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Fire Department Instructors Convention brings big economic benefits to Indy

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (April 20, 2015) - More than 30,000 firefighters from across the nation will pack the convention center this week for the 2015 Fire Department Instructors Conference (FDIC).

Hands on training is happening all throughout Indianapolis. On Monday, firefighters trained at locations in Westfield and Wayne Township. Instructors helped students go through various stations including surge company truck operations, rapid crew intervention crew training, flashover, ventilation techniques, and forcible entry techniques.

The conference has been coming to Indy for more than 15 years. Organizers say Indy is the perfect place to host the event for convenience and training that's specific to state law.

“We can actually get acquired structures. For example, in the state of New Jersey, you cannot burn an acquired structure. In Indianapolis, you can. It’s a very unique opportunity because in this area, you have a variety of different types of buildings and different types of scenarios that actually fit all the people that are coming in to the training for FDIC," explained instructor Leonard Carmichael Jr.

On Wednesday, opening ceremonies will kick off and exhibits will be open for firefighters.

"You have people from all over the country come as instructors. Right now, I believe we have 170 instructors doing many hands on operations all around the city of Indianapolis and they’re preparing all the students for when they go back at home," Carmichael said.

It costs between $75 - $600 for firefighters to attend the conference. The event itself costs millions of dollars to put on and the city makes about that much in profit from the economic impact.

“It’s typically somewhere around 35 to 40 million dollars of economic impact for our one week stay here," said Eric Schlett, VP and Executive Director for FDIC.

The conference is scheduled to come to Indy until 2019. Schlett said he hopes to continue the contract in Indy after that.

“The hospitality of Indianapolis is just tremendous. Everything is in walking distance. It’s just a very friendly, great environment," Schlett said.