Make your home page

FDIC International brings firefighters from around the world to Indianapolis

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Indianapolis is hosting fire departments from across the world for the 96th annual Fire Department International Conference.

This is the 29th year Indianapolis has hosted the event, which begins Monday and runs through Saturday. It’s North America’s largest firefighter conference and will showcase the latest safety techniques and the newest fire tools and gear. 

More than 30,000 firefighters are expected this week in Marion County. Fire and rescue professionals from around the world will have access to 250 high-quality, world-class instructors and 91 workshops.

More than 800 companies will display products and services. There will also be hands-on training.

The goal of FDIC is to recharge firefighters and ignite their passion for the fire industry. 

This year’s conference will be the first in many years without the late Chief (Ret.) Bobby Halton, who passed away in December. Halton, then editor-in-chief for Fire & Rescue Media, served 18 years and will be honored at the convention with a 5K on Thursday. His family will attend the opening ceremonies and a tribute to his life on Wednesday.

Chief David Rhodes has been appointed to take over for the late Chief Halton and is now editor-in-chief for Fire & Rescue Media.

“Everybody is getting ready for hands-on training,” Rhodes said Monday morning. “We have 20 sessions. They’ll be doing things like live fire training, search and rescue, vehicle extrication, active shooter — you name it.”

Rhodes says it’s important for firefighters at the conference to take part in various kinds of training.

“Hands-on training is a little difficult to get everywhere because it’s hard to find the facilities and all. And we’re very fortunate to have Indianapolis Fire Department and all the townships help us with this,” Rhodes said.

The FDIC is also working to give back with its corporate program, Clarion Cares. The goal for 2023 is to help Ukranian firefighters. Officials say they’ve gathered several tons of gear and collected more than $300,000. A portion of the money will be used to fly in three Ukrainian firefighters.

The Ukrainian firefighters will share their stories about fighting the war in Ukraine to build awareness and collect donations of money, PPE, and equipment to take back home. Click here to donate.

Check out the FDIC website for more information on how to register.