It may have been raining but no one was complaining at the Kenai Peninsula Fire Chief's Association Alaska Leadership Conference picnic. Central Emergency Services (CES) training officer Wayne Armstrong organized the conference that brought notable Fire Chiefs from across the nation to Alaska to share their skills and experiences. "At last year's leadership conference we only had one main speaker, so this year I decided to expand the conference and we brought up five major instructors from New York, Los Angeles, Phoenix, and Chicago. Topics addressed included everything from fire ground leadership to customer service and how to care for our patients and families who have lost their homes to fire and very broad base of what leadership is necessary for the job. The instructors here have over 100 years of combined experience that they are sharing with chiefs and firefighters from all over Alaska. The wealth of information that they are able to share with us has been absolutely amazing and I wish I could have kept each one of them here for an entire week," said Armstrong.
The purpose of the conference according to Armstrong was for Alaskan first responders to return to their departments with information that can help them build better departments for the protection of Alaskans, so that more lives can be saved in emergency situations. Instructors at the well attended conference included Chief John Norman, a special operations unit veteran of the New York City Fire Department with more than 37 years in fire service, Chief Steve Chikerotis a 30 year veteran of the Chicago Fire Department, Chief Alan Brunacini, author of "Essentials of Fire Department Customer Service and Fire Command, Chief John Mittendorf of the Los Angeles Fire Department who served as chief officer of field operations and commander of in-service training, and Chief John Salka of the New York Fire Department, 18th Battalion in the Bronx and author of "First in, Last out - Leadership Lessons from the NYFD." Sponsors of the conference included HEA, Tesoro, BP, ConocoPhillips, and Soldotna Professional Pharmacy. CES would like to remind everyone that the Firefighter "Fill the Boot" campaign is coming up Labor Day weekend and they will be out raising money for MDA and Jerry's Kids Friday and Saturday, September 4th and 5th from 11:00am to 5:00pm at the "Y" in Soldotna and at the CES Station, "We'll need everyone's help to make this another great event in collecting money for MDA and our local kids fighting MD," said CES Fire Marshall Gary Hale.
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