Every year, the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) holds the Wildland-Urban Interface (WUI) Conference at the Peppermill Resort in Reno, Nevada.
Pablo Beimler, HWMO's Community Outreach Coordinator, ventured out to Reno for the week of March 6th, to attend the conference. Hundreds of people from various U.S. states and countries, representing every level of private and public sectors joined together for the exciting and valuable event.
For the first two days of the conference, Mr. Beimler attended the Hazard Ignition Zone Training hosted by NFPA and taught by long-time HIZ expert Pat Durland. The training gave an in-depth look at how fire interacts with landscapes and structures at the individual home level. A number of great discussions emerged during the training that gave fresh new ways to look at fire issues around the home. Trainees worked in groups towards the end of the training to conduct mock home assessments, sharing lessons learned from back home.
During the rest of the conference, which occurred on March 8th through March 10th, Mr. Beimler networked with a number of people to discuss lessons learned and to promote HWMO's work. Most notably, Mr. Beimler worked with Crystal Beckman, a Fire Information and Education specialist from Montana Department of Natural Resources & Conservation, to build on a working group they had helped start at the 2015 event. They were able to pull in a number of other outreach specialists from around the states to create a group that would continue to share resources throughout the year and into the future.
The highlight of the conference for HWMO was the Fire Adapted Communities Reception and Ready, Set, Go! Award Ceremony on the eve of March 9th. HWMO was a proud recipient of this year's RSG! Leadership Award for Career Departments. Mr. Beimler graciously accepted the award from the IAFC President and shared the honors with Hawaii Fire Department representatives who were in attendance: Chief Darren Rosario, Assistant Chief Gantry Andrade, Captain Bill Bergin, and BC Jerry Lum. We could not be happier to be a recipient of the award and what better way to share it than with our long-time partners who have been so supportive of our RSG! outreach effort