What is MAFFC?
The Metro Atlanta Fire Fighters Conference is an event held once a year in the Metro Atlanta area that brings together hometown instructors and national level instructors to offer the best possible training to firefighters at little to no cost. MAFFC strives for excellence in training and works hard to facilitate training that would normally be out of reach to most firefighters due to travel and expenses.
Who Makes Up the MAFFC committee?
The Metro Atlanta Fire Fighters Conference is made up of a committee that encompasses Metro Atlanta firefighters from all ranks and positions. The committee consists of a 100% volunteer staff from Metro Atlanta fire departments of all sizes. All members assisting in bringing this training to you share a vision to provide the fire service with the best training, from the best instructors, at the lowest possible price to the student.
How do i get on the MAFFC Committee?
Show up to a meeting. Seriously, it's that simple. The MAFFC Committee is made up of dedicated firefighters from the Metro Atlanta area who want to be part of something bigger than just their home department. If you come to a meeting, we'll quickly show you the secret handshake and then get you assigned to a section you think you might want to contribute your efforts to. If you don't know where you would fit, we'll try and get you plugged in where we think your skills will be best put to use.
Is MAFFC Owned by a Corporation?
Absolutely not. If you even say the "C" word in the presence of a committee member, he'll probably spit on the ground.
MAFFC isn't a business. We're not in this to make money, and every dollar that the conference receives in donations, sponsorships, and registration fees goes directly back into the conference and training firefighters. The Metro Atlanta Fire Officers Association (MAFOA) is the non-profit organization that oversees MAFFC as well as other training opportunities throughout the year. We budget our conference as closely as possible to only take in what we need, which can be scarier than the worst fire some of us have been in. (White knuckle stuff. Seriously.) Any extra money, is used by MAFOA toward next year's conference, or other training opportunities in the Metro Atlanta area that MAFOA hosts and are open to all firefighters.
WHAT IS THE METRO ATLANTA FIRE OFFICERS ASSOCIATION (MAFOA)?
It's the actual non-profit organization that handles the finances for MAFFC. MAFOA is a board of directors comprised of officers from departments all over the metro Atlanta area, as well as private citizens dedicated to our cause. The board is tasked with promoting firefighter training in the Metro Atlanta area, including MAFFC, the Metro Atlanta Extrication and Technical Rescue Conference (MAETRC), the East Metro Firefighters Conference (EMFFC), and other training opportunities.
So no one makes money off of MAFFC?
Absolutely not. That would violate one of our core values which is to offer great training to brother and sister firefighters at little to no cost. Some other firefighter conferences, while offering great training, are also in business to make money. We don't knock them for it. It's just not our style.
MAFFC is all volunteer; from the committee that organizes the conference to the instructors that offer their time. We do work with businesses who provide the conference services, so technically the hotel, bus company, etc. that the conference uses are making money off of the conference, but the conference itself is not a money making conference. No instructors are paid. No staff is paid. And if there happens to be money left over at the end of the conference, it goes into a fund to help pay for next year's conference or other training opportunities open to all firefighters in the Metro Atlanta area.
Who Can Attend MAFFC?
The Metro Atlanta Fire Fighters Conference can be attended by any firefighter. You do not have to be from the Metro Atlanta area or the State of Georgia to attend MAFFC. But you do have to be a firefighter. Did we mention you need to be a firefighter?
Should I Register?
We strongly recommend you register. It is important because some classes have a limit on participants. "Day of" registration is available, but the fastest and easiest way to register is online. Early registration is also a tremendous help to the MAFFC staff in anticipating attendance issues that we can avoid through planning. Don’t forget – register early and reserve your spot.
After Registering, I never received an email. What gives?
Some folks have found their registration confirmation email in their junk mail folder or marked as spam. If you still can't find it, fill out the form at the bottom of the page, and we'll help you out.
Do Classes Fill Up?
Yep, and quickly too.
Do you have stand-by for classes that are full?
Yes. Before the buses leave for the hands-on training site if we've got no-shows, we will try to fill those spots with anyone who is looking for a class to attend. But that all happens right before the bus leaves, so you need to be at the check in site if you plan on flying stand-by.
HOW MUCH DO CLASSES COST?
The classroom sessions continue to be free, and the hands-on classes are $35.00 per 4 hour and $70 per 8 hour class. This includes lunch at the hands-on training location.
Does It Cost Extra for Out Of State Attendees?
The is no additional cost for out of state MAFFC attendees.
Are Meals Included?
Yes for the Hands-on sessions; No for the Classroom sessions. Lunch is included in the registration fee for the Hands-on class you are taking. Our Classroom sessions are free so we have food available for purchase. Oh, and if you have special dietary considerations, complete the form at the bottom of this page and we'll do what we can to work with you.
How Do I Get CEU's/Certificate of Attendance
Certificates of Attendance will be emailed to your registered email address upon completion of the conference. Not all classes have Georgia CEU credits so make sure to read the full class description for information pertaining to CEU’s.
Is There A Dress Code?
What you wear is up to you. Many attendees wear their uniforms, and some choose to wear casual attire. Some classes may require specific types of clothing (e.g. running shoes) so check the class description carefully.
We recommend you dress for comfort and urge all students to avoid wearing any inappropriate clothing that could be construed as offensive. We haven't had to ask anyone to leave yet; don't be the first.
What is the weather like in Atlanta in May?
May in Atlanta is pretty hot and humid. It's not August in Atlanta, but it's still usually pretty hot and humid. Plan on hot humid weather. Did we mention hot and humid?
Do I Need My Turnout Gear or SCBA?
Read the class description carefully! Some classes require turnouts and SCBA. We actually have had attendees from previous years show up for live fire classes without turnout gear. MAFFC doesn't have any turnout gear to loan you. We do have a very limited number of SCBAs donated by our sponsors that are available on a a first come/first served basis. But if you aren't flying to the conference, you should be bringing your own SCBA. No promises we will have an SCBA for you.
Is There A Refund/Cancellation Policy?
Once you register for a class that spot is eliminated and is no longer available. Because of this, refunds are not available at any time. We ask that students understand that the classes delivered are from dedicated instructors, and we feel it is the responsibility of the student to plan appropriately to attend the class.
What happens if there is bad weather?
We fight fires in the rain, so we'll train in the rain. We won't cancel any training sessions unless the safety of our attendees is in jeopardy. Bad weather is actually something of a tradition for MAFFC; it seems to always rain like the devil on Sunday at our conference.
What Happens If I Don't Show Up For A Class I Registered For?
Shame. Eternal shame. Nothing but shame.
Realize that when you signed up for a class, you kept someone else from signing up. There are a limited number of seats for each hands-on class. If you sign up for a class, have the decency to show up. If you're bleeding out of your eyes we understand. Otherwise, you should know we will be cursing your name as we strike a line through the class roster marking you as a "no show."
Can I take only a portion of a hands-on class?
No. We understand that sometimes our class schedule doesn't jibe with your schedule, but we have to stand behind our instructors; if they say the subject they are teaching requires 4 hours, 8 hours, or even 16 hours, well then, they need that much time to deliver the material. Remember, MAFFC was founded under the idea that anyone that attends our conference will hopefully return to their department and share the knowledge and training they received. Allowing anyone to only attend a portion of a class would create a situation where someone may return to their home department with only a cursory view of the subject.
Can I audit a hands-on class that is full?
No. While we really appreciate how badly some attendees want to get into specific classes, allowing students to attend hands-on classes where they "just watch" and don't participate creates two problems.
First, it's not called a hands-on class for nothing. The subject obviously requires you to put your hands on something to get the full impact of the instruction. Second, having people watching a class but not participating is disruptive for those who are participating, and that's not fair to them.
Where Do Attendees Stay?
If sleeping on the floor of your second cousin's den isn't for you, MAFFC partners with hotels who have agreed to give us a reduced rate. For a list of partnered hotels for this year's conference click here.
Does MAFFC Provide Transportation?
MAFFC will get you to your class in vehicles departing from the check-in site, and we'll get you back. How you get from your hotel or second cousin's house to the check-in site every day is on you. We tried to provide van service in years past, but people kept wanting to stop for food along the way. (Seriously.)
Can I Drive Myself To The Training Site?
No. All attendees must depart for the training sites from the check-in site on one of our buses. This insures that all students are accounted for and are en route to the right location at the right time. Besides, some of these training sites don't have what you would call "adequate" parking, and some of the instructors use the time on the bus to get things like the safety talk and other stuff taken care of so that when the parking brake on the bus sounds, we can get the training started as soon as possible.
What the Hey is a Safety Village?
The Safety Village is a training center that MAFFC uses as its hub. Students report to the Safety Village for check-in and "Day Of" registration, and all buses headed to hands-on training depart from the Safety Village. It's also the location for all of our classroom training and our sponsor/vendors use the Safety Village halls to display the newest and best equipment. It's located at 1220 Al Bishop Drive Marietta GA 30008.
What Do I Get For My Registration Fee?
Besides the top notch instruction, lunch, and brotherhood? Well, honestly, your registration doesn't actually cover the cost of your instruction or lunch. 100% of your registration fee is used toward the cost of the conference, but a large portion of the conference budget is donated by sponsors and partnering departments. If you're worried about whether or not your time at the conference will be worthwhile, rest assured.
Is MAFFC Really All Volunteer?
Yep. Staff. Instructors. Even our volunteers are volunteers.
What is there to do besides the classes?
Our goal is that MAFFC is a experience centered around training, but also something much more valuable to the whole firefighter. There are opportunities during the conference for getting to know your fellow students as well as rub shoulders with the instructors and staff. During our four day conference, we host The Bash (a big party with food, drinks, and music that is for everyone at the conference), The Iron Firefighter Team Challenge (a combat challenge type event with teams of firefighters competing), and a social event for the instructors at the conference.
If you are interested in sampling some of the things Atlanta has to offer, you are only minutes away from Downtown Atlanta, Buckhead, and other places around the city to get great food, drinks, and entertainment. We encourage you to explore what our great city has to offer.
Where can I get a conference t-shirt?
Conference t-shirts are available at The Bash. MAFFC has partnered with Motivated Print Design which specializes in producing t-shirts made-to-order on site with a design of your choice from the multiple MAFFC designs available. It's like ordering at a bar, except you won't regret buying the t-shirt in the morning.
I have money burning a hole in my turnout gear. Is there anything else to buy at the conference other than t-shirts?
Many of our sponsors set up tables within the halls of our registration site The Safety Village. They display the coolest of their equipment and gear; much of which is available for purchase. It would be smart to have a few walk around dollars in your pocket in case you see something you can't go back to your station without.
How do i become an instructor at MAFFC?
Each fall (usually around October) there is a Call For Instructors. We promote it on our website and social media accounts. We ask each prospective instructor to complete an online form giving us some information about them and the class they are proposing. We spend December reviewing all of the submissions and determining which classes are right for the conference. Near the end of December, all of the prospective instructors get notified if their class has been chosen.
What are the dates for the conference?
The conference in 2017 will be May 11th to May 14th. If you need to find it quicker next time, it's part of the logo on the website.
Where can I find the podcast?
It's part of the drop down list when you click on the "Media" tab on at the top of our website. You can also access it on iTunes and subscribe so that the new episodes come straight to you. We don't understand how that works. Might be some kind of magic. We're looking into it.
How come the numbers assigned to the classes aren't in order?
They are in order...in the order that they were submitted during our Call For Instructors.
Why do a whole lot of the instructors' pictures all resemble steve mcqueen in the towering inferno?
Any of our instructors who haven't sent us a photo to use, get a Steve McQueen Towering Inferno avatar as a placeholder on their bio page. Why Steve McQueen? I honestly can't believe you don't know, but here are a few reasons:
- The dude commanded a bad-@#% high rise fire while wearing a tie under his turnout coat
- At the end of the movie he delivered the line: "...You know, one of these days, you're gonna kill 10,000 in one of these firetraps, and I'm gonna keep eating smoke and bringing out bodies until somebody asks us how to build them."
- He "blew the tanks" at the top of a high rise with dynamite to drown the high rise fire...while wearing a tie under his turnout coat