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Course Information


5th Annual LODD Conference

November 19-21, 2019

Georgetown, Texas

Day 1 - Traffic LODDs

Day 2 - Medical LODDs

Day 3 - Wellness & Performance


November 19th

Focus: Traffic LODDs

9:00am - 9:15am 

Presentation of Colors, Invocation, Opening Ceremony

9:15am – 10:15am

Keynote: 5, 4, 3, 2, 1,: The Most Important Words in Leadership

Royal Mortenson, Illinois Fire Service Institute 

Director Mortenson, Col. USMC (Ret.), uses our U.S. Constitution and the Preamble as well as concepts of “belief in a higher being”, “love”, “humility” and “concern for your fellow man”, in a creative and unique way to illustrate the personal beliefs and personal qualities that enable each of us to be a good person and therefore a good leader.

10:15am – 10:30am 


10:30am - 12:00pm 

My Lieutenant Didn’t Come Home: Lessons from a Line of Duty Death

Melanie Clark, Advocate for Firefighter Safety

James Munsey, Advocate for Firefighter Safety

This program highlights a real-life incident where Lieutenant Brad Clark died in the line of duty and two other firefighters were seriously injured during a highway incident. The presentation provides critical information to prepare fire departments, firefighters and their families for when  tragedy strikes. It provides an inside look at family notification and the days immediately after the tragedy. Lessons learned will be shared on how firefighters can better prepare themselves and their families should the worst occur. This program provides intimate details into what happens during a line of duty death from the spouses perspective.

12:00pm -1:00pm 


1:00pm - 2:30pm 

DANGER! "D" Drivers and Other Hazards at Highway Operations

Jack Sullivan, Director of Training, Emergency Responder Safety Institute

Distracted, drowsy, drunk, drugged and disgruntled drivers are striking firefighters, EMTs, and emergency vehicles at roadway incidents with increasing frequency. We can't change their "D" behavior, but we can change how we do things to protect our personnel. All firefighters and  EMTs are exposed to moving traffic on every emergency run. Roads and highways are the most common immediately dangerous area of operation for firefighters and EMTs and it is critical that personnel safeguard themselves during roadway operations. This session will offer easy to implement defensive strategies for safer roadway incident scene management and provide an update on the emerging hazards of semi-autonomous vehicles. The benefits of new connected vehicle technology like digital alerting devices will also be reviewed. Participants in this class will walk away with the essential actions every FD should be taking to protect their personnel from being struck on the roadway and they will also learn about some new technology and equipment to consider for their emergency vehicles to improve scene safety. 

2:30pm - 3:00pm 


3:00pm - 4:00pm  

How NIOSH Conducts a Firefighter LODD Investigation Related to Traffic Fatalities

Stephen Miles (Batt. Chief, ret.), Investigator Traumatic Injuries Component, NIOSH FFFFIPP (Fire Fighter Fatality Investigation & Prevention Program)

Dr. Wendi Dick, CDC Medical Officer-Firefighter Fatalities / Former USAF Veteran-Flight Doc, AAAS Fellow-Office of Iraq, ISAF/DOD-Kabul

4:00pm - 5:00pm 

Understanding and Preventing Firefighter Suicide 

Deni Ali, Captain, Raleigh FD

The focus is on preventing suicide by identifying its traceable causes and creating an environment that encourages firefighters to seek help, altering an individual's trajectory from reaching suicide. Individual, company level, and departmental methods for prevention are presented. Students are introduced to The Interpersonal Theory of Suicide model developed by Dr. Thomas Joiner to explain suicidal behavior and how to use it to reduce the risk for suicide. The causes that lead to fire service suicide can be work-related, personal, or a combination. Resources like peer support and treatment to prevent maladaptive coping are covered.  

Class focuses on all level levels involved in prevention: probationary, firefighters, company officers, mental health professionals, and departmental guidelines. The key to suicide prevention is understanding it’s tractable causes and creating an environment that allows individuals to admit they need help. 

November 20th

Focus: Medical LODDs

9:00am - 10:15am 

Instructor Liability - Texas Training LODD 

Jack Sorrells, Retired Captain

Chris Scott, Engineer

We are going to discuss your liability as an instructor and the LODD incident in Beaumont, Texas on September 16, 2012. We will explain what we did before, during and after the incident. We will explain the NIOSH report, the lawsuit and support or lack thereof received from our fellow  firefighters, Chief's, and the public.

10:15am - 10:30am 


10:30am - 12:00pm 

Managing Heat Stress & Hydration During Training 

David Rhodes, Rhodes Consultants

Class will cover heat injury related fatality stats from the past decade, a review of standards relating to managing rehab during fire training, review of personal experience with heat injuries, the effects of structural firefighting gear and sweat production and outline all the components implemented in the Georgia Smoke Diver Program to prevent heat related injuries and emergencies. 

12:00pm -1:00pm 


1:00pm - 1:45pm 

NIOSH Health Hazard Evaluations of Rhabdomyolysis in Firefighters

Judith Eisenberg, MD, MS; Medical Officer, NIOSH Health Hazard Evaluation Program  

Heat exposure and intense physical activity are two risk factors for rhabdomyolysis (muscle breakdown) that are unavoidable job hazards for firefighters. Firefighters should know the signs and symptoms of rhabdomyolysis and be mindful of other factors that could increase their risk. Prompt medical evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment of possible rhabdomyolysis symptoms can be the difference between a fatality, permanent disability, or recovery and return to the line without residual health effects. This session will also review NIOSH resource materials on rhabdomyolysis for firefighters and their healthcare providers to facilitate a quick and accurate diagnosis.

1:45pm - 2:45pm 

How NIOSH Conducts a Firefighter LODD Investigation Related to Medical Issues

Dr. Wendi Dick, CDC Medical Officer-Firefighter Fatalities / Former USAF Veteran-Flight Doc, AAAS Fellow-Office of Iraq, ISAF/DOD-Kabul

2:45pm - 3:15pm 


3:15pm - 4:45pm 

California - NIOSH Partnership to to Investigate Firefighter Deaths in the West 

TJ Welch (Batt. Chief, ret.), Investigator Public Health Institute/California Dept. of Public Health

Dr. Wendi Dick, CDC Medical Officer-Firefighter Fatalities / Former USAF Veteran-Flight Doc, AAAS Fellow-Office of Iraq, ISAF/DOD-Kabul

NIOSH has investigated relatively fewer medical LODD in western states, so less is known about these deaths. Several states already partner with NIOSH to investigate other workers’ deaths, such as law enforcement, farm workers, etc.

In 2019, California collaborated with NIOSH to investigate firefighter cardiac deaths in western states. Working together but separated by thousands of miles and three time zones, California and NIOSH formed a joint “virtual” multidisciplinary team. They identified two priority deaths for investigation–both were young firefighters in their 30s who collapsed during or just after strenuous training. A physician from the state health department, Dr. Robert Harrison, oversaw team operations in California. Using one of the fatality investigations as a case study (an inmate firefighter who died on training day #1), he will present key findings and recommendations. He will also describe how the team was formed, their backgrounds and responsibilities (including the central role of a seasoned firefighter), and the investigation process. Dr. Harrison will close by discussing lessons learned from this partnership from the state’s perspective.

4:45pm - 5:00pm 

Wrap Up - Medical LODDs 

November 21st

Focus: Performance & Wellness

9:00am – 10:15am 

1% Better Every Day: Principals for Optimizing Performance and Longevity in Tactical Athletes

Adam La Reau, Cofounder, O2X Operations, Wellness and Performance

As tactical athletes, firefighters face heightened levels of mental and physical stress daily for the entirety of their careers. Unlike professional athletes, firefighters have no offseason and their careers can last decades. In order to not only sustain high performance, but also to maintain overall health, firefighters must build a strong foundation in all areas of human performance: nutrition, conditioning, stress management, sleep, and resilience. Rather than making sweeping, overnight changes to their current habits, tactical athletes must make small, incremental improvements that allow them to sustain high levels of performance over time. The tools and resources will help individual operators improve performance and provides the foundation for entire departments to develop a culture of excellence. This presentation offers an in depth look at what it takes to become a durable operator through practical, actionable take aways developed to help tactical athletes get 1% better every day. 

10:15am - 10:30am 


10:30am - 12:00pm 

Panel Discussion: Q & A with Speaker and Audience Members 

(webcasters can email their questions in to the panel)


Closing Remarks


Attend the Conference In Person

$425/attend in person (members)

$575/attend in person (non-members)

Attend the Conference Via Webcast

$1000/department-wide webcast


registration options

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If you'd like us to invoice you for your registration simply let us know how many you would like to register and/or if you'd like to register for the department-wide webcast!

Texas Fire Chiefs Association

P.O. Box 66700 Austin, TX 78766




08:00 am – 05:00 pm


08:00 am – 05:00 pm


08:00 am – 05:00 pm


08:00 am – 05:00 pm


08:00 am – 05:00 pm


By Appointment


By Appointment