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Utah Winter Fire School

I am blessed to present at dozens of state, national and international conferences and fire schools each year. These opportunities are essential to my mission of improving first responder situational awareness.

I have just returned from the 2012 Utah Winter Fire School. This is the second consecutive year I was invited to present. I was so impressed last year that I wrote a review on my personal website, My experience this year was equally impressive. To say the organizers from the Utah Fire and Rescue Academy have their act together is an understatement. Here’s what impressed me:

  1. They booked me early. For someone who depends entirely on teaching programs as a livelihood, I cannot overstate how comforting it is to have this type of commitment.
  2. They did an exceptional job of corresponding with me throughout the year on all the important matters related to coordinating my programs.
  3. They paid a program deposit to secure the date. This locked the date in and committed both parties to the program.
  4. I was met at the airport by an amazing ambassador. Chuck Tandy not only provided my transportation to and from the airport but also made sure I got checked into my room, took me to the conference center to ensure my room was set up properly and went out of his way to ensure everything about my visit was exceptional. That made me feel tremendously welcomed.
  5. They provide on-site IT support. As luck would have it, I had a small technical glitch the first morning. Trevor Durham solved the problem with ease.
  6. They conducted an instructor meeting and debriefing along with a full buffet breakfast the first morning.
  7. They ran the school using an incident management system and an Utah Winter Fire School 2012 IAP. (Copy attached with permission)
  8. They provided an outstanding buffet lunch for the instructors and students both days.
  9. The conference command staff took several instructors out to dinner on Friday night. That was a very nice gesture and I enjoyed the camaraderie very much.
  10. The overall organization of the conference was first class.

The Utah Fire and Rescue Academy has built an exceptional arena for learning.  Borrowing from Field of Dreams… If you build it… they will come.  And more than 650 did!

Thank you Dave Owens, Chuck Querry, Coy Porter, Gary Kilgore, Hugh Connor, Raleigh Bunch and Chuck Tandy and all the UFRA staff for this amazing opportunity! I am looking forward to 2013!


The mission of Situational Awareness Matters is simple: Help first responders see the bad things coming… in time to change the outcome.

Safety begins with SA!


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If you want to send me incident pictures, videos or have an idea you’d like me to research and write about, contact me. I really enjoy getting feedback and supportive messages from fellow first responders. It gives me the energy to work harder for you.


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