Fireground Tactics and Size-Up Training – Morris, IL


Instructor: Deputy Chief (Ret.) Mike Terpak, Jersey City Fire Department

Date: August 9, 2017

Time: Session 1 1PM-4PM  – TRANSITIONAL ATTACK – NOT ALWAYS! – Session 2 6PM-9PM – Size Up For The First Due Officer

Location: Carol Stream Fire Station 28, 365 N. Kuhn Rd., Carol Stream, IL 60188

Investment: $75.00 for Single Session or $125 for both sessions


In session 1 Chief Terpak will present TRANSITIONAL ATTACK – NOT ALWAYS! in which he will discuss the UL and NIST studies and how transitional attack is a tool in the tool box and not a one size fits all tactics for every fire.

In session 2 is a comprehensive review of Size-up factors necessary for an efficient, effective, and safe fireground operation.

Michael Terpak has been in the fire service for 39 years spending the last 35 years with the Jersey City Fire Department where he is assigned as a Deputy Chief and City-Wide Tour Commander. Terpak travels extensively around the country lecturing on fire/rescue and topics and is the founder of Promotional Prep, a New Jersey based consulting firm designed to prepare firefighters and fire officers studying for promotional exams. Chief Terpak, who also holds a BS degree in Fire Safety Administration from the City University of New Jersey, is the author of  “Fire Ground Size-Up” , “Assessment Center Strategy and Tactics”,  “Fire Ground Operational Guides” and “Assessment Center Management and Supervision.”


The Lone Star Fire Conference – Austin, Texas

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Date: October 25/26 2017

Time: 9am-5pm

Location: Hilton Garden Inn Downtown Austin, 500 N. Interstate 35, Austin, Texas 78701

Investment: $150/Day $250 Both Days If Registered By August 4th. Increase to $200/Day $350 Both Days After August 4th.

October 25

9am – Noon – Deputy Assistant Chief (Ret.) John Norman, FDNY –  “Dwelling Fires”

This session will focus on the most common fire in America: fires in 1 and 2 family homes, or private dwellings (P.D.’s) Topics covered in this session:

  • Introduction to the Scope of the Problem, Death and Injury Rates in P.D.s
  • Size-Up, The 13 – Point Approach
  • Firefighter Survival Survey
  • Fire Attack, Hoseline Selection, Placement, and Water Supply
  • Search and Rescue – Vent, Enter, and Search (VES)

Emphasis is placed on developing workable tactics that your organization can implement on the fireground under a variety of common, and no so common conditions.

2pm-5pm – Deputy Assistant Chief (Ret.) John Norman, FDNY – “Store (Taxpayer & Strip Mall) Fires”

Fires in stores and other commercial occupancies are severe threats to our firefighters. More firefighters are killed per alarm in commercial fires than other commonly encountered blaze. The toll on a community is often staggering when a block of Main St. is gutted by fire or major local employer is burnt out. The reason many of these blazes end up so destructive is often traceable to the fire department’s lack of preparedness. Fortunately major store fires are not “every day” occurrences, but as a consequence, many fire departments try to apply “house fire tactics” to a commercial fire. Highlighted in this session is the differences between residential and commercial fires, and provide instruction in tactics which have proven effective. Topics covered in this session:

  • Introduction, Store Fires as Injury and Death Factories
  • Construction Deficiencies Common to Stores
  • Tactical Differences Between Residential and Commercial Fires
  • Handline Selection, Stretching, and Placement
  • Gaining Entry/Exit
  • Cockloft Fires – Roof Operations
  • Trusses and other Lightweight Roofs
  • Cellar Fires – The Firefighter Trap
  • Parapet Wall Collapse
  • “Hidden” Dangers

October 26

9:00 AM – 10:30 AM – Battalion Chief Curt Isakson, Large County Fire Department (FL) – “It’s Worth The Risk”

10:30 AM – Noon – Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY – “Culture of Extinguishment”

2:00 PM – 3:30 PM – Battalion Chief Shannon Shone, Fort Walton Beach (FL) Fire Department – “Nuggets From The Right Seat”

3:30 PM – 5:00 PM – Deputy Chief Mike Terpak, Jersey City Fire Department – “TRANSITIONAL ATTACK – NOT ALWAYS!


Firefighter Health and Fitness Seminar – Carol Stream, Illinois


Instructor: Captain Jordan Ponder, Milwaukee Fire Department

Date: August 21, 2017

Time: 9am-4pm

Location: Carol Stream Fire Station 28, 365 N. Kuhn Rd., Carol Stream, IL 60188

Investment: $75.00


The first half of the day will be a lecture focusing on:

Nutrtion – Healthy eating habits
Restored – Strategies for Mental and a physical Recovery
Successful – Developing and sustaining a healthy lifestyle

The afternoon is going to be hands-on Firefighter functional movement training. Training on how to meet the unique demands of firefighters using affordable and versatile tools to improve safety and increase performance in a way that is specific yet accessible to firefighters.

Wear workout clothing.

Captain Jordan Ponder is a 13 year veteran of the Milwaukee Fire Department. With 13 years of training firefighter functional movement in the MFD he has helped the city of Milwaukee save $1.3M by reducing firefighter injury claims by 57%. With passion, excitement and enthusiasm, Jordan has been privileged to speak on a number of national stages such as FDIC, Firehouse World Expo, and Perform Better. Additionally he has been asked to contribute to worldwide publications such as Fire Rescue, Fire Engineering, Breaking Muscle and many more as an expression of his appreciation for firefighters by supporting them in training health to improve safety. As a NASM-CPT, PFT, FRCms, ACE-FNC and certified trainer in multiple modalities and philosophies.


Terrorism: A New Reality for First Responders – Oswego, IL

Boston Marathon Explosion

Date: September 19, 2017

Time: 9am-5pm

Location: Oswego Fire Protection District, 3511 Woolley Road, Oswego, Illinois 60543

Investment: $185 (Lunch included)


This 8 hour program is designed to increase awareness among the communities’ first responders of the various roles, capabilities, and interactions that are involved with resolving one of the world’s most unpredictable and potentially devastating events. The class will include an analysis of the threat environment, and response to a variety of threats, ranging from active shooter/hostage/siege situations, bombings, WMD threats and includes a discussion of the use of fire as a terrorist weapon.


John Norman is a 45+ year veteran of the fire service including over 27 years with the FDNY. As a Firefighter and Company Officer Chief Norman spent 17 years in the FDNY’s Special Operations units. Chief Norman served as Search and Rescue Manager for the World Trade Center site after the 9/11/01 attacks. Chief Norman retired as the Deputy Assistant Chief in charge of the Special Operations Command.

David Norman– is a 2nd Grade Detective and 31 year veteran of the NYPD and member of the Elite Emergency Service Unit. Detective Norman has been a lead instructor at the NYPD Emergency Service Units Specialized Training School for the past 11 years. Detective Norman is an Ex-Captain and over 30 year member of the Inwood Volunteer Fire Department.

Reid Sawyer – Lieutenant Colonel (Ret. USA) Reid L. Sawyer, was the Director and one of the founders of the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point. A 23 year career intelligence officer, he has served in a variety of special operations assignments, involving operations in Afghanistan, Iraq, Africa, and South America. Lieutenant Colonel Sawyer actively advises a number of federal, state and local governmental agencies regarding the terrorist threat and is a member of the Fire Department of New York Terrorism Task Force. He has edited two books on the challenges facing policymakers from terrorism and other transnational threats, Terrorism and Counterterrorism: Readings and Interpretations (3rd edition) and Defeating Terrorism, and has lectured widely regarding the terrorist threat and available responses to the threat. In addition to teaching at the United States Military Academy, Lieutenant Colonel Sawyer served as the senior intelligence strategist for the Middle East and South Asia at U.S. Central Command, leading the organization’s most elite analytical team. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in International Relations from the United States Military Academy, and a Masters of Public Administration from Columbia University. His research centers on counterterrorism policy and strategy and the effectiveness of national policy instruments in countering terrorist threats.



Moral Imperative of Leadership Seminar – Schaumburg, IL


Date: May 17, 2017

Instructor: Firefighter/Major Jason Brezler, FDNY/USMC

Location: Village of Schaumburg – Prairie Center for the Arts, 201 Schaumburg Ct, Schaumburg, Illinois 60193

Time: 9AM-4PM

Investment: $150

Training Description:

Fires and emergencies are complex problem sets where leaders make critical decisions in a time-competitive environment where uncertainty, friction and risk are pervasive.  It is not enough for leaders to be tactically competent, they must continuously strive to advance themselves physically, mentally, and morally to optimize human performance.  Today’s fire service invests considerable resources into exposing its officer corps to various command and control models and management practices, but largely neglects the moral aspect of principled leadership.  This discrepancy potentially produces a risk-averse and morally bankrupt doctrine which consciously emphasizes the interests and safety of firefighters above those of the public that we serve.  Leaders must actively cultivate moral fitness in the same way that they develop mental toughness, physical fitness and technical acumen – through rigorous self-study.  This program will assist leaders in developing a decision-making framework that is responsive to moral dilemmas they will encounter during the preparation, execution and reflection phases of performance.  This presentation endeavors to equip leaders with a greater regard for the moral imperative of mission-oriented leadership on the fireground and beyond.

Speaker Bio:

Major Jason Brezler, USMC/FDNY is a firefighter with the FDNY’s Special Operations Command and currently serves with Rescue Company 2 in Brooklyn. He was previously assigned to Squad Co. 252 and Ladder Co. 58 in the Bronx. Jason is a Major in the United States Marine Corps Reserves and led Marines in both Iraq and Afghanistan where he participated in conventional combat operations, counterinsurgency operations and served as an advisor to indigenous forces. He is a graduate of the USMC’s Expeditionary Warfare School and Command and Staff College. He recently served as the Operations Officer for the reserve component of the USMC’s Chemical Biological Incident Response Force (CBIRF). Jason is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis where he played Division 1 baseball for the Midshipman. He also holds a Bachelor’s of Science from the University of Maryland and a Master’s of Science from Oklahoma State University. He is the founder and Commanding Officer of Leadership Under Fire, Inc., and founder of the Paddy Brown Program which helps military veterans transition into the fire service.


Marine Fire Investigations Course – Pensacola, FL


Date: May 16-18, 2017

Instuctor: Robert Collins, CFI, CFEI, ECT

Location: Hilton Pensacola Beach, 12 VIA DE LUNA DRIVE
Pensacola Beach, Florida 32561

Time: 8AM-5PM

Investment: $475


This course is designed to teach the investigator basic fundamentals in determining the origin and cause of fires and explosions that occur onboard vessels and adjacent structures. The students will review safety considerations, scene documentation, burn pattern analysis, and fuel and ignition sources, based on NFPA 921, NFPA 1033, & NFPA 302.

Course Details
This class is designed for fire service, law enforcement, conservation officers, military personnel and insurance company investigators. This class will provide the investigator with the basic skills and knowledge needed to determine the origin and cause of fires onboard vessels of all types and a basic knowledge of marine fire investigation. The information provided will give the student a basic understanding of the systems and construction of both commercial and recreational vessels.
To investigate the origin and cause of any fire, the investigator must have an understanding of the basics. This class will include a review of NFPA 921 and 1033. As the foundation is laid, the next steps of fire behavior and fire pattern analysis will allow the investigator to identify the area of origin and then determine potential ignition sources that are present on a vessel. The investigator should then be able to identify the most competent ignition source.
By using this basic knowledge, the fire investigator will be presented with the following information that will help them in determining origin and cause of vessel fires:
• Safety of the vessel and the investigator while conducting the investigation
• Conducting an inspection of the vessel
• Understanding vessel construction and design
• Basic vessel terminology
• Understanding vessel systems i.e. Machinery, Fuel, Electrical, and Auxiliary
• Identify common ignition sources
• Identify common fuel sources
• Cause factors
• A basic knowledge of explosions

Publications that the students may find helpful for this course: (Copies will be for sale at the class)
NFPA 921 Guide for Fire & Explosion Investigation– 2014 Edition
NFPA 1033 Standard for Professional Qualifications for Fire Investigator – 2014 Edition
NFPA 301 Code for Safety to Life from Fire on Merchant Vessesls – 2013 Edition
NFPA 302, Fire Protection Standard for Pleasure and Commercial Motorcraft – 2015 Edition
NFPA 303, Fire Protection Standards for marinas and Boatyards – 2016 Edition
NFPA 307, Standard for the Construction and Fire Protection of Marine Terminals, Piers, and Wharves – 2016 Edition
ABYC, American Boat and Yacht Council Standards
Kirk’s Fire Investigation 7th Ed

Basic Fire Investigation (Day 1)

Introduction to Fire Investigation, NFPA 921 and NFPA 1033

Fire Behavior / Interpreting Fire Patterns

Examining the marine fire scene

Documenting the fire scene

Marine Fire Investigation (Day 2)

Identifying the fuel source

Identifying the ignition source

Post Explosion Investigation

Case Study

Marine Fire Investigation (Day 3)

Collecting the fire scene evidence

Fatal Fire Investigation

Review & Test

Instructor Bio:

Robert Collins has 20 years of experience in both the Fire Service and Law Enforcement. He is also a 15 year veteran of the U.S. Coast Guard. Robert began his Coast Guard career as an Engineer and Firefighter and moved into a Law Enforcement role in both the Maritime Security and Safety divisions. He has conducted over hundreds Coast Guard boardings and safety inspections on both recreational and commercial vessels. Robert has conducted inspections on and has assisted with the installation of vessel power plant, propulsion, and auxiliary systems. Robert has numerous certifications from the USCG, ranging from engine room watch officer and marine engine analyst to boarding officer and command duty officer. He has attended the U.S. Department of Transportation Maritime Fire Academy and was a Damage Control Instructor and is a current member of the International Association of Marine Investigators.

Robert is currently employed as a Firefighter/EMT and Fire/Arson Investigator for the Normal, IL Fire Department and as a Police Officer and Criminal Investigator for the Hudson and Danvers, IL Police departments. Robert is certified as a Firefighter III and an Arson Investigator through the Illinois State Fire Marshal’s Office. He is also a Certified Fire Investigator and Certified Evidence Collection Technician through the International Association of Arson Investigators as well as a Certified Fire and Explosion Investigator by the National Association of Fire Investigators. Robert has obtained an Expert Witness certification from the International Association of Arson Investigators. Since becoming a certified investigator in 2007, he has investigated the origin and cause of many accidental and incendiary fires. As a criminal investigator, certified in interview and interrogation, Robert has obtained numerous confessions which have led to convictions in both state and federal cases.