top of page

2023 Thursday Classroom Sessions

#MAFFC2023 will be held May 17-20, headquartered in Marietta, GA. The classroom sessions will be located at the newly renovated Cobb County Fire Safety Training Center off Valor Drive. Classroom locations are subject to change.

H.O.T. Classes will be located throughout the Metro Atlanta area. 

Nick Peppard

The Tactical Engine (Reloaded)

The Tactical Engine Reloaded is a down and dirty look at the blue-collar fundamentals of aggressive engine work. This recently updated class has been stripped down, overhauled and restructured to add more technical knowledge, real world scenarios and dynamic discussion points. This class will examine effective tactics for first-alarm assignment engine companies. It will explore efficiently performing essential fireground tasks, will delve into tactical priorities and will examine fireground decision making. The class will also address truck work for engines that don’t have the luxury of properly staffed truck companies arriving in a timely manner. Subjects covered will include attributes and foundational principles of building a high-performing engine company, size up, initial actions, water supply considerations, the engine search, forcible entry, coordinated ventilation, riding assignments, weapon selection, hose line management, and how to maximize limited staffing/resources in various operational arenas. This class is geared toward those looking to maximize the performance of their engine company.

Left Seat Tips and Tactics

There is no doubt that the Engineer(driver/operator) is one of the most critical jobs in any fire company. This class is a fast-paced look at effective, time-tested techniques, tricks of the trade and tips for Engineers.
This course will review tactical considerations on a variety of incidents uniquely from the perspective of the Engineer. The wide variety of incidents a fire company responds to requires the Engineer to be on his/her game at all times. Left Seat Tips and Tactics is geared towards current, newly promoted, and step-up engineers, as well as those firefighters seeking to promote and company officers looking to provide quality company level training to their crew.


William Knight

Imperfect Pitch: Construction Conundrums and Rooftop Realities

Whether you're on an engine, truck, or battalion car; whether you're assigned fire attack, search, or ventilation; whether you're riding the tailboard or the command board: Imperfect Pitch is the building construction class you've always wanted. This is an interactive lecture on construction and how it affects firefighting operations. We'll get into the good, the bad, and the ugly of what keeps the rain out, dispelling myths and misinformation along the way. While there is a heavy emphasis on topside work in this class, we will talk about how everyone on scene relies and acts upon an understanding of what's overhead.
Attendees will take home new approaches to discovering and dealing with the odd and unexpected, based upon real-world examples. In addition to regular fireground diagnostics, students will learn a few guerilla tactics for discovering more about the buildings in their area.


Chris Soda

Emergency Response to Electric Vehicle Incidents

This class introduces first responders to the hazards associated with electric/hybrid vehicles and provides students with the knowledge and skills to respond to these types of emergencies. Topics covered include battery technology, extrication challenges posed by new vehicle design and technology, electric vehicle charging stations issues and electric vehicle fire tactics and strategies.


Jason Rivera

Overcoming Common Engine Company Mistakes and Fireground Problems

This participative, discussion-based lecture focuses on a multitude of engine company aspects that, when not handled properly can destroy a fireground operation. These issues apply to all fire departments, big or small, urban or rural. The class is broken up into two sections: mistakes and problems.
Fireground mistakes are human errors; issues that occur due to incorrect judgement, inexperience or simply not being on our A-game. Mistakes are expected as we are humans, trying to make perfect decisions with imperfect information. It is not the mistake that is often the issue, it is our ability to recover from it which can make or break the
entire operation.
Fireground problems are unanticipated challenges that occur at every fire scene. Regardless of what the issue is and what the root cause was, it must be overcome to successfully complete our fireground duties.
We will look at these topics from two sides; making sound, experienced based decisions to avoid issues in the first place as well as overcoming mistakes and problems when they do arise.
This course has been presented at FDIC since 2017 and throughout the northeast United States in formats ranging from 2-hour to 4-hour blocks. The program has always received fantastic reviews and feedback.


Anthony Avillo

When Buildings Change the Rules of the Game

Fireground Strategies: When Buildings Change the Rules of the Game
This course will focus on those issues that firefighters must be aware of to operate more safely in the buildings we are entering. Discussed will be how different types of construction and occupancies change the rules of the game and how personnel on scene must adjust the strategy and tactics to meet that challenge. Renovations, lightweight and large area structures and vacant buildings and the structural carcass dangers will also be covered. Strategies regarding these buildings and their idiosyncrasies will be a further focus point, offering solutions to address the concerns discussed.

The student shall:
1. Understand the concept of "one-size-does-not-fit-all" firefighting
2. Recognize and understand how to properly conduct operations in lightweight structures
3. Recognize and understand how to properly conduct operations in large area structures
4. Recognize and understand how to properly conduct operations in vacant and renovated structures
5. Recognize and understand how to properly conduct operations in the structural carcass
6. Understand the risk vs. gain profile of operations in the buildings that change the rules of the game
7. Understand that we do not dictate to these structures; these structures dictate necessary (and unnecessary) actions to us.
8. Survive a fire in a building that changes the rules of the game

Kevin Lewis

Say YES to VES

Yes, VES can be a challenge but if not you, then who? Remember, the mission is life safety and we must prepare ourselves for such. To be the best Firefighters we can, we must understand fire dynamics as they relate to VES. This will allow us to operate at the maximum level of proficiency upholding our primary mission. Life Safety. Come Get Some!


Dennis Reilly

Responsibilities of Command

Regardless of the size of the unit one is in charge the act of command requires a unique blend of traits and characteristics. Responsibilities of Command takes a holistic approach to develop those traits necessary to lead firefighters at the station and on the fire ground. This class combines the hard learned lessons from the US military and decades of fire service experience into a practical guide for those tasked with the challenging job of leading personnel and meeting the mission requirements of the organization.


Fireground Decision Making Where Science & Art Meet

The modern fire environment presents many complex challenges for those who assume the role of Incident Commander. No one can naturally assume command at a dynamic incident and be successful at the endeavor. Leading forces at an emergency is an acquired skill. Unfortunately, many organizations do not understand the varied elements that make up a truly effective incident commander. This course is designed to produce effective Incident Commanders who understand how they are making decisions, not just filling out tactical worksheets or repeating what they have heard others say on the radio.


A Fire Officer’s Guide to Managing Discipline

Dealing with people and performance issues can be a mine field that a fire officer must navigate. A wrong decision or action can ripple well past the confines of an individual firehouse. For most officers handling disciplinary issues are extremely uncomfortable and probably one of the things they have not been properly prepared to deal manage. Regardless of the policies for a specific agency there are basic steps to handling discipline that always apply. This presentation will supply the a fundamental understanding and skills a supervisor must have to effectively and fairly deal with issues that are of a disciplinary nature.


Marc Aloan

Building a Tradition of Passion

The calling of the fire service has created many traditions which make firefighting much more than just a job. As the modern fire service works to preserve the fabric of its culture while simultaneously expanding its mission, maintaining that calling has never been more important. Building a Tradition of Passion takes the culture clash occurring in the fire service head on by dissecting outdated practices that drive us apart and introducing progressive strategies to preserving our most important traditions. This course focuses on how to build an environment that encourages members at all levels to work together around the common theme of being invested in the job. Our discussion with take us through generational differences, polarized beliefs, roles and responsibilities, managing change, enhancing communication, and building organizational values where engagement and enthusiasm thrive. We will learn how to use expectations, standards, and discipline to make morale more than just a buzz word. Built around the core values of passion, dedication, and accountability, this class will bring everyone in the room together at a time when many believe we have drifted apart. Students will leave energized to build an atmosphere that preserves the calling of the past in the future of our departments. By building great leaders and followers, we can make passion our best tradition!


The Hat Dance: Realities of the Short-Staffed C.O.

As adequate staffing continues to become more of a fantasy than a reality for many departments, the modern company officer is asked to wear many hats ranging from tailboard firefighter to command level officer. With a strong company officer often being the difference between fireground failure and success, we must reconsider what we are asking of our company officers and how they carry out their duties. This class aims to empower and encourage company officers battling the realities of limited manpower armed only with strategies found in formal training and education designed for staffing models that are no longer realistic for the average fire department. We will break down how to balance firemanship and leadership, adapting leadership and managerial responsibilities to low staffing environments, the delicate balance of mentor and boss, proper approaches to delegation, the importance of humility, and strategies for accomplishing mission critical tasks early in the incident without the manpower to do so. By bridging personal and departmental expectations with the realities of limited manpower, current and aspiring company officers will leave with the tools and attitudes necessary to successfully lead there teams both on and off the fireground!


Probie to Promotee: The Missing Link of Professional Development

Although modern fire academies and certification programs provide as wealth of structured, organized information to new members during their initial training, the path to success after that can become very cloudy. The time between initial certification and the first promotional process can be a wasteland of wonder, confusion, and even abandonment. Students of this course will learn how to guide new firefighters down a path for success using fundamental skills and tactics as the foundation of their knowledge base. While each member’s career will take different paths, employing a professional development model which establishes strong work ethic, identifies strengths and weaknesses, and prepares for the next step before the promotional announcement will ensure the member is ready to take their career any direction they want to go. This course is a spin on “things I wish I knew” as it lays out many of the things we wanted to ask as new members but more importantly highlights the things we didn’t know we should ask. From how we stage our gear to how to become promotable, this course will give new firefighters and their bosses the tools necessary to make competent, prepared firefighters as they transition to our future leaders!


Micah Rains

Hook Up And Stretch: High-Rise & Mid-Rise Operations

Fire ground operations on residential structure fires are the routine fire call that most departments encounter. However, high-rise and mid-rise standpipe operations present a new set of challenges on the fire ground. This could be a true high-rise in a downtown district or it could be a four-story hotel in a rural area. Regardless of the location, the same outcome is expected. We must go in, we must aggressively search, and we must make the stretch.

This presentation covers the basic first due tactics and assignments that must be implemented to have a successful outcome during a high-rise or mid-rise incident. Without proactive training for these types of fires, the results could be disastrous. To ensure that they always come first, realistic fire ground training is necessary for the benefit of the citizens and the communities they live in. Hook Up and Stretch presents the challenge of learning, training, and preparing for structure fires when stretching from a standpipe.

Detailed Leadership, Aggressive Tactics

Intentional leadership is the foundation for success within an organization, on the fire ground, or when building relationships. From the bay floor to the battalion car, leadership rises or falls based on the details. This class takes an in-depth look at what it means to be detailed with your people, and your profession. It will look at how this leadership can translate into aggressive tactics on the fire ground. To win on the fire ground we must be able to lead in the firehouse.

Andrew Sauder

9 Minutes "Life Changing, Department Changing"

When the every day EMS call turns into the biggest call of my career. Dispatched to an "ill" person, showing up in an ambulance to a house that is on fire with a victim trapped. No water, no other apparatus dispatched, What will you do? What are your incident priorities? Risk a lot to save a lot? The ambulance is staffed with 3 personnel but only 2 air packs and a fire extinguisher is the only "defense" carried to combat fire conditions. This class dissects the run from the initial dispatch, 911 calls audio, and fire ground audio. Fire ground and search tactics used to locate the victim as the only unit on scene with no water.
(This is part 2 of the class)How do you take care of yourself after the call, digesting the emotions of that day and the stress, thoughts, feelings and emotions of dealing with PTSD. The 2nd part of this class is my personal struggle with the call every day and being to proud to ask for help, until I couldn't do it anymore alone and finally reached out and received professional help


Scott Chisholm

Building a Culture of Accountability

Building a strong culture with stoicism and ownership. We often think the solution to the problem is to make sure the leaders hold people accountable for their actions. Does the worst behavior accepted by the leaders actually dictate the culture of your organization? This class covers the real contributing factors to a toxic or damaging culture. We will discuss how these factors affect the culture and how to fix them. Stoicism and taking ownership are the keys to success. You will learn how to apply these principles to change the culture and yourself. Accountability starts with YOU.


Followership: Why it matters

Everyone knows and understands the importance of good leadership. But good followership is just as important for the success of the department. How much impact does good or bad followership have on the department. Without good leadership and good followership, your organization won't perform effectively. Learn how to be a good follower with good and bad leaders. This is a critical aspect of affecting change.


The Stoic Firefighter

How stoicism can help you be a better firefighter, get things done, create influence, and improve your mental health.


Randolph Feltner

A funny thing happened on the way from the Backstep to the Buggy

Fate is a funny thing, you never think that something bad is going to happen to you especially when you are young. At 38 years old I suffered a major heart attack and went into Cardiac Arrest while on duty at my firehouse. A Traumatic Medical Emergency sounds bad and it was physically but it was the single greatest gift I've ever been given. Perspective drives everything we do; my down time gave me an unbelievable perspective on life, leadership and how they are intermingled at the station and at home. Through my Survivor Story I discuss the lessons I was taught by some amazing mentors on and off the job and the amazingly 12 simple steps that have helped me change everything I thought I was doing right as a young Officer and improve my life on the job as a leader but also at home as a leader for my family. Taking a real look at your life and accepting your failures isn't easy. Gaining the ability to get outside of your own ego and realize that change is needed not only for you personally but for your team and more importantly for your family that change is not only possible but so easy to make.


Jonah Smith

Modern Fire Service Leadership

This course will present methods to adjust to leading in the modern fire service. Culture, society, and technology have all changed the way the fire service must lead. This course will utilize real world experience and mistakes to present effective methods to move our service forward. This class will allow for students to gain a better understanding of the methods needed to lead modern fire departments into the future.


The Stretch: The Foundation of a Great Engine Company

This course will present information to ensure and efficient and effective stretch for the Engine company. The course will present options to increase efficiency for three common hose loads as well as methods that are effective with minimal staffing. Students will gain an understanding a few key elements to ensure stretch proficiency and effectiveness.


Jeffrey Mrwik

Being a fireman today

How 20 years in the fire service has gone by so fast and what has changed and what hasn't. The job, the people, and the rigs. What has changed and what we think has but hasn't.

bottom of page