Firefighter conference returns to Indianapolis; 30,000 expected to attend

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (April 9, 2014) — The opening ceremonies for the annual Fire Department Instructors Conference start at 8 a.m. Wednesday at the Convention Center. Gov. Mike Pence is scheduled to speak at the event.

The FDIC focuses on hands-on training classes and information sessions. This year there will be more than 200 vendors showcasing the latest firefighting technology at the expo which begins on Thursday.

Instructors said the week plays a big part in making fire departments around the country safer. One of the training sites is Zore’s Towing, where firefighters get the chance to practice cutting through cars, school buses and machines to simulate emergency extrication situations.

“You can talk all you want in the classroom, but you’ve got be able to actually do hands on skills with it,” said T.R. Hagerty, who supervises the site. Hagerty has been part of the conference in Indianapolis for 12 years.

The weeklong conference is back in the Circle City for the 19th time and is bigger than before. With an estimated 30,000 people in overall attendance, the conference has grown compared to last year.

“We have some of the best of the best instructors here teaching, for the students to gain knowledge and go back to their local fire department,” Hagerty said.

Many firefighters will also participate in the Courage and Valor Run and the Memorial Firefighter Stair Climb which benefits the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation.