Brotherhood Bash – FDIC Wrap-Up Part II

As in the past, we arrive in Indianapolis on Wednesday. We got into town promptly and headed to the convention hall to meet up with some of our clients. We fit in some time for a blogger meetup with 1st Arriving Network, and then it was off to the Indy FOOLS Brotherhood Bash.

17324999275_74edb7ef77_kWe stopped in the Demers Ambulances Booth to shoot 2 videos which would be shared on Facebook announcing that we would be in the Demers booth and for people to stop by and see their ambulances. Sure, I may not ride on an ambulance all the time (or basically only when I feel the need to), I have been in and around ambulances for many years. The Demers ambulances are built with superb craftsmanship and really focus on storage solutions and space utilization. They pride themselves on making the inside of an ambulance safe for the occupants. However, some of the details like heating at the floor and cooling at the ceiling are what puts it over the top. Their mobility sliding seat is the closest you’ll get to being buckled up all the time while giving pt. care. Trust me, the next time your department purchases an ambulance, check out Demers.

Demers will be in Harrisburg, PA at Expo handing out t-shirts and giving away something special. Stay tuned!

17324592491_f6df39121b_kThen we hit the Viking Life-Saving Equipment booth. Viking has some really neat gear coming out. Beyond their Viking Duo, the new Viking MACS is coming out in soon and going through UL testing now. The new gear will come with 2 outer shells and 1 inner shell. The reason for this is you will be able to remove an outer shell once you come out of a fire and put a new one on to go back in service, limiting exposure to carcinogens. The new gear is very different than what we are accustomed to now….with a military looking spin. More on that in the future.

We also got to chat with Stuart and Collin at the Titan by Hainsworth booth. Great guys. The Titan fabric is what Viking uses in the outer shell of their Viking Duo gear. They were all set with brand new challenge coins to hand out to FDIC attendees. Check out their FB page here.

1st Arriving Network Meet-Up

Andrew Catron, Amy Bomar, Willie Wines Jr., Jodi Monroe, Dave Statter, Rhett Fleitz

Andrew Catron, Amy Bomar, Willie Wines Jr., Jodi Monroe, Dave Statter, Rhett Fleitz,, and all appear on the same network with other blogs like and…Let’s just say it is the most powerful blog network in the fire service…that is why our blogs appear there and that is also what makes it the most powerful.

The guys behind 1st Arriving Network are Dave Iannone and Chris Hebert. They invite us to meet up with other bloggers and we always stop by. Unfortunately, like many other events going on, we have other engagements. We stayed long enough for a beer or two (one for me, two for Willie) and then we headed off. But we didn’t leave before rubbing elbows with great people like the TECGEN PPE team, Dave Statter, Mike Ward, Danny & Karen Owens, Greg Jakubowski, Tiger Schmittendorf, and many others.

INDY FOOLS Brotherhood Bash

17299056476_171d082b84_kWe wouldn’t miss the FOOLS Bash for nothing! We were travelling with our own FOOLS members as well. Preston and Jarrett are not only members of the Valley of the FOOLS, they are also part of “the Entourage”. They had brand new coins and shirts (designed and produced by Engine Co. Apparel) and were there to make the most of it!

They set up shop and when we finally made it inside the tent, we caught up with them. Things were good!

It is always great seeing so many firefighters for the first time, or seeing them again finally since last year. There were hundreds of pictures taken by our photographer (Leatherhead Photography) and hundreds more by cell phone. If you haven’t already, if they are on Facebook or Instagram @FireCritic, be sure to tag The Fire Critic or me personally (Rhett Fleitz).

We had a blast seeing all of you and we look forward to next year. Thanks for all of the Brotherhood, beers, coins, patches, and everything else.

Some pictures below, more here