Earlier I had finished grading 339 FDIC proposals. Some very good stuff! I get asked about the process all the time and see some common mistakes from those that I end up not recommending. I’m not speaking for the entire board but this how I evaluate proposals:
1. Title (if the title of your class is so long that it has punctuation or exceeds 6-8 words, I am already not feeling it)
2. Resume’ (once I read the title I go straight to your resume to see your qualifications for teaching such a class. If you don’t list where you work and your experience as it relates to your topic, I’m still not feeling it.)
3. Program Previously Delivered (if you answer NO in this area and your reputation is anything less than Bill Gustin, John Norman, John Mittendorf, I’m not feeling it and its strike 3 and a NO from me. You should have at a minimum delivered your program within your own organization and I did say minimum because that is not an automatic yes. If you do answer yes, then I am back to title and abstract to dig deeper.
In baseball terms FDIC is “The Show” you can’t expect to get an invite if you have never taken batting practice. Whatever you do don’t lie about it because if I’m liking what I’m reading but don’t know you, I will make a call or two to find out if you are legit.
Finally, remember it is the “Fire Department Instructor Conference” propose something that instructors can use to be better instructors. New methods, case study reports on incidents (lessons learned), developing officers, using simulations in training, running a fire academy, using stressors during training and so forth. The 28 Leadership Secrets of the Dalai Lama may be better suited for a different conference.
Hands on Training
These are always tough because there are so many good proposals and we are limited by sites and equipment. We still manage to pull of 24-28 classes each year.
There is a tremendous investment in Hands on Training and the idea is to get the most bang for the buck. Attendees seem to like four-hour blocks, so they can take four different classes. Again, remembers it’s the “Fire Department Instructor Conference” so many instructors want to see as much variety as possible to take back ideas, techniques, methods etc.
You may have a rock-solid program that you deliver locally and we all know a class of 20-25 is a good size and we have them for a full day or two. To that end an FDIC HOT class needs to be modified to be delivered to a larger number in a shorter time. So, your proposal must work in the model of 55 students for four hours. Or 75-110 in eight hours. Obviously, you must focus on two or three skills related to your class, but you can’t cram eight to 16 hours of material in with twice the number of students.
Custom design your HOT proposal with that in mind and know we typically allow 5-6 instructors for non IDLH and 8-10 for IDLH. Many of you may have proposed everything right and still not get selected. It may simply be that we don’t have a site or facility or maybe we don’t have enough SCBA.
In all proposals remember your contributions to Fire Engineering are also considered. Every person who submits a proposal is asked to write an article on the subject if they haven’t already. Radio shows, blogs, Humpday Hangouts, articles are all ways to contribute and get your foot in the door.
While my eyes are crossed, and my head is spinning after four days of proposal reviews I take it seriously and want the FDIC experience to be the greatest fire service conference you will ever attend.
Thank you all for the proposals and I hope this helps those that don’t make the cut better prepare themselves and their future submissions.
Contact Pete Prochilo, Chris Mc Loone, and Bill Carey regarding your article ideas and submissions.