Brothers and sisters, I just finished my little piece of the FDIC program. I got to grade 160 submitted proposals for FDIC 2020 in my areas and I think they were about 900 proposals submitted.
Most of you know that presenting at FDIC is a huge honor and a privilege. But for me reading your proposals and what you want to do for the fire service is also a huge honor! Anyone who has submitted one know how long it takes but imagine reviewing 160.
I can see that the fire service is going in the right direction with all the people with taken the time and the effort to put forth these wonderful proposals.
I know not all the proposals will be accepted and unfortunately for those individuals who are turned down it feels like a personal slight! Let me tell you something – it’s not. But I’m going to give you a few pointers to help you get to FDIC as an instructor:
- If you are passionate about your subject write an article about it. Share your voice and make it harder for the people in charge to turn you down. This also allows the people grading your proposal to see what your passion is and how you will bring that to the classroom.
- If you decide to write an article have an outline ready for your second article. One of the biggest mistakes I made early in my career was that I submitted my first article and they asked for a follow-up and it took me almost a year to get a second one published. Prepare yourself to do this and be ready for. You do not have to be an English teacher or an expert on grammar. They have editors who are wonderful!
- Go out and teach locally on your subject. It is very difficult with hundreds of proposals to accept one with a person has never done the class before. We want to know that you’ve gone out and taught this and on a dry run. This allows us to know that you have considered how the class flows and how you deliver it.
- Teach on the subject that you are familiar with and have credibility in teaching. You can’t come from a tiny town with the tallest building being three stories and teach high-rise firefighting just as I couldn’t teach a class on rural water supply.
- Lastly do not take it personal if you do not get in! I have been rejected at FDIC on more than one occasion! But I am stubborn and obstinate, and I kept trying. We want to hear your voice. Please find your voice and share your voice with the fire service.
Remember if you know something and keep it to yourself it benefits no one! But if you teach it, share it, and give it to your brothers and sisters it benefits the entire fire service.
Good luck and God bless
Contact Pete Prochilo, Chris Mc Loone, and Bill Carey regarding your article ideas and submissions.