FASNY and FDIC: Shaping Tomorrow’s Fire Service

By Chief Bobby Halton (Ret.), Fire Engineering Magazine Editor in Chief

For the past 91 years, firefighters from FASNY have participated in the Fire Department Instructors Conference (FDIC) International as instructors, attendees, volunteers, exhibitors and keynote speakers.

FDIC had, for many years, traveled from state to state. For the past 21 years, it has found a home in Indianapolis. FASNY members have supported FDIC because it helps support FASNY’s primary mission. The Firemen’s Association of the State of New York has been dedicated to informing, educating and training the volunteer fire service since 1872. FDIC has been honored to help FASNY in this mission since its inception in 1928.

FASNY is the voice of New York State’s 110,000 volunteer firefighters, men and women who undeniably are the most respected and admired of New York’s citizens. New Yorkers are eternally grateful for FASNY members, who for 128 years have protected their neighbors’ lives, livelihoods and industry without hesitation, without self-interest and with no concern for reimbursement. FASNY members show up because they accept the obligation to respect and protect their fellow Americans’ humanity.

FASNY members recognize that to meet this obligation, they need to be as prepared, equipped and trained as they can possibly be. FASNY members appreciate the pride of workmanship that being a firefighter requires. FASNY members fundamentally understand the essential humanity of firefighting, the joy it brings local communities, the incredible dignity that the innovation and initiative displayed by volunteers add to the community every day. The triumph that FASNY members accomplish via collaborative problem-solving, the disruptive breakthroughs they have modeled since its inception, are being embraced as groundbreaking in the technology industry today. To FASNY members, this type of sharing and this type of thinking are a way of life.

The key to FASNY members’ success is training, education and networking – all of which they aggressively pursue at FDIC and bring back home to local departments and annual conventions. FASNY members see how every element of consequence that impacts firefighting will be assembled at FDIC International 2018, April 23-27 in Indianapolis. The work behind this represents literally everyone you could imagine in the fire service, from the most experienced firefighters from every type of organization and part of the country to folks who provide insurance services.

FASNY is part of FDIC. FDIC is your show and your experience, a celebration of and a commitment to FASNY members and firefighters across the nation. At FDIC, everyone is welcome and everyone has something to share. The number of folks to thank for putting FDIC together would go on for pages and includes FASNY. Please accept our deepest gratitude for your input and support.

There will be many new faces at FDIC International 2018 – new instructors, new concepts, new products, new thoughts and new approaches. This is wonderful and welcome. It proves that only someone who has lived under a rock for his whole life would buy into the ludicrous saying about tradition impeding progress.

Exclusive FDIC International 2018 discount available for FASNY members … Save up to $175 off your registration fees! Visit www.fdic.com and use promo code: FASNY2018.

FASNY members know that without tradition, you have no connections; without connections, you cannot understand the past or the present, and you certainly can’t build a future. Our traditions are our foundation. The uninitiated think everything is new, but insiders, those with skin in the game – the FDIC people – know we are building on the foundations laid by millions who came before us and to whom we are grateful.

FDIC 2018 offers 28 hands-on training classes, 80 workshops, 200-plus classes, inspirational keynotes, an emerging technologies summit, comprehensive fire exhibition, the largest stair climb and countless networking celebrations and unique FDIC traditions that bind us, define us and connect us.

The hands-on training classes are delivered by the most-respected and talented firefighters in the world. The workshops will provide the opportunity to get deeper into our personal development and professional expertise and allow for extensive one-on-one with thought leaders.

The Main Program speakers – Dan DeGryse, Gavin Horn, Ted Nee, and special guest FEMA Administrator Brock Long – represent perhaps the greatest collection of intellect on the main stage at one time, apart from when Chief Alan Brunacini graced the stage alone. The classes will again create the direction, the intellectual drive, the controversies and the debates for the coming year.

There are literally dozens of special networking events. Beginning on Tuesday night, the Firefighter Cancer Support Network has its comedy night fundraiser. On Wednesday, the Fraternal Order of Leatherheads hosts its F.O.O.L.S. bash. Thursday is the Courage and Valor 5K Fun Run, followed by the National Fallen Firefighters Stop, Drop, and Rock ‘n’ Roll celebration. Also Thursday night is the MSA block party. Friday is the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation Stair Climb and the Indianapolis firefighters’ union party. All week long, the Firefighter Combat Challenge will be going on as well as dozens of other events and gatherings – all of which are accessible to anyone attending FDIC.

Last year, the members of FASNY were among the 34,000 attendees who celebrated the art and science of firefighting. Men and women participated in a moving and respectful Opening Ceremony that commemorated our fallen and celebrated our finest traditions. Firefighters who attended classes shared information, met new friends and honed their skills to an even finer edge to serve their communities and meet their obligations with even greater skill.

FASNY members attend FDIC because it represents who we are. We are the fire service, we are the community, we are neighbors, we operate in the real world together, we drill and train together, and we assemble at this FDIC conference and exhibition together.

This is our show, firefighters – men and women who have skin in the game who respond when called, who never accept how it is but only accept that it will be better. The classes, drills, instructors and speakers were all chosen by us: gritty, street-savvy firefighters who may not have the alphabet after their names, who sometimes drop the wrong kind of adjective when excited, but who struggle every day to be better than yesterday.

We hope we’ll see you at FDIC this April in Indianapolis. We hope we will see you at your annual FASNY convention in August. FASNY members are urged to network with one another to purchase group pricing on your FDIC registrations. These are the two conferences that no volunteer should miss. These are the two conferences that pay the utmost respect to local expertise and that put, first and foremost, the interests, concerns, and well-being of firefighters and our mission first.