you didn’t miss anything.
My favorite seminar had to be “Implementing Training Programs From Near Misses – Presented by Captain James Blake from Montgomery County MD”. Captain Blake walked us through some of the latest training initiatives that have been implemented in Montgomery County since 2010. Using audio and after action reports from actual MD emergency responses, the county was able to develop a new Mayday simulator and Flashover procedures. The initial pushback on new training was just as you would expect, but once a few veterans made it through, the good word spread quickly.
The Montgomery County’s Mayday box also uncovered a few unexpected results – Firefighters not being able to find their radio (fell out in the drop), trainees having to take off gloves to hit the radio button, or this was their first time using the radio in full PPE. At less than $50 per Firefighter, this could be a great training program for every county.
The wide array of break-out sessions makes the Firehouse Expo a must see. Where else can you collaborate with other stations throughout the state, get your hands on the latest safety gear and learn the newest research in fire science. Hope to see you next year at the Firehouse Expo 2015.
Feel free to contact me at 301-948-5800 ext 115 or by email at Bissellsd@ecsinsure.com if you have any other questions about my experience at this years Firehouse Expo.
Written by: D. Scott Bissell, CIC, CLCS