The International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) is hosting their annual conference and expo, Fire-Rescue International (FRI), in Atlanta, Georgia, on August 7 through 10. The conference and expo will provide seminars on all things fire related, including leadership training, vendor exhibits showcasing the latest products and software and discussions exploring new trends in fire service.   

If you plan on going, here are four things you need to make sure you see at IAFC’s FRI 2019:

1. Tech talks:
Though fire has been endangering communities for millennia, technology has allowed firefighters to fight it much more effectively. FRI attendees can join sessions on how to best incorporate and implement new fire service technologies to aid in their everyday duties, from EMS responsibilities to fire prevention. Attendees can learn about the benefits of adopting cutting-edge fire service software and how utilizing the intuitive power of data analysis will help them best serve their personnel and citizens.

2. Seminars and symposia:
Firefighters are responsible for responding to so much more than your common house fire, so they must remain up to date on responding to situations that require more modern intervention. They often must jointly respond to active shooter situations, terror-related incidents and other large-scale incidents. The National Counterterrorism Center will be holding a symposium on the latest in methods and best practices for responding to these specific types of incidents. Additionally, a hazard session will explore how best to coordinate with law enforcement when responding to active shooters.

3. Leadership training:
About 69 percent of firefighters are volunteers, and that number is on the decline. It is more important than ever for fire chiefs and leaders to cultivate an environment that promotes recruitment and retention. Multiple sessions will allow fire leaders to discuss topics like reputational management, building your brand, creating funding opportunities and how to survive and thrive as a leader.

4. Get around in Atlanta, Georgia:
Business is booming and nowhere is that more obvious than Atlanta, Georgia. Home to almost half a million people, Atlanta is bursting with things to do, eat and see, especially thanks to its new nickname as the ‘Hollywood of the South.’ There’s the Georgia Aquarium in downtown Atlanta, the World of Coca-Cola headquarters tour, parks, gardens and a thriving music, arts and culinary scene for conference attendees to enjoy.

Whether this is your first IAFC FRI conference or one of many, there will be myriad opportunities to learn, network, discuss and more. If you plan to attend, make sure you pack your schedule to get the most from the world class educational opportunities and technological advancements available.