Hands-On-Training classes are the heart of our conference. Each year we gather an array of some of the best fire service instructors to provide you with classes that will leave you better equipped to tackle the job. Please double check class requirements and make sure you have the required PPE and have completed your Liability Waiver prior to the event.



Daniel MacAuley (Boston Fire), Matt Paglione
Live FireTBA – Acquired StructureAny Experience Level1-Day Class (Sunday)

This class will focus on conducting searches quickly and effectively ahead of the line. Whether first due with no engine on scene or experiencing delayed water we must use these vital minutes to search for trapped occupants. From wearing PPE properly to various search techniques, students will build confidence through technique and repetition.

Requirements: FULL PPE, Turnout Gear, SCBA with (2) Spare Bottles


Jess Rodzinka (Charlottesville Fire)
Live Fire ClassWichita Regional Training Center1-Day Class (Sunday)

The water can is the most underutilized tool on the fire apparatus. We carry them on everything: engine; truck companies; medic ambulances. However, we were shown the true capability of the 2.4-gallon water can. This class will go through a brief lecture to discuss the water can and search techniques with can. Then head to the hands-on portion where we will demonstrate the effectiveness of the water can. The students will then proceed to go through several rotations of scenarios to obtain the knowledge, skills and abilities to perform in the “Can position.”

Requirements: FULL PPE, Turnout Gear, SCBA, Spare Bottle Recommended


Daniel Nelms & Trey Nelms (Nashville Fire)
Live Fire ClassHutchinson Fire AcademyIntermediate Experience Level1-Day Class (Sunday)
IMPORTANT: This class takes place in Hutchinson, approximately 45 minutes north of Wichita. Students will need to arrange transportation if staying in Wichita.

The actions of first due companies at a structural fire can make or break an incident. Life safety concerns should always be our priority when first due fire ground tactics are being initiated. Until the structure is searched, there is no certainty that civilians aren’t present. Making split second decisions and performing critical tasks with low staffing could make the difference between life or death. This requires quick actions upon arrival to locate and eventually remove civilians from the structure. Tasks covered include forcible entry, hoseline placement to protect the search, VES, aggressive primary search, booster back-up, and searching off the attack line. Participants will rotate through these skill stations, then spend the last part of class putting learned skills to work in real time scenarios under live fire and smoke conditions.

Requirements: FULL PPE, Turnout Gear, SCBA, Spare Bottle Recommended


Josh Pearcy (Oklahoma City Fire), Brad Tobin, Cary Provence, Luke Gregory
To Be AnnouncedAny Experience Level1-Day Class (Sunday)

This course builds upon basic auto extrication techniques. This course focuses on stabilizing, lifting, and extricating with heavy vehicles like buses, semi-tractor trailers, dump trucks, and other various heavy equipment. Students will go through a variety of scenarios under the guidance of an Instructor on sizing-up, stabilizing, and lifting heavy vehicles in rescue scenarios.

Requirements: Turnout Gear or Extrication Gear, Gloves, Helmet, Eye Protection


Dan Mishler (Canon City Fire District), Nick White, Cameron Meier, 316 Fire Instructors
Live Fire ClassHutchinson Fire AcademyAny Experience Level1-Day Class (Sunday)

IMPORTANT: This class takes place in Hutchinson, approximately 45 minutes north of Wichita. Students will need to arrange transportation if staying in Wichita.

This is a live fire class designed for the firefighter or officer who loves the job and wants to get better at their skills under realistic conditions. This is a fast-paced class and students need to come ready to work and perform their skills in real heat and smoke. This class will be held at an offsite location and will use Conex boxes at the Hutchinson Fire Department training grounds. The class will cover can search, VES, hoarder home fire, hoarder home search, basement fire attack and basement fire search.

Requirements: FULL PPE, Turnout Gear, SCBA with Spare Bottle


Niemann, Cox, Misek, Forbes, Evans (Wichita Fire), Hall (St Paul Fire), Budd (Ocean City FD), Tegtmeier (FDNY), Holt (Oletha)
Live Fire Class Wichita Regional Training CenterAny Experience Level2-Day Class (Sat/Sun)

We are excited to offer a two day Engine and Truck live burn class at the 2023 Wichita HOT (Choose the Engine or the Truck track during registration, each class runs 2 days.) On the Engine side Efficiency is the name of the game so the class will focus on getting the first line in place and getting down that long hot hallway and knocking out the fire. On the Truck side efficiency is also the key as the essential truck functions have to be completed in concert with the engine crew to ensure the line gets in place and victims are removed. On Saturday following the Keynote the Engine crews will work on hose line stretches and nozzle work, the truck crews will work on forcible entry, pitched roof ventilation and VES style searches. Both Engine and Truck will also receive two sessions of live fire behavior. On day two the goal is to run through nine live burns so each student on Engine and each student on Truck will participate in all positions receiving three fires each. As shown in the video crews will be “dispatched” from quarters, bunk out and respond to the fire location. The Engine crew will stretch on the fire as the Truck crew forces the door for them, heads to the roof to cut the vent and completes a search as the Engine makes the fire room knocking down the fire.

Requirements: FULL PPE, Turnout Gear, SCBA, Spare Bottle Recommended


Scott Kleinschmidt (Wichita Fire)
Derby Fire Training FacilityAny Experience Level1-Day Class (Sunday)

IMPORTANT: This class takes place in Derby, approximately 10 minutes south of Wichita. Students will need to arrange transportation if staying in Wichita.

This hands-on class will cover multiple areas of associated responsibility often tasked to these fire companies. Attendees will move through a series of skill stations that cover Search, Victim/Down FF Removal, Ground ladders, Forcible Entry, Vehicle Stabilization/ Airbag Operations, and Emergency Building Shoring.

Requirements: FULL PPE, Turnout Gear, SCBA, Spare Bottle Recommended


Seth Glaves (Wichita Fire)
Live FireTo Be AnnouncedAny Experience Level2-Day Class (Sat/Sun)

Lines and ladders will be a 2-day class covering engine work, forcible entry, ladders, and VES. Each topic will be broken down and drilled on individually. This class is designed for firefighters with all levels of experience. Students should expect the following:
Gaining confidence flowing hand lines, long and short setbacks, advancing while working corners and stairs, residential inward/outward forcible entry, door checks, confidence throwing ladders with obstructions or tight areas, VES and roof work, victim removal.
The second day students will perform all day one drills under real smoke and fire conditions. Students will be broken up into companies and will stretch lines, force doors, throw ladders and VES during each evolution.

Requirements: FULL PPE, Turnout Gear, SCBA, Spare Bottle Recommended


Tyler Prater (St Louis Fire)
To Be AnnouncedIntermediate Experience Level1-Day Class (Sunday)

This class will test the abilities of experienced firefighters with realistic, high-stress, and physically demanding scenarios. Students will work in small groups rotated through multiple stations which include partner and self-rescue, working in the flow path, civilian search and rescue, and other common fireground tasks. Surviving the modern fireground requires grit and initiative. Are you ready to challenge yourself?

Requirements: FULL PPE, Turnout Gear, SCBA, Spare Bottle Recommended


Jeffrey Eckert (Philadelphia Fire)
To Be AnnouncedIntermediate Experience Level2-Day Class (Sat/Sun)

This class will begin with a short lecture of actual RIT operations that our instructors were a part of. Students will then do equipment familiarization, blacked out equipment don and doff, learn effective drags using the bare minimum equipment. We will then move to an acquired structure to go over lifting/moving downed firefighters upstairs, out windows, and any other obstacles that may be encountered.

The second day will consist entirely of evolutions practicing and reinforcing the lessons taught on day one. We induce high stress and real world problems to try and recreate some level of the actual stress of a real RIT emergency. This is an extremely physically demanding and aggressive class.

Requirements: FULL PPE, Turnout Gear, SCBA, Spare Bottle Recommended


Stephen Runyan (Wichita Fire), Georgia Smoke Diver Cadre
TBA – Acquired StructureAny Experience Level1-Day Class (Sunday)

Residential Search and Size Up class is an 8 hour hands on training program that covers the primary functions of the engine and truck company’s roles in sizing up and searching a residential structure. Instructors cover in detail the techniques used to size up a structure for the purpose of searching in the most probable victim locations as well as how to complete a traditional primary oriented search as a member of both the truck and engine crew, vent enter and search, victim removal via ground ladders and the use of thermal imaging in search. Students will receive instruction and demonstrations in techniques as well as participate in walk through drills before performing skills real time. Students will also learn strategies to isolate the fire and control ventilation to ensure a successful search, and the differences in timing of primary, secondary and recovery searches. This class will require students to perform the various searches and remove victims while wearing full firefighter PPE and SCBA while under simulated conditions (possibly live fire if appropriate acquired structure).

Requirements: FULL PPE, Turnout Gear, SCBA, Spare Bottle Recommended


These are our speakers for this year’s breakout lecture sessions and their featured topic of discussion. Lectures take place all day Saturday and are included with 1-Day Hands-On tickets or you may purchase a Saturday Lecture ONLY ticket if you do not want to attend a HOT class on Sunday.

Arthur Ashley – Lexington Fire

Aggressive Search & VES

Across the United States fire departments are responding to working fires. At all working fires the tactic of an aggressive primary search should be taking place, however, some departments are not performing a primary search in an aggressive manner or even performing a primary search at all. Vent Enter Search (VES) may be one of those methods. This class is about the mindset of the firefighter regarding saving lives. Building the foundation of good search techniques and then expanding on those with aggressive size-up and tactics. From the time the call comes in, enroute, and arriving on scene, the thought process of preparing for the aggressive engagement on the fire ground.

Jon Hall – St Paul Fire

Engine Co Ops at Standpipe Equipped Buildings

Fires requiring the utilization of standpipes present unique challenges to engine company firefighters. Many communities have standpipe equipped buildings, and although fires are infrequent in these occupancies, firefighters must be proficient at the multitude of skills required for a successful operation. This course will cover standards and codes affecting standpipe installations, building fire pumps, standpipe outlet types and procedures, supplying the fire department connection, fire floor reconnaissance, stairwell selection, hallway stretches, stairway stretches, alternative stretches, options for trouble shooting common issues, and the necessary equipment to accomplish these tasks.

Bo Vest – North Little Rock Fire

First to the Fire, Engine Co Battle Plan

This interactive class will take a detailed look at the duties of the first arriving Engine and the responsibilities of each riding position on on that engine. Topics such as seat assignments, fire ground duties, and training will be discussed as we cover each position on the engine and how the person in that position should be prepared for battle well before the first alarm hits. From single family residential fires to multi-story buildings, this class will help participants develop a solid “battle plan” that will improve efficiency on the fire ground and reduce confusion and duplication of effort. This class is open to every rank from firefighter up through Chief of department as there will be information that all levels of experience will find beneficial.

Dan MacAuley – Boston Fire

20 Tips to Success on the Fireground

This lecture will focus on 25 tips that we have found to be operationally beneficial throughout our careers. These tips are based on real experience in the field and will provide a solid operating base for all firefighters regardless of seniority.

Trey Nelms – Nashville Fire

MAYDAY: Mitigating and Managing the Most Undesirable Situation

As many communities experience growth and change, the opportunity for firefighter emergencies can increase. Several recent LODDs and significant injuries seen across the country make this a well known fact. Decreased levels of experience at all ranks within our departments contributes to vulnerability. Do we have the preparation, professionalism, and ability to performance in these worst case scenarios? This class focuses on the mental, physical, and emotional mindset that everyone on the fireground must bring to increase our potential for success. When seconds count and decisions are made, you must rise to the occasion and fill your responsibility, knowing we have to live with the results. If you stay ready you don’t have to get ready!

Jess Rodzinka – Charlottesville Fire

The Seniorman

“The Seniorman, informal leadership of the firehouse.” In a firehouse there is formal leadership: Fire Chief; Battalion Chief; Captain; Lieutenant. However, there is the informal leadership in the firehouse, the Seniorman. This class we will discuss how to be the Senior man. Wether you have 2 years or 20, this class will talk about being the informal leader in the firehouse, at the kitchen table or even out for an evening with the Brothers and Sisters.

Tyler Prater – St Louis Fire

Occupied Until Proven Vacant

Our legal system uses the “Innocent until proven guilty” philosophy as incorporated by our founding fathers. Now, someone please tell me why firefighters are treating building fires as “VACANT UNTIL PROVEN OCCUPIED?” This workshop will take the experienced suburban firefighter and give them the tools to be aggressive when searching fire buildings. This eye-opening discussion will help us look at the bigger picture of the primary search and the multiple components that come along with it! This course will discuss size up techniques, search tactics, fire behavior and case studies then connect them to our personal experiences. Group discussion / participation is ENCOURAGED. This isn’t your average sit back and relax lecture, this is a passionate discussion on how to make our firefighters better at aggressive interior search operations in the fire building. This is one topic you do not want to take lightly!

Eric Budd – DC Fire

From America’s Coolest Small Town to the Nation’s Capital

Working in the fire service affords us the privilege of serving the people of our community during their greatest time of need, and with that privilege comes a great responsibility. The responsibility to stay prepared, always ready to quickly and proficiently perform our craft. To protect life, property, the environment, and to ultimately put the needs of others before ourselves. These responsibilities are often met by different challenges depending on the organization. It can be difficult to navigate these challenges, whether it be staffing, equipment, funding, SOG’s, administrative roadblocks, etc. With over 20 years of volunteer experience, combined with nearly a decade working in the Nation’s Capital, those experiences will help us examine some of the challenges faced by small town fire department USA compared to that of a major metropolitan department. We will discuss lessons learned from each and how to maintain a fire first mentality while also embracing the privilege to serve the community.

Josh Cox – Little Rock Fire

Fire Attack for Them

This class originated from a simple question, why is there such a drop in victim survivability when found by an attack crew vs a search crew. This class focuses on what we can do as a hose team to directly influence the survivability of our victims. The class teaches techniques to improve handline speed and efficiency with a focus on victim survivability and search. Students will learn strengths and weaknesses in hoseline and nozzle types and construction, how to use these strengths and weaknesses to influence our victims’ chances of survival, how to more efficiently advance hoseline, techniques for searching without sacrificing the speed in which we are advancing our attack lines, the whys of search, and some sample drills to take home and practice. With fire attack being the second highest percentage of victims found at fires the odds are in our favor to come across a victim and the time to figure out how we are going to handle that victim encounter is not as we crawl over them while we are pushing a hallway. This class is designed to begin these conversations.