CANTON, Ohio – Stark State University was again home to the 16th Annual Jackson Fire Expo, which was held on February 5th and 6th, 20
11. The 196 participants that attended the two-day event were treated to a trade show and two guest lecturers who spoke about current issues affecting the modern fire service. Thirty-three departments from Northeast Ohio were represented with seven sending five or more participants.
Saturday’s session started with a continental breakfast and vendor’s expo which ran from 7:30am to 9:00am. At 9:00am the seminar got underway with the presentation of the flags by the Jackson Township Fire Department Honor Guard as Captain Dave Aberth of the Perry Twp. FD who performed a stirring rendition of “God Bless America” in front of a packed auditorium.
Saturday morning’s session featured Dr. Donald W. Walsh, Ph.D., Assistant Deputy Fire Commissioner (Ret.) of the Chicago Fire Department who presented the program “Fire Smoke: Myths, Perceptions, and Misunderstandings.” This program was originally scheduled to be presented by Rob Schnepp, Assistant Chief of the Alameda County Fire Department who had to cancel due to a scheduling conflict. The Jackson Fire Expo committee was able to get Dr Walsh who has an extensive background in fire science,
smoke inhalation, and exposure treatment research. Currently, Dr. Walsh is working on new fire safety technologies and research on the dangers of fire smoke, cyanide identification and treatment protocols.; He is also assisting The US Department of Homeland Security with developing preparedness programs related to cyanide weapons and disasters.
The afternoon’s presenter was Captain Jason Krusen of the Columbia, South Carolina Fire Department. His program was titled, “Hydrogen Cyanide, The New Carbon Monoxide.” Captain Krusen also serves on the South Carolina
Urban Search and Rescue Team (SC-TF1) as well serves on the Board of Directors of the Cyanide Poisoning Treatment Coalition. His presentation covered the dangers found in fire smoke that is present during overhaul operations.
Sunday’s feature presenter was the ever popular John J. Salka, Battalion Chief, FDNY who was a returning presenter. Chief Salka presentation was titled, “Fireground Responsibility, Five Alarm Leadership” and covered the roles and responsibilities of those working on the fireground. Currently, Chief Salka is the Battalion Commander of the 18th Battalion based in the Bronx. He is a noted author and frequent presenter at the NY Chiefs Show, FDIC, and Firehouse Expo. He also received the 2001 FDIC Training Achievement Award for his Get Out Alive firefighter survival training program. He also travels throughout the 50 states teaching and lecturing on fireground tactics, strategy, leadership and safety and survival topics.
This year’s Expo attracted twenty-eight vendors who set up their booths in Student Center on the grounds of Stark State University. Attendees could view and purchase PPE, thermal imagers, hand tools, environmental sensors, EMS gear, and rescue equipment. The hall was open throughout the expo and drew crowds before and after the expo and during breaks and lunch both days.
During lunch, firefighters from the Jackson Township Professional Firefighters Local 2280 were busy selling 50/50 tickets for charity. This year they raised $1,737 for the Lindsay Heppe Kieffer Family Relief Fund.
The Jackson Fire Expo is held annually and is considered to be one of Ohio’s Premiere Fire Schools. They also have a web page that is updated regularly and includes on-line registration forms as well as maps. Go to www.jacksonfirefighters.com to learn more about the Jackson Township Fire Department and the upcoming 2012 Jackson Fire Expo.