It’s an Aussie Reunion …

It is now Day 4 of FDIC and again the day started with a couple of keynote speakers, both of which had a medical focus but were still interesting. The first was Dr Denise Smith, a cardiac researcher who has been looking at the effects of firefighting on the heart for 25 years. This definitely was close to home. I will need to chase up some of her work. The second was Mike McEvoy, a paramedic director, and his topic was “Making a Difference” and while related to the EMS field, could be used in the fire side as well. It was all about making the client experience the est you can do. A good take home was “It is not about ME, it is about WE and WE are here for THEM”.

Today was the first day for the trade display to open up so the mid morning session guy was always looking at his watch to make sure he didn’t go the full time allocated for his session as most would walk out anyway to get into the trade hall at midday. The session was “The First Five Minutes: Size-up, Decision Making and Fireground Communications” by Assistant Chief Charles Ryan from Fairfax County Fire & Rescue in Virginia. He did well and finished 20 minutes early at 1155, allowing everyone to make the 12 noon door opening on the trade display.

And the trade display is huge covering 3 halls in the main Convention Centre and then the Lucas Oil Stadium which is an indoor football stadium and then the outside real estate between the two.

Jenny had already caught up with Jason and Belinda from back home. Steve and Rebecca were soon here as well. The four of them had flown in at 3 am from New York City and were a little weary. Another Aussie working here on the Darley stand was Damien and then there was Geoff our fleet manager and his wife. Quite an Aussie contingent and that was just from South Australia.

After wandering around the trade area for a couple of hours, I had an afternoon session to attend, “First Due Battalion Chief” by Battalion Chief Daniel Sheridan from New York City FD. From his presentation, you certainly respect the experience that those FDNY firefighters have with the large amount of working jobs they attend each day.

Jenny and Rebecca went to the movies (I think they are over the FDIC experience), while Jason and Steve kept checking out the trade area.

At the end of the day, we all attended the International reception and managed to catch up with Senior Station Officer Ian from NZFS as well as the Bronto crew from Finland. They drunk us well but didn’t feed us too well so it was time to head off and find some tucker for tonight.

After looking at a few of the restaurants, we decided on St Elmos Steakhouse which had been recommended to us for their shrimp cocktails with a special horseradish sauce. We had also been told chances of getting in were pretty slim. I guess they like Aussies as we were seated within 15 minutes.

We all started with the shrimp cocktail. If you had blocked sinuses, this was the dish for you. It had plenty of kick but mellowed out after the initial shock of each bite. The meals were very nice, the waiter really made the night and the check gave as much shock as the shrimp sauce. It was a good night out, being a sort of 50th celebration for Jason’s birthday in a couple of weeks.

We only had 5 seats in our car but with 6 people it wasn’t going to work without a couple of trips. It was decided we would take the Kiwi to his hotel and the Aussies would Uber.

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