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2017 Arizona Fire Chiefs Conference

The Arizona Fire Chief’s Association (AFCA) is recognized for developing, serving and supporting Arizona’s current fire service leaders and those of the future. This year the AFCA teamed with the Arizona Fire District Association (AFDA) to host the annual Fire & EMS Leadership Conference, which helps prepare organizations to address challenges. The conference, which was held at Renaissance Glendale Hotel & Spa, brought members of the fire, healthcare and technology industries together for a week filled with ceremonies, training, workshops, hot-topic discussions, networking and expositions.

Willmeng was delighted to participate at the two-day technology expo in July 2017, an event that better connects and improves Arizona’s fire force, thus aligning well with one of Willmeng’s ultimate goals as a premier fire station construction company in the Valley.

“I am always thoroughly impressed to see all aspects and perspectives of the industry come together to share ideas, trends and technology that will advance safety and increase performance ability,” said Keith Sabia, a principal-in-charge at Willmeng, and public safety and CMAR expert. “Willmeng is positively moving in a direction that serves the community by incorporating professionals exhibiting a vast array of experience in the fire industry.”

Keith has been involved with the construction of more than 40 fire stations throughout his 32-year career. He and Jason Alvarado, a Willmeng project manager and fire training and CMAR expert, have worked together on more than 15 fire projects over the last 18 years. Together, they built the largest fire training academy in Arizona.

“Willmeng is proud to support the men and women who risk their lives daily for the community, and we were excited to meet them at the event,” said James Murphy, Willmeng president. “As a company, we will continue to produce meaningful buildings for Arizona’s public sector.”

Highlights from a few conference workshops include:

Cool Command

In an open conversation led by Alan Brunacini, Chief Emiritus of Phoenix Fire Department, the group learned what it really takes to “stay cool” when in command in intense situations. According to Brunacini, a leader must be calm, composed, patient, organized, emotionally balanced, decisive and have grit. Our project managers and superintendents agreed!

The State of MIH: Treat and Refer

In an hour-long workshop led partially by Steve Mann, Captain at Goodyear Fire Department, information was shared about a program created by Goodyear Fire Chief, Paul Luizzi, called the Community Paramedicine Consortium. Through the program, the cities of Goodyear, Surprise, Peoria, Avondale and Sun City have committed to proactively visiting the top 10 percent of 450 patients in their databases who are considered “frequent users.” A frequent user is a person who calls for aid at least three times per month, or 12 times per year. The benefits of this sustainable model are that the program is fiscally responsible to taxpayer money, decreases unnecessary emergency room visits, provides support to a vulnerable population and provides outstanding and innovative customer service.

Unscripted Discussion: Current Topics of Interest to the Group

In an unscripted discussion, Mark Gaillard, Chief of the Flagstaff Fire Department, led an intimate-sized group which was eager to talk about how department leaders can assist fire fighters who experience trauma from sights and experiences incurred while on duty. One member of the audience noted that more attention is being paid to these cases, citing the army as an example of an institution that has increased awareness of PTSD. No solid resolution was determined.

More expo photos and conference photos can be found on the AFCA’s Flickr account!

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