top of page


2023 Wednesday 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. 

Anthony Avillo

Fireground Strategies: Strategic Decision-Making
This presentation will cover the decisions that need to be made regarding fire scene strategy determination based on the arrival and/or forecasted conditions. Strategy selection considerations, strategy modification cues, and offensive-to-defensive / defensive to offensive strategic transition will be a focus for discussion. Situational fire topics will be discussed and highlighted by case studies and lessons learned from past incidents. Areas of focus will include below grade fires, attached and closely spaced buildings, cockloft fires, exposure issues, and large area buildings. We will further discuss the recognition of when an exterior strategic opportunity presents itself, precipitating a transitional strategy as the initial fireground action. Additional insights into strategies and tactics to make a transitional attack more effective will be covered. Further, additional alarm considerations as well as the importance of standard operating procedures as the foundation of fireground control and the importance of progress reports from all operational areas as the basis of ongoing review/evaluation/revision requirements. A must for the Incident Commander.

• The student will identify cues to aid in the determination of the chosen strategy.
• The student will identify situations where additional alarms are required to control the incident.
• The student will understand how to decentralize the fireground to effectively manage an incident.
• The student will identify situations and reports that will guide the decision to modify the chosen strategy.
• The student will be able to recognize an exterior strategic opportunity to apply the transitional strategy.
• The student will understand the importance of ongoing progress reports as a mechanism of incident review / evaluate / revision
• The student will identify the steps of strategic transition.


Fire Officer Excellence

This Full Contact Leadership / Fireground Strategies-based presentation will seek to challenge both current and prospective fire officers regarding preparation, attitude, philosophical approach, and operational and organizational skill both in the hard environment (on the fireground) and in the soft environment (the areas and time when you are preparing yourself and your subordinates for the fireground). The outcome of the 1% of the time we spend on the fireground is based on the actions, discipline, and leadership we display the other 99% of the time in the soft environment. This course will address Officer and Departmental responsibility as it relates to the Full Contact Leadership mantra: “Allow NOTHING to interfere with your ability to maintain the ready and in-service status of your Command.” We will examine foundation-level reasons for emergency ground failures and discuss organization-level controls and mechanisms to address and prevent same. Departmental and company-level expectations will be a focus of this discussion and why departments fail in the hard environment and the relationship this failure has to the soft environment. There will be a major emphasis on the importance of the "nothing showing environment" and its impact on the "something showing environment" with a “What You Permit You Promote” philosophy.

Christopher J. Naum, SFPE

Reading the Building: Increasing Fireground Literacy, Building FACTS and the Size-up

Today’s buildings and occupancies continue to present unique challenges to command and operating companies during combat structural fire engagement. Building and occupancy profiling, identifying occupancy risk versus occupancy type, construction methods, features, systems and components require new skill sets in reading the building and implementing predictive occupancy profiling for today’s firefighters, company and command officers for effective and efficient fireground operations. Incorporating the Buildings on fire FACTS concept for First-Arriving Construction, Tactics and Safety, this program provides an overview of the methodology and process to increase operational effectiveness and ensure critical building factors are identified, assessment and monitored throughout the incident. Focus on Residential and small Commercial occupancies.

Buildings on Fire: Tactical Risks for the First-Due

Arriving companies and personnel at today’s structure fires must be able to rapidly and accurately identify key elements of a building, process that data based upon a widening field of variables present on today’s evolving fireground and implement timely actions that address prioritized actions requiring intervention. This program will present tactical risks and key considerations for the First-Due Company, Company Officer and Commander affecting and influencing operational risk management, command and tactical safety and tactical protocols based upon occupancy risks, reading the building and adaptive management principles. Focus on RES and COM OPS.


Chris Kessinger

The Aggressive Mindset

The Aggressive Mindset, what does that mean to you and the members of your department? Our mission has always been to serve the citizens whom we swore to protect. Placing their wellbeing above our own is the expectation that they have and the OATH that we took. Statistically fires are down across the country, but civilian fire fatalities continue to climb. We must change our mindset, training and culture to ensure we are ready to make the grab when the call comes. You don’t think we are making grabs daily? Head on over to Firefighter Rescue Survey and read the numbers. Aggressive search wins…change my mind. Our mindset drives our preparedness, our culture, and our performance. In this class we will discuss taking back time in our readiness, search statistics, creating a culture of excellence and empowering the aggressive mindset to your entire crew. The decisions we make on a daily basis can be the difference in whether someone lives or dies, we must ensure that we are performing as professionals and aggressively. We are here for THEM! Aggressive firemanship saves lives! Do you have the mindset?!


Chad Menard

The Unbreakable Engine Company

This presentation focuses on the must haves for the first arriving Engine Company to be successful. We will discuss training, leadership, and the hands-on skills that all members of an Engine Company must be well versed in to succeed; regardless of your staffing levels. We will break down everything that must take place from the rig to the door (hose stretches and line staging), what we must do at the door to prepare for the attack, and how we handle everything from the door to the fire room (pinch and friction points, line management, and more). We will round the class out talking about the three levels of attack all Engine Companies must know, understand, and have at their disposal for today's fuel packages.


Clay Magee

The Ins and Outs of Forcible Entry
Forcible entry is one of the most common jobs for a truck company. Every day across America firefighters go to jobs with the first priority being to gain access. Many fire departments fail during recruit school to adequately prepare their firefighters when it comes to forcible entry. It is essential that truck company firefighters, as well as engine company firefighters in many departments, be proficient at forcible entry. Delayed forcible entry causes many problems including our two most important priorities: water on the seat of the fire and search. Forcible entry is a lacking skill in many areas of the country. Many firefighters rely on brute strength through methods such as the mule kick to get into houses, however such techniques will not always work at residential fires and will fail firefighters on the scene of a commercial fire. Firefighters need to be knowledgeable and proficient in use of their tools and doors/locks.
This class will cover the history of the halligan and where our present day halligans have come from, comparison of different brands of halligans, mechanical advantages, striking tips and body positioning, inward and outward swinging doors, drop bars, basic thru the lock techniques and uses, saw work, the 10% Search, and door size up. While a lecture only class, this class should serve as a building block to apply information to hands on training and the fireground. This class is the basics of residential and commercial forcible entry. Firefighters that come from strong, truck company centered departments may know much of this information, however many firefighters have been inadequately prepared to meet the challenges they will face. This class is an attempt to close the gap between the training textbooks and real world fire ground knowledge.


Tim O'Connor

First Due with a Clue

Everyone wants to be First Due to every fire they are dispatched to. But what happens when you are successful at beating everyone there? Do you know what needs to be done? Can you accomplish it all? Nothing is worse than arriving first, only to be beat to the seat by the 2nd due because you were unsure of what needed to be done or how to do it. First Due Engine and Truck operations simply put will make or break the fireground. If operations are efficient and executed well, success is easy. If operations are executed poorly, failure will ensue. The public places their blind trust in us each and every day that we will respond quickly and solve their problem, whatever it may be. This class will build upon the belief that everyone must know every job. The Truck relies on the Engine and the Engine needs the Truck. This class will take that belief and hone it to focus on the basics of Engine work and Truck work. It will mold those basics into a fluent coordination of movements that happen on the fireground. These movements collectively allow us to rescue human life and preserve property, which after all is our primary mission. Engine topics include positioning for success, riding and tool assignments, hoseline selection and deployment for the greatest benefit among others. Truck topics will cover positioning around other apparatus, riding and tool assignments, the 2 team concept and how to consolidate positions when short staffed; we will also cover ladders, forcible entry, ventilation and search procedures.


Real World RIT

The modern-day fire environment has become extremely fast paced. With this fast paced tempo, the chances of an injury or adverse event leading to a MAYDAY has increased exponentially. The need to provide a Rapid Intervention Team (RIT) at every fire is clearer than ever. The need to appropriately place the smaller number of responding manpower for the greatest benefit is also of great importance. How can these two needs be accomplished? Taking the traditional viewpoint of RIT and using research and data to tweak that framework to work in todays’ environment is the answer. In this course we will discuss the framework necessary to take what was once thought to be a stagnant crew in a fixed positon and change them into a dynamic force multiplier closer to a quick reaction force that can provide greater safety in an overall manner. The course will combine research and data gathered from both nationally recognized studies and reports and also from down home trial and error to present a new thinking on utilizing the responding manpower in the most advantageous way. Traditional values such as locating, evaluating and removing a downed firefighter still remain, however they are incorporated into the mindset that most rescues are completed by crews already in the area at the time of the emergency. Crew assignments, tools and operations are discussed using case study, videos and audio tapes of past incidents to create new framework for deployment on scenes.


Successful Short-Staffed Engine

In today’s fire service that is ruled by the almighty dollar, staffing reductions and lack of membership response has created a unique set of challenges. Regardless if your department is Career, Volunteer, or Combination we have been tasked with doing more with less. Less funding, less equipment, and less people. We, as the Fire Department, are still expected to solve every problem that is thrown our way. In order to do that, we must adapt and overcome-change our tactics and operations-to incorporate the increase in responsibility and decrease in staffing. The most common “change” that has been made is to operate with a crew of 3 personnel on engine companies. While this is no doubt less than optimal, it is very attainable when you become extremely effective through training and practice.


Jody Jordan

Pre-Incident Planning Steps and Benefits

The goal of the Pre-Incident Planning Steps and Benefits class is to discuss and demonstrate the benefits of standardized, detailed, and easily accessible structure/occupant information. The class will go step by step through pre-incident planning to include determining structures to preplan, information to gather, drawing structures with easily accessible programs, and basic options for accessing enroute.


Kim Fitzsimmons

Through Tragedy Comes Change: A Firefighter's Blueprint

We’ll look at tragic fires that have shaped the fire service and how they have given us a blueprint. Fires where our brothers and sisters learned lessons, both easy and hard; not only in tactics but also in identifying critical hazards and developing ways of protection or mitigation. You’ll see how blood, sweat, tears and last breaths have brought us to this point, and you’ll realize how much we need our blueprint!
We’ll go over the seven steps to reading our blueprint and learn to identify the importance of historical fires; tragedies that have led to improvements in tactics and strategies, in firefighter safety, and in life safety. It’s vital we know how to read the Firefighter’s Blueprint, so that we can build ourselves in a direction of continuous improvement and not repeat the same mistakes over and over. Mistakes our brothers and sisters have already given their lives for and have already detailed on to the blueprint.


Nick Peppard

Engineering Excellence

The professional Driver/Engineer must understand and leverage the ENTIRE water delivery system from start to finish. They must not only understand the “What”, but also the “How” and the “Why” of their equipment, tactics and their position. Driver/Engineers must truly be Master of Water delivery and application. They are expected to be intimately familiar with the weapons at their disposal and wield them in a way so as to maximize their impact on the fire scene. The reality is great driver/engineers are not made by accident. They are systematically built through knowledge, training and experience. This class takes an extensive look at water delivery and application. It delves into the equipment, strategic goals, and tactical deployment models that are essential to success at the pump panel. It examines extensive technical knowledge, hydraulics, pump design, hose and nozzle construction, and how our strategies, tactics, equipment impact our effectiveness on the fireground. If you’re a student of all things ENGINE, this is the class for you!


Running Scared: Risk Management NOT Risk Aversion

“It seems to be a law of nature, inflexible and inexorable, that those who will not risk cannot win.” - John Paul Jones (Father of the United States Navy)

Risk management. Our safety is our number one priority. Hit it hard from the yard. Roof ops are too dangerous. Don’t trust a truss. Community risk reduction. Clean cabs. Survivability profiling. Transitional attack. SLICERS. DICERS. Risk/Benefit Analysis. 2-in/2-out. We are really an EMS department that goes to fires occasionally.

If you’ve been around the fire service for any length of time then you’ve probably at least heard of and, in many cases, discussed (sometimes animatedly) these concepts, terms and mindsets. While many of these concepts were well-intended and may even contain some fundamental truths, they have often been bastardized and used as cultural weapons within our industry. As the fire service seems to be creeping closer to white collar business practices and continues to say “yes” to more diversified service models, many are left wondering what is happening to our identity and future as firefighters. This class examines the dichotomy of risk management and the subsequent impacts that the safety culture of the past two decades has had on the American fire service. The class examines the concepts of mission creep and normalization of deviance within our service. It will review and facilitate discussion on the current cultural divide pertaining to strategic, tactical and safety strategies within our profession. It reviews extensive data, technical knowledge, and real-world experiences to unwrap the many layers of this cultural war happening amongst us in an effort to present sound, unemotional reasoning and create open, meaningful dialogue with the end goal being unity, mission readiness, and a return to our fundamental, blue-collar roots of service before self.


Firehouse Culture: Ideas over Egos

Have you ever noticed how many times we dismiss great ideas because of WHO is presenting them? So often we in the fire service fail to even consider ideas because we "don't like so and so" or "have a beef" with someone over something they said or did. We often allow petty differences, personal egos or stereotypes to cloud our judgment and in doing so miss many great concepts, ideas, and innovations. Oftentimes messages get lost in translation due to who is delivering the information or how we perceive their delivery. We get caught up in politics and popularity contests which causes our organizations to stagnate and become toxic environments, rather than positive, productive and proactive firehouses. I believe we as a fire service can and should do our part to use sound judgment and value ideas over personalities. We owe it to our citizens and our brothers and sisters to let the best ideas win!

This 2-hour Lecture covers manifestations of an ego driven culture and examines ways to combat this issue in your own firehouse. This class takes an honest, blue-collar approach to building productive teams where the best ideas win!


Adam Haywood

"Gas Powered Forcible Entry"

“Gas Powered Forcible Entry” is a 1hr 45min class that takes a deep dive into rotary saw forcible entry operations. The class begins with the ins and outs of rotary saw and blade anatomy and how to best set your saw up for success. Detailed truck checks and basic saw maintenance are covered to help establish a renewed ownership in your own saw fleet. Basic saw operation and ergonomic body mechanics are reviewed to make you a more confident saw operator. Next, all facets of saw-based forcible entry are covered extensively. The class covers how to attack padlocks, barrel bolts, drop bars, vehicles, window bars, plunge cuts, gap cuts, panic bars, hinges, and several variations of cuts on both residential and commercial overhead doors. Finally, the class concludes with a thorough review of current battery saws and their strengths, weaknesses, and applications.


Anthony Correia

Improving Extrication Operations Performance with Crew Resource Management
This 90-minute interactive program will discuss the benefits of integrating Crew Resource Management in extrication operations. The program will look at both the applications of CRM at the tactical, as well overall incident strategic level.
Vehicle Extrication & complex highway incidents require collaboration, coordination, and integration of multiple agencies & personnel for a common mission. Lack of collaborative interaction can have a significant negative impact on patient outcomes. Not recognizing significant bleeding or performing extrication functions before treating for crush injury are 2 examples of how lack of coordination, improper or untimely tactics can negatively impact mortality and morbidity. More complex incidents bring more agencies and resources to the scene. Increasing the challenges of working as one team, with one goal; The patient(s). This program will discuss how the integration of Crew Resource Management as part of the incident management system improves effectiveness while reducing conflict and errors while improving overall incident performance. This program discusses the effective integration of CRM at extrications. This program details the integrated priorities of patient care and extrication in all phases of extrication and complex highway incidents. Lack of coordination & poor leadership, not the tactics or performance of the personnel that causes an extrication to become chaotic and problematic. It’s how the incident is managed. How well these agencies and personalities integrate & work in a cooperative manner will impact the outcome of mortality and morbidity at these types of incidents. This program will discuss in detail how the 5 components of Crew Resource Management, (Teamwork, Communication, Situational Awareness, Decision Making & Task Allocation) integrates into ICS, as well as task performance towards improved incident efficiency and effectiveness. CRM has been proven to be effective in Pit Crew CPR in significantly increased survival. CRM Can improve Extrication outcomes by using the same principles
The following outcome objectives are to be accomplished:
-Understand Crew Resource Management and its 5 components. As well as Understand why Extrication Incidents can benefit from CRM
-Understand how to integrate CRM and its 5 components into Extrication incidents. How To Integrate CRM Into the incident management system, as well into task performance.
-Understand how to use CRM to monitor and measure the effectiveness Of Extrication Operations. Understand how to the 5 components of CRM to adjust tactics for improved performance.

Melanie Clark

My Lieutenant Didn't Come Home: Lessons Learned from a Line of Duty

This program highlights a real-life incident where Lieutenant Brad Clark (recipient of 2019 Ray Downey Courage and Valor Award) died in the line of duty and two other firefighters were seriously injured during a highway incident.

The program, lead by Brad's widow and public safety advocate Melanie Clark, provides critical information to prepare fire departments, firefighters and their families for when tragedy strikes. It provides an inside look at family notification and the days immediately after the tragedy strikes. Lessons learned include a discussion of the incident itself, how firefighters can better prepare themselves and their families should the worst occur, department-level tactical changes as a result of the LODD as well as post-event changes to state-level move over laws.


Nathan Ellis

The Team Approach: Achieving Maximum Potential

“I have the best job in the world.” Through trial and error, I have discovered that building relationships, developing partnerships and creating unity have been key to my success in leadership. Today’s work force is not committed to the trade of firefighting nor are they committed to your department or company. Instead, today, people are committed to people. Relationships create trust, respect, accountability, and commitment. Partnerships motivate individuals to work as a team. And when the team members are committed to the same goal, the team realizes its maximum potential. That type of unity does not happen by chance. It must be created and maintained. And division in any organization, when left unchecked, will always result in mutiny. In this presentation, I will share examples of partner leadership that I have experienced in my career that resulted in fire service organizations moving from mutiny to unity. Partner leaders can motivate their teams to achieving maximum potential and high morale, so that everyone can say with me, “I have the best job in the world.”


Joe Yowler & Heather Yowler

Taking Control: Homefront to the Fireground

Taking Control: Homefront to the Fireground is a three-part endeavor.
First, we will tackle the body. Stress-induced tachycardia and exertion-induced tachycardia affect the body in different ways. Stress-induced tachycardia causes a narrowing field of vision, auditory exclusion, loss of fine motor skills and the inability to make a clear decision or have cognitive thought. Exertion induced tachycardia simply raises the heart
rate. A firefighter experiences an extreme amount of stress-induced tachycardia during their time of service.

Second, we will go through some practices both good and bad preparing for the job. Past practices sometimes involve complex escape methods, elaborate mayday procedures, and training that is unrealistic causing a false sense of security. This has been recognized and studied in depth by many. We will expand on and bridge the gap between the science and the fire service. We will cover methods and practices used to help reverse or slow the effects of stress on the fire-ground. This is accomplished through breathing techniques, meditation methods, simplifying practices, and repetition. Our class will focus on the how our stressors affect our home life.

Lastly, we will dive into the mind both on the fire-ground and at home. We will go over techniques and experiences we have found along our way as a fire couple. Some of the topics discussed will include how to keep your family involved, diffusing and balancing work vs life, and reducing stress at home during shift days. For years we have heard the sayings such as "Don’t take work home with you.”, and "Keep work at work and home at home." We are here to break that old tale and show you how to balance your mind with work and home. Mental health is a priority and one we hold very close to our hearts.

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.

bottom of page