ISFSI Instructor Development Conference 2022 - Virtual Event

ISFSI Instructor Development Conference 2022 - Virtual Event

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Welcome to the ISFSI Instructor Professional Development Conference. This premiere conference has a dedicated focus on instructor professional development while providing instructors a quality experience in a virtual conference setting. Attendees are challenged academically and are provided a chance to network with their peers throughout the event. Each attendee will "go home" with all the resources and tools they need to be the best instructor possible.


  • Members: $75.00 USD
  • Non-Members: $175.00 USD

Can't attend live on February 23-25, 2022? Register now to gain access to the nine conference courses that will be available online on-demand on February 23rd. 

Keynote Speakers



Dr. Lori Moore-Merrell was appointed by President Joseph Biden as the U.S. Fire Administrator on October 25, 2021. Prior to her appointment, Lori served nearly 3 years as the President and CEO of the International Public Safety Data Institute (IPSDI), which she founded after retiring from a 26-year tenure as a senior executive in the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF). She began her fire service career in 1987 as a fire department paramedic in the City of Memphis Fire Department, Memphis Tennessee.

Today, as a Doctor of Public Health and data scientist, Lori is an award-winning international speaker, presenter, and author. She is considered an expert in executive leadership, community risk assessment, emergency response system evaluation, public safety resource deployment, and generational differences in the workplace.




Anthony Kastros is a 34-year veteran of the fire service and Battalion Chief with Sacramento Metro Fire District (ret). He is author of the Fire Engineering book and video series, Mastering the Fire Service Assessment Center – 2ndEdition. It is used widely throughout the United States for officer development and now available ONLINE.  

Also, from Fire Engineering, Anthony authors the 3-part series Mastering Fireground Command – Calm the Chaos! This NEW ONLINE course focuses on fireground strategy, tactics, and ICS using actual incidents, video, and simulations.   

Kastros is an FDIC-International and Firehouse World instructor, was the Keynote Speaker at FDIC 2013 and is the recipient of the 2019 George D. Post Instructor of the Year Award from the International Society of Fire Service Instructors and Fire Engineering. Anthony hosts The Command Show, a monthly blog radio show through Fire Engineering. As a USAR Team Manager with Sacramento Task Force 7, he deployed to Ground Zero on 9/11. Anthony spent 4 years with a Type 1 Incident Management Team.   

Through, our cadre of instructors has taught thousands of firefighters from around the world in leadership, team building, officer development, command, tactics, strategic planning, and mergers. His faith and family are the most important things in his life.   


Education Speakers




Anthony Avillo retired as deputy chief of North Hudson (NJ) Regional Fire & Rescue after 30 years in the fire service. He is the director of the Monmouth County (NJ) Fire Academy. He is the author of Fireground Strategies, 3rd ed. (2015) and coauthor of Full Contact Leadership (2017). He is a member of the Fire Engineering Editorial Advisory Board and was the recipient of the 2012 IFSFI George D. Post Instructor of the Year Award. He has a B.S. degree in fire science and an M.S. degree in national security studies.

Full Contact Training
This class is for all Officers, including those who are in charge of the Training Division, Company Officers who are charged with the responsibility for training their personnel, and Chief Officers who must plan, organize, and supervise the training. Traits of a successful instructor are discussed as well as the need-to-know for your students including out-of-the-box training ideas, team-building drills, the benefits of on-scene drills, effective ground ladders operations through target identification and immediate selection, positioning, and raising of ground ladders.  If you are looking for training ideas, this is the place to be.





Geoff Burcaw a Senior Consultant at CPS HR Consulting.  In his 15 years at CPS HR Geoff has worked with an extensive list of public sector entities in all areas of government performing personnel selection and assessment services.  His area of emphasis is job analysis, competency model development, succession planning, and developing and administering public safety assessment centers.  Geoff has a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from the University of California at Santa Cruz, a Master’s Degree in Industrial and Organizational Psychology from Colorado State University and is a certified Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) from the Human Resources Certification Institute, and a Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP) from the Society for Human Resources Management. 

Preparing Candidates for Promotion: Helping Individuals While Strengthening the Agency's Workforce

Promotional processes are too often thought of as just a means for individuals to move up the career ladder.  But if we view a promotional process as just a way to select individuals with the required qualifications, such as specific training, certifications, and experience, individuals may enter the process unprepared, or those who do get promoted may still not possess some of the critical knowledge, skills, and abilities needed to be successful on the job.  This can result in individuals struggling in their new positions, and eventually, personnel throughout the agency who do not perform to their full potential.


In this session, we will discuss ways candidates can prepare for promotion, as well as guidance that Fire Service Instructors, Human Resources staff, and supervisors can provide to help candidates prepare more wholistically – going beyond the stated qualifications to develop multiple aspects of themselves in preparation for promotion, and for assuming the new role.  This will include a review of competencies or dimensions commonly assessed in a promotional process, and what candidates can do to develop those competencies.  We will also discuss processes and tools such as mentorship, succession planning, and the professional development matrix as ways to keep future promotional candidates on track with their own development, and to help the agency in its ongoing efforts to strengthen its workforce.





Dr. Candice McDonald has served for almost two decades as a volunteer firefighter/EMT, EMS Officer, Inspector and PIO.  She works for NASA as a special agent and is an adjunct professor with both University of Arkansas and Eastern Gateway Community College. She is the VP for the Cumberland Valley Volunteer Firemen’s Association, trustee with Women in Fire, member of the FDIC/Fire Engineering Advisory Board and serves the NVFC as a Fire Corps State Advocate. She has contributed to numerous publications and has presented at conferences around the world. Dr. McDonald holds a Doctor of Business Administration with a specialty in homeland security, a master’s in organizational leadership, a bachelor’s in organizational management and an associate’s in human services. 

Engaging and Educating At-Risk Populations
Dr. Candice’s past combined with her research and training with at-risk populations will both inspire and challenge you to approach at-risk populations in a more effective way. Before becoming a firefighter and receiving one of NASA’s top career awards, Dr. Candice McDonald was the “at-risk population” and slept in a shelter. This workshop combines research, her personal journey, and training to inspire effective change in how fire and EMS professionals reach the vulnerable members of their community. 





Frank Viscuso served the Town of Kearny, New Jersey (Hudson County) for twenty-seven years before retiring at the rank of Deputy Chief. He is the author of 8 books including Amazon bestsellers Step Up and Lead, Step Up Your Teamwork, and Common Valor. Chief Viscuso is a highly sought after, internationally recognized speaker who has the ability to move people to action. Over the past decade he has traveled throughout the United States, Canada and Europe and spoken to hundreds of audiences on many topics that include leadership, team building, and customer service.

25 Things Every Firefighter Must Know and Do
25 Things Every Firefighter Must Know and Do is just as advertised. There are DO's and DON'TS associated with every profession, and firefighting is no different. In this class, best-selling author and retired deputy Chief Frank Viscuso provides a list of must DO's for every firefighter, regardless of the length of time they have been serving their community, and the position they hold within their organization. This presentation is a great introduction for new firefighters, and reminder for all. 





Dr. E. Beverly Young, Adult Learning Strategies Consultant, author, and blogger is founder and Executive Director of EbevyYG Learning Solutions, LLC, a black-female owned company specializing in curriculum development, lesson content review and editing, teaching, instructor development, workforce development focused on diversity, impartial policing, and communication skills for police and law enforcement. Dr. Young is a former police officer, having served within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for 26 years providing additional service in civilian service focusing more on police certification and standards.

Creating Bias-Free Training
If training is to be a time of discovery for students to learn about others as well as themselves within the same learning space, which is the social nature of learning, course content must permit interaction not tainted by personal bias. During Creating Bias-Free Training with the sub-title Remembering the Basics we examine the importance of the basics when creating curriculum and writing lesson content. Students will learn the essentials of creating bias-free training that focuses on the environment, the content, equitability, and inclusivity to ensure learning events and the classroom experience allow transfer of knowledge by all learners.





Sean Gray currently holds the rank of Captain with Cobb County Fire and Emergency Services in Metro Atlanta and has been in the fire service since 1993. He has a bachelor’s degree in Fire Safety Engineering and is working towards furthering his education. He has been a member of multiple technical panels involving firefighter safety research and is an appointed member of the UL Firefighter Safety Research Institute Advisory Board. Sean is a NFPA committee member for Fire Hose, Fire Service Training, Fundamentals of Fire Control Within a Structure Utilizing Fire Dynamics, and Facilities for Fire Training and Associated Props. He recently co-authored a Fire Engineering Book and DVD titled- The Evolving FireGround. He has also been published in multiple Fire Service magazines, was a FDIC H.O.T. Lead instructor, runs the website, and delivers evidence-based tactics training courses across the U.S.

Tricks of the Trade
Captain Sean Gray from Cobb County Fire and Emergency Services in Metro Atlanta will discuss the Facts, Fallacies and Fear Mongering of Live Fire training. This will be a comprehensive discussion on live fire training based on the NFPA 1403 standard and how, many times the standards are misinterpreted by the fire service. It will discuss NFPA 1403 in detail along with results from the UL-FSRI Study of the Fire Service Training Environment: Safety, Fidelity, and Exposure.





Richard Mason became the third person to head the Department of Safety, Division of Fire Standards and Training in the State of New Hampshire when he was appointed by the New Hampshire Governor to the post in 1996, after serving more than 20 years in three New Hampshire city fire department.  

Since his retirement, Rick has served as the Training and Education Coordinator of the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation in Emmitsburg, Maryland for eight years, since 2019 Rick has been the Professional Credentialing Manager for the Center for Public Safety Excellence.  

He served on the board of directors of the North American Fire Training Directors (and served as president 2007-2009). Mr. Mason completed the Executive Fire Officer Program at the National Fire Academy in 1993 and is a Fellow member of the Institution of Fire Engineers.  In 2000 he was among one of the first 17 to be designated as a Chief Fire Officer, with the Center for Public Safety Excellence. He also served 9-years on the Commission for Professional Credentialing and 3-years as the Commission Chair.  The Commission oversees the designation process for chief fire officers and chief emergency medical services officers and three other officer designations for the Center for Public Safety Excellence 

Rick earned an Associate Degree in Fire Protection from the Lakes Region Community College and a Bachelor's Degree in Public Safety Management from the University System of New Hampshire. 

Road Map to Success...Education, Certifications, Credentialing
Have you ever looked at an advertisement for a training that is available and wondered if you should attend? You probably should…but you should also have a plan, in writing…where do I see myself in 2, 5, 10 years? Then figure out how to accomplish your goal! I know early in my career my aspirations took me to a position that I needed a bachelor’s degree; night college classes were part of my life, but the good news, I got the position at the time I had hoped to! You can do this as well. We will look at resources to help you plan and create a road map for your own success. Education, certifications and credentialing will all be part of the process!





Dr. Kevin Kupietz, is the Chair Person for the Elizabeth City State University (ECSU) Department of Aviation and Emergency Management. He is a NC certified Firefighter/Paramedic with over twenty years of emergency response experience with local, state, and federal agencies. He comes with a diverse emergency response and educational background with teaching certifications in a variety of emergency service topics. He has been in Emergency services higher education for more than twenty years teaching initial courses for job certifications, specialized fire/rescue classes as well as graduate and under-graduate programs, literally having taught thousands of students. 

Kevin’s academic interests have included emergency responder safety, autism victims in disasters, preparedness education, business resiliency, emergency service leadership, and other related topics with several articles and publications. He has been a recognized speaker at local, state and national venues in the realm of public safety and is a big believer in the power of education to make communities safer through cooperative ventures. He is known for his passion in passing on knowledge to others, believing that knowledge is power. He lives by the saying that if you are not having fun, you are not doing it right and tries to apply this saying in everything that he does.

Needs Assessment: Are the Training Topics Appropriate to the Organization Needs?

Do you feel overwhelmed with the amount of training that needs to be done? Does it seem like you are re-training over the same topics to fix the same problems? Does the training that you are unable to do for your organization keep you up at night? As instructors we like to think that training is the cure for all our organizational problems, in some cases it may not be. This session will look at the concept of needs assessments for training. It will specifically help to answer that all important question of is training needed or the cure for the problem somewhere else such as policy, attitude, equipment etc. while looking at how to prioritize what training is truly needed.





Michael M. Dugan was a 27-year veteran of the FDNY and served as the Captain of Ladder Company 123, in Crown Heights Brooklyn, before retiring. As a Lieutenant, Dugan served in Ladder Company 42 in the South Bronx. While assigned as a firefighter in Ladder Company 43, in Spanish Harlem, Firefighter Dugan received the James Gordon Bennett medal in 1992 and the Harry M. Archer Medal in 1993, the FDNY’s highest award for bravery. He is also a former volunteer firefighter, in the Halesite FD, in N.Y. He has been involved with the Fire Service for over 45 years. He is an instructor at the “FDIC.” He is a contributing editor to Fire Engineering magazine. He is also on the FDIC and Fire Engineering Executive advisory boards. Captain Dugan has been a featured lecturer around the country and at “FDIC” on topics dealing with Truck Company Operations, building construction, size up and today’s fire service. Mike was also the recipient of the "Tommy Brennan Lifetime Achievement Award at FDIC 2021




Mike has over 33 years of fire/crash/rescue experience with the Seattle Fire Department and the United Air Force. He retired as the Captain of Ladder 5 and remains a proud member of Fire Station 31. Captain Gagliano has written numerous fire service articles, is co-author of the bestselling books Air Management for the Fire Service, Challenges of the Firefighter Marriage and the SCBA chapter of the Handbook for Firefighter 1 & 2 from Pennwell. He is a member of the Fire Engineering/FDIC Advisory Board, Firefighter Air Coalition board member, on the advisory board of the UL-Firefighter Safety and Research Institute and teaches across the country on Air Management, Fireground Tactics, Leadership and Company Officer Development. Mike co-hosts the popular Fire Engineering radio webcast "The Mikey G and Mikey D Show" and partners with his wife Anne ( to teach on strategies for developing and maintaining a strong marriage/family.

This House Rocks

This is a class based on the following concepts: “There is nothing quite like a firehouse. It can be the most incredible experience of your life or a miserable exile to purgatory. It can be place of learning where skills are honed, and techniques refined or a stagnant cesspool where competence erodes into ineffective complacency. What is it that causes one place to be cohesive and brimming with camaraderie while just down the road there is dissension and drudgery? The instructors believe there are five key areas that can turn any firehouse into the type of place that enables firefighters to thrive and fulfill their calling. They are a compelling vision, individual responsibility and house pride, Teamwork, being prepared to get the job done whatever it may be and having fun. Enjoy it we have the best job in the world.


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