With FRI 2019 in the rear-view mirror, it’s time to reflect on our four-day experience among the international firefighting community.
August 6th began with attending a pre-conference symposium focused on first responder’s mental health. Fire chiefs and department executives attended a panel of nine experts, who presented on such disparate topics as mental health screening, PTSD and coping methods, organizational leadership, and disaster pre-planning and response.
The next three days were full of exhibiting at the Georgia World Congress Center. Over 10,000 fire and EMS professionals from around the globe attended the conference, with an additional 500 companies and organizations exhibiting as well. Exhibitors included mainstays in the industry such as Pierce Manufacturing and the National Fire Protection Association as well as lesser-known manufacturers like Anton Paar, who manufacture Raman Spectrometers used to determine the chemical composition of materials, and North River Boats, manufacturers of firefighting watercraft.
We also had the opportunity to speak with hundreds of Fire Chiefs, firefighters, and EMS professionals. We learned a great deal about upcoming legislation and ballot initiatives and have a more focused roadmap going into Fall 2019 and beyond.