Friday Five – Top Five Conferences

January 20, 2012 § Leave a comment

I just sat in the 2012 planning meeting for the Virginia Office of EMS annual Symposium, so I’ve been thinking about various conferences I’m attending, have attended, am aware of, or hope to attend/teach at in the future.  So, in honor of those thoughts, today’s Friday Five is the Top Five Conferences.  Remember this list is my personal opinion.

Top Five Conferences

1.  Fire Department Instructors Conference (FDIC) – There are only 86 days until the 2012 FDIC.  This conference is an annual conference sponsored by Fire Engineering/Pennwell Publishing and for as long as I can remember, the conference has been held in Indianapolis Indiana.  This year will be my fourth year attending the conference and I can’t recommend it enough!  I’ve been lucky enough to teach every year I’ve attended, but I’ve also taken the opportunity to attend classes, walk through the conference exhibits, and almost as importantly, participate in the social activities that are held after-hours. It is a great gathering of some of the greatest minds of the Fire Service, and EMS field, as well as providers throughout the nation and world!  If you haven’t attended, this conference should be on your bucket list!  For more information go to and don’t forget to register early!

2. Virginia Office of EMS Annual Symposium – Okay, so maybe I’m slightly biased about this conference, considering I participate in the planning committee each year and my office sponsors the conference, but this is again, an amazing conference.  With over 300 courses to attend, the Virginia Office of EMS works to cover topics of a variety of focuses, including Medical, airway, Cardiac, hands on, Special Considerations, Communications, CISM, Health and Safety, and a few others.  I’ve attended the conference since 2001 and can say the course offerings have gotten better each year.  The conference runs from Wednesday to Sunday one week in November and is held every year in Norfolk, Va. Registration normally starts in July/August.  Check out for more information.

3.  Firehouse Expo – For quite a long time there wasn’t a year that I didn’t attend Firehouse Expo and then I got married and busy and missed a few years. Once again though, we make an effort to take at least a day trip to this conference, which is held every year in Baltimore, Md. Thanks to my location, a day trip, while tiring, is a feasible action. The conference has both classes and exhibits/sales. Part of the appeal for me is that this really is a family friendly conference. We’ve taken the kids and caught an Orioles game, eaten at Hooters, walked around Inner Harbor, and made the conference a mini-vacation.  Baltimore is a great place, and this conference is definitely enjoyable! You can visit for more information

4.  EMS World Expo – I’ve never attended this conference, but HELLO, it’s in New Orleans!  Unfortunately because the conference basically ends right before the Virginia conference begins, so I’m still here getting ready. But, if you have an opportunity to attend, the course offerings are impressive, the opportunity to hear about new technologies and treatments is fantastic.  You can find more information at:

5.  Lancaster Firemen’s Expo – This event has a special meaning to me, mostly because I can remember a day almost 25 years ago, where my dad and I got up extra early, probably 5:30, (hey, I was like 8 at the time) and drove from Northern Virginia to Lancaster Pennsylvania to see all that was to be seen at the Lancaster Fireman’s Expo. This year there are over 558 booths and over 400 exhibitors, as well as various apparatus.  It’s a multi-day conference that is a must see to appreciate everything there is in the fire service. It is also a fundraiser for the Lancaster County Fireman’s Association, which helps them offer training and educational opportunities each year.  You can visit for more information.


So, those are my top five conferences. What have I missed.  Unfortunately I don’t know them all but would love to know about others I should add to my bucket list!  Until next time…don’t forget to follow on twitter (@sitckysidedwn).


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