View the Speaker Bios

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Thursday Pre-Conference
Friday Workshops & Keynote Speaker
Saturday Workshops & Keynote Speaker

Thursday Pre-Conference


Jack Snook
Thursday, June 26 :: 8:30am – 12:00pm

AM: Leading the New Fire Service Reality

This presentation is designed to assist managers and supervisors in coping with the challenges of the "new reality." Jack Snook will share innovative, but proven concepts, principles, and techniques that will not only be informative and useful, but motivating and entertaining. He shall discuss future concerns and challenges, quality issues and customer service, the human elements of being successful, the changing environment, and dealing with change. In addition, he will share case studies illustrating creative ways of getting the job done and being successful both personally and as an organization.




Retired Chief Chris Hohol, CET, CFI, CIT
Chief Ed Janke
Keith Tveit
Thursday, June 26 :: 1:00pm – 4:30pm

PM: Managing the Release of BLACK GOLD in My Backyard
Time to pull out and dust off my IAP, OOPS the IAP is blank, now what?

Say what?? Yes Black Gold! For those of you old enough to remember the theme song from the 1960's TV series the Beverly Hillbillies you heard the reference to Black Gold –Texas Tea as they were referring to crude oil. Well, the crude oil boom in North Dakota and Canada has now brought to light once again the products – not only crude oil, but the many many chemical composite being transported up and down our highways and railways every single day.

We will focus on the response to transportation related incidents on Wisconsin's highways or railways involving the release of crude oil. We will also discuss the chemical make-up of the crude oil product(s), the response to a spill and a spill involving a fire. Why is it important to step out of your comfort zone and think about what your local capability is and what would be needed to stabilize/neutralize a large scale release? Why would having an Incident Action Plan drafted and readily available help you control a successful outcome for this type of event?

Friday Workshops & Keynote Speaker


Opening Keynote

Jack Snook
Friday, June 27 :: 8:30am
Facing Forward Moving On

Jack Snook has spent years studying and working with people and their responses to extreme adversity, life and death situations, and coping with a significant event that either moved them in a positive direction or left them lost and struggling to cope or survive. He will talk candidly about the importance of "resilience" and how it can make or break an individual's or organization's spirit. He will utilize real life examples including lessons learned from World War II, Vietnam, and the horrific attack on September 11th to exemplify acts of bravery and courage. His non-intrusive and sometimes humorous approach, combined with the unique way he shares challenging situations, is truly an educational experience which an audience won't forget. This program has been presented to over 100 groups at conventions and conferences throughout the United States and Canada.


Workshop - Operations Track

David A. Bradley, B.S., NREMT
Friday, June 27 :: 1:00pm - 2:30pm
Dirtballs, Frequent Flyers, & Taxi Runs

"Dirtballs, frequent flyers, and taxi runs." These words depict vivid images in our minds, but have we forgotten why we entered emergency services. Are we in this profession for the right reasons and are we doing the best job possible? Today, providers are entering the profession ill-prepared to face the "realities" of emergency services; the opinions and stereotypes that can occur. Join Dave for an enlightening look at ethical issues from a different perspective, that of the patient!



Workshop - Leadership Track

Drs. Tim & Victoria McGrath
Friday, June 27:: 1:15pm – 2:45pm
I've Read All the Leadership Books – Why Isn't it Working?

There is a ton of information out there: Steve Jobs- Ten Lessons in Leadership; Kouzes & Posner – Leadership Challenge; Guiliani – Leadership; in fact Amazon has over 100 pages of leadership books to choose from. But what works? If leadership were that easy – why can't we just read about it and do it? Leadership is difficult and so many of these book are geared to the private sector focusing on profit – so what works in the fire service? Drs. Tim and Victoria McGrath will help sort out the leadership lessons learned and share those that are essential leadership qualities needed for any person in an officer position; from line officer to Chief, from volunteer to career, so that he or she can be a successful leader!


Workshop - Administrative Track

Karl Nollenberger, Ph.D.
Friday, June 27:: 1:30pm – 3:00pm
City Administrator Round Table

This facilitated round table discussion will be in question and answer format to explore the issues and current events that our elected officials must address on a daily basis as they relate to the fire service. Topics include, level of expected service, how to negotiate in the current economic climate, ISO ratings, injury and LODD preparation, etc. Chiefs will also have the opportunity to ask questions of the panel composed of elected officials including a city administrator, village administrator and mayor.


General Session

Battalion Chief Joe Pulvermacher
Friday, June 27:: 3:00pm – 5:00pm
Lessons Learned from the Sikh Temple Shooting - Fire Service Response to Active Shooter Incidents

BC Joe Pulvermacher will provide an overview of techniques and training developed through Oak Creek's active shooter experience. This presentation will outline The City of Oak Creek's joint police and fire preparedness and response to active shooter/ mass casualty events. Drawing from lessons learned, a collaborative, uniform approach (with standardized terminology) will be stressed.

Saturday Workshops & Keynote Speaker


General Session

Keith Tyson
Saturday, June 28 :: 8:00am - 9:30am
Taking Action Against Cancer in the Fire Service

Presentation Sponsored by: Hastings Air Energy Control, Inc.

"Taking Action Against Cancer in the Fire Service" is an extremely informative but brief 90 minute presentation that no one "thinks" they want to listen to, but for those that do attend, immediately change the way that they do business!

Throughout the presentation, we look at some of the serious cancer issues found within the fire service, including cancer incidence amongst firefighters, mortality rates, and prevalence. We also review the results of the University of Cincinnati and the CDC/NIOSH firefighter cancer studies, and some staggering statistics from several metro fire departments around the country.

Additionally, we review some of the specific causes of cancer within the fire service environment, as well as some of our direct and indirect exposures at both the fire scene and at the firehouse.

Lastly, we discuss some of the changes and solutions that the fire service can make immediately, as discussed within the nationally recognized White Paper, "Taking Action against Cancer in the Fire Service" including the adoption of SOPs developed by agencies around the country to reduce the risk of cancer to their members!

This presentation is a MUST ATTEND for ALL ranks within the fire service!





Workshop - Operations Track

Keith Tveit
Chief Ed Janke
Chief Kevin Bierce
Chief Darryl Christensen
Saturday, June 28 :: 9:45am – 11:15am
MABAS Fireground Command Operations

This program will assist command level fire officers charged with incident command responsibilities in evaluating their command skill set against commonly held practices and beliefs regarding fireground management. Effective fireground management requires an understanding of building-occupancy, construction, fire dynamics fire behavior, risk, analysis, the art and science of firefighting and safety concepts. A direct correlation exists with an effective and well-informed incident command management team, company level supervision and task level competencies directly influencing the success of the operation.


Workshop - Leadership Track

Chief John-Paul Schilling
Saturday, June 28 :: 10:00am – 11:30am
Managing Up and Down the Generational Ladder

The fire service is steep in tradition. With 70+ million baby boomers retiring in the next 7 - 8 years, what will the fire service look like if we do not take steps today to improve ourselves?

Managing Up and Down the Generational Ladder is a program built around an entertaining and interactive dialogue with short videos and a power point presentation that will keep the audience entertained and involved.

This program takes on the issues that we have generational differences and it is creating problems in the fire service.

The audience will walk away with a better knowledge of the wants, needs and values of the three generations in the fire service. Most importantly the current and future officers of todays fire service will receive information on best practices of management strategies and motivating and mentoring techniques of the three generations.

At the end of the presentation the attendees will be able to set clear goals with a common purpose, expect mutual accountability and give real expectations, knowledge of select generational partners, how to accentuate generational positives and expect respect and tolerance of differences. All this and more will help secure a more promising future for today's fire service.



Workshop - Administrative Track

Chief Peter O'Leary
Asst. Chief Steven Beer
Saturday, June 28 :: 10:15am –11:45am
It's All About Attitude: How To Gain Effect Positive Change in Your Organization Through Collaboration

This seminar will focus on how to develop ways to gain a better understanding of the culture that makes us a trusted and "go to" profession. We will discuss why it's critical to have policies and standard operating guidelines which outline acceptable and unacceptable behavior for your members. We will examine best practices to get collaboration within your organization and how your team members can help to build your positive image within the community.


Workshop - Operations Track

David A. Bradley, B.S., NREMT
Saturday, June 28 :: 1:00pm - 2:30pm
Making Sense Of How To Eat An Elephant, A Discussion About Risk

What are the key risk areas for today's Emergency Service Organizations (ESO)? How can leadership identify these areas and what strategies and processes can be incorporated to reduce the risks? Join Dave for insight into a risk control process that includes risk awareness, identifying risks, prioritizing risks, identifying risk control measures, implementing controls, and monitoring the results.


Workshop - Leadership Track

Chad Weinstein
Saturday, June 28 :: 1:00pm - 2:30pm
Engaging Volunteers: Ethical Leadership for Fire Officers

Volunteer and part-time professional firefighters choose to answer the call and to do excellent work in part because they are engaged: motivated by their commitments to their community, their teammates, and their leaders. Ethical leaders understand this, and lead their teams in ways that build trust and promote high levels of engagement. In this session, Chad Weinstein of Ethical Leaders in Action will provide current and aspiring fire officers with key concepts and proven techniques for bringing out the best in firefighters:

  • Understanding the unique challenges of fire department leadership.
  • Six factors that any leader can use to promote engagement among firefighters and fellow officers.
  • Fair process, a decision-making approach that promotes trust, even among those who don't "get their way."

Each of these techniques is designed to help fire officers lead their teams to deliver great performance on the fireground and in the firehouse.

Weinstein's presentation is lively, filled with real-life stories and examples from his work with fire departments and other organizations of all sizes. His relaxed, enthusiastic style invites participants to engage, to laugh, and to learn.


Workshop - Administrative Track

Moira J. Kelly
Saturday, June 28 :: 1:00pm - 2:30pm
Listen Up! How Being Aware of Listening Styles Makes You A Better Leader

"He never listens to a thing I say!" " She doesn't pay attention to me." Have you ever said something like that about your coworkers? Have you asked yourself WHY that person just isn't listening? This workshop will show you the different ways we all listen and what specific steps you need to take to insure that as a leader you are communicating in the best possible way for each team member. By understanding the "how" of listening, you will be more effective at the "what" and "why" of your work with everyone.

Topics to be covered:

  • How to recognize the 4 different ways of hearing information
  • How to identify your own style
  • How to focus on listening
  • How to avoid common traps that impede good listening
  • How better listening makes you a better leader

Closing Keynote

Chuck Burkell
Saturday, June 28 :: 2:45pm
Closing Keynote
Gettysburg and the Civil War: Lessons in Leadership

2014 represents the third segment within the four-year period of the 150th Anniversary of the American Civil War. Wisconsin as a Union State served a prominent role within this War and at the Battle of Gettysburg. Over 600,000 Americans died from the War; and there were 51,000 casualties at Gettysburg. Millions were directly affected. This War changed America as it is today. And the military culture established during this War has served as the organizational underpinnings of the American Fire Service. Emergent problems which are serious in nature often have no immediate resolution. Those in desperate peril, who may become victims, hope and often expect someone in authority to resolve the problem and make their pain and threat disappear. Often this does not occur. Sometimes it does. This presentation will include examples of both successes and failures regarding the exercise of leadership during the Civil War and at Gettysburg. Importantly, how these lessons can be applied to 2014 will be offered within this Closing Session by the presenter.

View the Speaker Bios