Gearing up for FDIC…The Fire Critic Offers Social Media Training

I will be teaching a class on Social Media for the Fire Service at FDIC this year. I am excited for my first teaching engagement in a venue as large as FDIC…does it get any bigger? I have many friends teaching at FDIC as well. I will write about their classes in the near future.

The class is titled “Social Media: The Fire Service’s Next Big Innovation

Thursday, March 24, 2011
1:30 PM-3:15 PM
Room 134-135

Here is the teaser:

Social Media: The Fire Service’s Next Big Innovation
Lieutenant Rhett Fleitz, Roanoke (VA) Fire-EMS Department
Learn the “in’s and out’s” of social media for the fire service. Many questions about these media (blogs, twitter, facebook, MySpace, YouTube, skype, podcasting, text messaging, and so on) will be answered. Learn to be proactive by developing a social media standard operating procedure. Become acquainted with some of the ways departments are using these media for recruitment, retention, informing journalists and citizens, and publishing news. The benefits and potential consequences for personal use of these media by employees are also discussed. ALL LEVELS

Although that teaser only scratches the surface of the information I will share!

Who should attend? Anyone interested in social media, blogging, and branding their department online. Administrators who want to learn about social media, get examples of social media policies, as well as firefighters who want to brand their companies and departments. There will be information for all levels!

I am still working on the presentation. Since social media changes every day and new ideas, tools, and applications are created every day this is an ongoing project.

If you have a social media policy you would like to share or think your Fire Department excels in the use of social media please contact me. I am always looking for examples to share.

I will also be at the Fire Rescue Magazine booth 4244 set up with Firefighter Netcast. John and I will be recording live netcasts while we are there similarly to last year!

I don’t know what else I will get into while at FDIC, but I am certain that we will have fun! Willie Wines Jr. ( will be travelling with me once again!

John and I had a blast with FDIC last year. The event was the first major show for Firefighter Netcast. Since then, we have recorded almost 100 shows. We don’t have a solid schedule yet, but we are expecting to record some podcasts for Tiger Schmittendorf, Chris Naum, Doug Cline, Billy Hayes, Dave Statter for FireHero Radio, and much more.

Below are some of the shows we recorded at FDIC 2010:

  • Chief Ron Siarnicki- National Fallen Firefighters Foundation – This special NetCast was taped live on Friday, April 23, from the floor at FDIC 2010 in Indianapolis. Firefighter NetCast is very excited to have a chance to present Chief Ron Siarnicki to our audience.
  • EMS Two Dot Oh – On Friday, April 23, Firefighter NetCast had a visit from a couple of leaders in the concept of EMS 2.0. Justin Schorr is an urban firefighter/paramedic in San Francisco and hosts The Happy Medic. Accompanying Justin is Chris Kaiser, a rural firefighter/paramedic in northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin.
  • Firefighter Storytime! Chief Tom Merrill, Snyder (NY) Fire Dept. – From the floor of FDIC 2010 on Saturday, April 24, our final NetCast from the exhibit floor featured two special guests from Erie County, New York. We began our series “Firefighter Storytellers” with author, presenter, instructor, emergency manager and leader in the emergency services community Tiger Schmittendorf.
  • From Blue Shirt to Bugle – The Most Difficult Transition in Your Career – This show featuring Billy Goldfeder and Ray Gayk was originally aired as a live netcast from the exhibit floor of FDIC. John and Rhett enjoy discussion about what to do and what not to do when you get promoted. This is great training for you or your company. Listen in at the firehouse!
  • Challenges on the Modern Fireground – We were eager to turn over one of our shows to the fine folks from FireRescue Magazine, who graciously hosted Firefighter NetCast at their booth along with Firefighter Nation at FDIC.  Without their assistance, our live programming from the exhibit hall would not have been possible.
  • Changes in Building Construction and Fire Behavior – John and Rhett are joined with Chris Naum to discuss Changes in Building Construction and Fire Behavior. Chris is a a fire service leader in the field of building construction and fire behavior. Chris addresses the need to re-visit these core subject areas to bring us up to speed with the many changes facing us today.
  • Distribution of Photos and Videos Taken by Firefighters at Work – John and Rhett discuss legal issues surrounding photographs and videos taken while on duty with Fred Simon. Some of the information will astound you about who owns the material!

I will also be teaching the same class at Kean University in New Jersey (dates below):

Wednesday, April 20, 2011 – Somerset County Emergency Services Training Academy
402 Roycefield Rd Hillsborough, NJ 08844

Thursday, April 21, 2011 – Middlesex County Fire Academy
1001 Fire Academy Dr Sayreville, NJ 08872

These will be more in depth 5+ hour classes on social media in the fire service. For more information check out However, I don’t believe the classes are posted yet.