FDIC in Retrospect…Great Time, Great People, Great Netcasts

I managed to attend FDIC this year for the first time. I was there in the official capacity as co-host of Firefighter Netcast along with John Mitchell (FireDaily.com). I was also there representing The Fire Critic and many other projects I am in.

I must state first and foremost…

Tim Sendelbach, Shannon Pieper, and Paul Andrews at the Fire Rescue Magazine Booth

Tim Sendelbach, Shannon Pieper, and Paul Andrews at the Fire Rescue Magazine Booth

A sincere thanks to Fire Rescue Magazine, Firefighter Nation, and FireEMSBlogs.com for sharing their booth with Firefighter Netcast. Special thanks to Dave Iannone, Chris Hebert, Tim Sendelbach, and Jeff Berend as well as the rest of the crews of the aforementioned companies. The hospitality, networking, assistance, and conversation was very much appreciated!

Firefighter Netcast made its debut at FDIC pulling off 2 live netcasts from the show floor as well as around 10 hours of total audio. The first live netcast featured Ray Gayk and Billy Goldfeder and the second with Tiger Schmittendorf and Tom Merrill. We had to scratch on the live netcast with Ron Siarnicki and Cathy Hedrick on Friday, although we did tape the podcast. The netcasts are online and the other audio will be presented as podcasts and should be published on FirefighterNetcast.com once we complete editing this week.

The rundown of the week…

Rhett Fleitz, @Fire_Captain (twitter), Chris Kaiser, Justin Schorr, and John Mitchell

Rhett Fleitz, Jason Quimbly aka @Fire_Captain (twitter), Chris Kaiser, Justin Schorr, and John Mitchell

The hijinx began with John picking me up at the airport…. This guy is like my wife (not always right, but never wrong). We get a long well and it only took a little while for me to piss him off! Then again, and again, and again!

We had lunch with Chris Hebert, Dave Iannone, and Bill Carey and enjoyed the company. These guys are a riot to hang out with unless you get Bill riled up and he starts yelling!

John and I picked Tiger up at the airport where the real fun began. John and I were both meeting him for the first time. If you were in the truck with us, you would think we had known each other for years (years I will continue to try to get back).

Tiger’s wife couldn’t understand how he would just get off a plane and into a vehicle with people he has never met. That is how we are. We wondered the same thing… especially with us! We were going to take him to dinner at Chucky Cheese! That would have sealed the deal!

Rhett Fleitz, Ron Siarnicki, Cathy Hedrick, and John Mitchell

Rhett Fleitz, Ron Siarnicki, Cathy Hedrick, and John Mitchell

We also met up with Fred Simon (FirstResponderLiablility.com). He is a lawyer and a firefighter! Our first show on Thursday was with him and we plan on having more commentary with Fred in the future!

Just to show how well we get along with others… I ended up sharing my room with Fred for two nights. He had intentions of commuting back and forth to Louisville, but I wouldn’t have it. Fred is a great guy and we had a great time hanging out with him!

John and I had a very busy show. As a matter of fact, we were so busy that we only had a little bit of time to get around to many other exhibitors at the show. I never did make it over to the Lucas Oil Stadium to see all of the apparatus. That was a bummer.

Rhett Fleitz (The Fire Critic) poses with the booth babes at Black Diamond Boots!

Rhett Fleitz (The Fire Critic) poses with the booth babes at Black Diamond Boots!

As I said before, I did make it to one spot and these booth babes hounded me to have their picture taken with me! What can I say… The Fire Critic is on the up and up!

Sorry I wasn’t able to get around to taking a ton of photos with the babes…work had to be done.

However, you can check out the following links for more pictures and information on our time at FDIC!

Justin Schorr (The Happy Medic) and Chris Kaiser (Life Under The Lights) met up with us and became part of the entourage that is many of the bloggers, followers, and twitter friends of FireEMSBlogs.com blogs.

Chris McCorkle (BlackJack Holder) and Rhett Fleitz

Chris McCorkle (BlackJack Holder) and Rhett Fleitz

I also got to meet and hang out with Chief Reason Art Goodrich (ChiefReasonArt.com). To me, this guy is somewhat of a Fire Service Legend. He is one of those guys who emboddied the great things about Firehouse.com forums, then a creator (If I am not mistaken) of IACOJ, then on to Firefighter Nation, and finally culminating with his own blog. Art is a GREAT guy! He is opinionated and sticks to his guns. He is very articulate with his comments and his depth of knowledge shines through when he talks. You would think this guy has an entire research team that provides him with a thesis before he opens his mouth… It is that good! Many thanks to Art for snapping a lot of the photos we got at our booth!

The team at Fire Rescue Magazine was very helpful with Firefighter Netcast. I am not sure they understood what it is we were planning on doing, but they seemed to be impressed with our delivery!

Brandon Roark and Rhett Fleitz

Brandon Roark and Rhett Fleitz

I got to meet up with a ton of guys who stopped by to see me and what we were doing as well. Some of these guys I have known through the internet for years. Guys like Brandon Roark (South Bend Indiana), Jason Quimbly (@Fire_Captain on twitter), Robbie and Danny Owens (Henrico Division of Fire, VA), Some guys who know me via VAFireNews.com from Portsmouth, Chris McCorkle of BlackJack Holder, Martin Grube (FireRescueTV.com), David Furtado (The Battalion), and many others.

I was able meet up with Jason Hoevelmann (FirefightersEnemy.com), who presented his class and actually had to turn people away it was so packed. Jason will be a future guest on our show!

Tiger Schmittendorf took John and I to the ISFSI party and I got to meet Dan Shaw and Nick Martin (Traditions Training). We recently had them on Firefighter Netcast and enjoyed meeting them in person!

At the ISFSI party, I got to meet Billy Goldfeder for the first time as well as Christopher Naum (CommandSafety.com and TheCompanyOfficer.com). Chris was a guest of our show on Friday and has been on our show as a caller in the past. I spoke with Doug Cline who will be presenting in my area in September.

The Wild Beaver...Our office in the late night!

The Wild Beaver...Our office in the late night!

Our late evenings were spent at the Wild Beaver. The Wild Beaver is kinda like a Coyote Ugly and was packed with firefighters! Plenty of networking and drinking went on there!

If you are in Indianapolis, the best steaks we had were at St. Elmo’s and Harry and Izzy’s.

Not to worry, if your name doesn’t appear in this post it will in the future. I still have to do a post on the FireEMSBlogs.com meetup! That will be coming soon!

Then we will have several posts up here and at Firefighter Netcast on the netcasting and podcasting that was done! Come back often to check it out! There are also a ton of other photos to share!