More than 30,000 firefighters from all over the world — including several from Columbus — attended the Fire Department Instructors Conference, the industry’s largest training and trade show.
The conference, conducted April 18 to 23 in Indianapolis, included hands-on training sessions in which firefighters performed realistic scenarios to sharpen their skills, and classroom sessions and workshops. Also, firefighters saw the largest collection of apparatuses, equipment and training tools available to the fire service. The exhibits filled Lucas Oil Stadium and The Indiana Convention Center.
Last year the Columbus Fire Department displayed one of its new apparatuses at the event. Engine 2 was seen by firefighters from across the globe as it remained on display in the exhibit hall.
Several members of the Columbus Fire Department took advantage of the opportunity this year to learn about the latest and in public safety. Columbus Mayor Jim Lienhoop joined Fire Chief Mike Compton and Deputy Chiefs Andy Lay and Mike Kutsko for a tour of FDIC.
“We are excited to have had the opportunity to host Mayor Lienhoop at this year’s instructors conference. This event is one of a kind and really provides a visual of how expansive firefighting has become in terms of service to a community,” Compton said.
A few Columbus firefighters also participated in various sporting events. Scott Bell, Ben Noblitt and Chris Owens took part in the annual National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Stair Climb in the stands of Lucas Oil Stadium. Firefighters climb the equivalent of 110 stories in remembrance of those lost at the 2001 attack on the World Trade Center, when 343 firefighters lost their lives when the towers fell.