Photo by: Steve Gentry
Welcome to the Second Annual High Rise
Operations Conference on Pensacola Beach
Presented by: County Fire Tactics
Welcome Firefighters,
I am excited you are here on beautiful Pensacola Beach to attend the second annual High
Rise Operations Conference. This year promises to be everything last year was and more.
We brought back all of last years instructors, plus brought in additional instructors,
making this an even more diverse conference on High Rise Operations. We are looking
to provide firefighters from around the world the ultimate fire training experience, from
training, to nightly social/networking experiences.
Why are you here? The answers to that question are many. Nearly 50% of all high rises
that exist today are not equipped with sprinklers, additionally, when sprinklers do exist,
they fail at 1 in 14 fires. SPRINKLER SYSTEMS ARE NOT A GUARANTEE! When they
fail, will you and your crew be READY? The NIST report on High-Rise Fire Ground Field
Experiments revealed great differences between crew sizes when operating at high rise fires.
When responding to a medium growth rate fire on the 10th floor, 3-person crews ascending
to the fire floor confronted an environment where the fire had released 60% more heat
energy than the fire encountered by the 6-person crews doing the same work. This proves
through real fire ground scenarios that crew size does matter at a high rise fires. When
responding and operating at high rises with minimal staffing, you must be prepared to,
and able to deliver and apply significant amounts of water to the fire. You must make the
most of your personnel and equipment.
This first two days will encompass a diverse group of speakers providing a wide range of
information on Highrise Operations. On day 3, you will have four options to choose from.
These options include a Firefighter track, Company Officer Track for Suburban Staffing,
Company Officer Track for Urban Staffing, and the Chief/Command Track
This conference would not be possible without our great sponsors and the support they
give to keep the cost down and the quality of training up. We would like to thank all
speakers and instructors for giving their time and commitment to making this a great
educational experience. This conference would not be what it is without the highly
experienced instructors from all over the country.
In closing, please make an effort to attend the planned social events each evening. Here,
you will continue to learn, make new friends, and share in the bonds of brotherhood that
make our profession second none. Each event will offer food and drink specials, and are
within walking distance of the Hilton. If at any time while you are here you need anything,
please contact me via phone or text at (850) 393-0581
Keep up with the latest in fire training and events by joining CF Tactics on Facebook. You
can also signup to follow both and Just scroll
down to bottom of homepage and type in your email. You will receive notification of
each post. We have set the dates for HROC 2015. It will be held next December 1-3, right
here at the Hilton Gulf Front. HROC 2015 is “HROC X 2” and will include a Heavy Rescue
Operations Track, and expand on the previous 2 years of High Rise Fire Operations.
Thank you again for attending, have a great conference, and keep pushing.
Curt Isakson
Hilton, Pensacola Beach Gulf Front
Day 1 | December 2, 2014
8:00am Curt Isakson............................ Welcome, Opening Remarks
Escambia County Fire Rescue Color Guard
8:30am Ray McCormack ...................... Keynote Address “High Rise Discipline”
9:00am Robert Morris ......................... 40 Years on the Line “HighRise Lessons Learned”
10–10:15am BREAK
Bill Gustin................................ Hoseline Operations in Standpipe Equipped Buildings
1–3:00pm John Ceriello............................ Alternate Strategies in High Rise Operations
Robert Hoff............................. Real High Rise Fires and Experiences
Rick Kolomay
“Lessons Learned” Part 1
5:00 Curt Isakson ............................ Closing Remarks
Day 2 | December 3, 2014
Day 1 | December 2, 2014
6–10 p.m. Evening Social
Complimentary Dinner thanks to Honeywell
Drink Specials: FREE Beer
Day 2 | December 3, 2014
6:15 a.m.
HROC 5K run/walk
Meet in the Lobby
Lead by: Curt Isakson and Ray McCormack
5:30pm-10:30pm Evening Social
Firefighter Night at the Boardwalk
Raffle and LIVE BAND!
Food and Drink Discounts
8:00am Curt Isakson ............................ Opening Remarks
8:15am Erich Rhoden........................... Keynote Address “The Direction of FireRescue Magazine”
8:30am Robert Hoff............................. Real High Rise Fires and Experiences
Rick Kolomay
“Lessons Learned” Part 2
Dave McGrail........................... Engine Company Highrise/Standpipe –
Fact and Experience Based Procedures
Jerry Herbst
Strategic Development Manager - National Accounts Elkhart Brass
1:15–2:45pm John Ceriello............................ Alternate Strategies in High Rise Operations
Jerry Tracy............................... Firefighting Operations in Low and Mid Rise Buildings
Curt Isakson............................ Closing Remarks
Day 3 | December 4, 2014
Day 3 | December 4, 2014
Cactus Flower Café:.......................................... 20% off food
$1.00 off all drinks
6:45-7:00am Firefighter Track – Midway Fire
6:00pm-10:00pm Evening Social
Casino Bar and Grille
20% off the entire menu
Meal rate offered through the Hilton for HROC attendees
Hilton Ultimate Breakfast Buffet:
Lunch Specials:
Casino Beach Bar and Grille.............................. 20% off food and drinks all week
Bus Loading will be from 6:45-7:00am in front of hotel. Bus leaves promptly at 7:00am
Dave McGrail........................... “Urban/City HR Operations”
Officer Track | 2nd Floor Classroom – Emerald Coast Room
7:30am Bill Gustin................................ “Suburban/Coastal HR Operations”
Officer Track | 1st Floor Classroom – White Sands Room
Rick Kolomay........................... Chief Officer Track
Robert Hoff, and Jerry Tracy 1st Floor Classroom – Coral Reef Room
Hooters............................................................ 15% off all food all week
Bonsai Bar at Hilton Pensacola Beach Gulf Front
*Free draft beer sponsored by, Pensacola Bay Brewery – Nightly Bar open until 11pm
Curt Isakson
Robert Morris
Battalion Chief,
Escambia County Fire Rescue
Assistant Chief of Volunteer Services,
Stamford (CT) Fire Department
Curt Isakson is a 26 year veteran of the fire service.
Curt is currently a Battalion Chief for Escambia
County Fire Rescue. Curt previously worked 9
years with the Pensacola Fire Department where
he was assigned as the Company Officer on Rescue
31. Curt’s fire service experiences started at a
young age as a junior firefighter with the Midway
Fire Protection District, where he rose through
the ranks to Captain. He has worked in volunteer,
career, and combination departments.
Robert Morris recently retired as the Captain
of FDNY Rescue Company 1 after 40 years of
dedicated service. He co-authored FDNY’s Forcible
Entry Manual, which is used throughout the fire
service. He lectures frequently on forcible entry,
rescue operations, and truck company tactics.
He is an instructor in the forcible entry portion
of FDIC’s Urban Essentials Hands On Training
Program. Robert was recently appointed as
the Assistant Chief of Volunteer Services at the
Stamford, Connecticut Fire Department.
Curt has held all ranks up to Battalion Chief, and has been assigned to Operations, Training,
and Inspections. He was the Chief of Special Operations for 7 years. Curt owns and operates, a website that discusses and covers a very diverse range of fire tactics and
suppression tactics. Curt lectures and conducts hands on training at many major conferences;
including FDIC, Firehouse Expo, Firehouse World, Orlando Fire Conference, Metro Atlanta
Fire Conference, Bowling Green State University, and many other venues. He is a Florida
state certified Fire Officer, Fire Instructor, Arson Investigator, and Urban Search and Rescue
Ray McCormack
Lieutenant, FDNY
Ray McCormack is a 33 year veteran of the FDNY,
and is a Lieutenant with Ladder 28 in Harlem. He
previously served for over ten years in Engine 69.
He is the co-creator and editor of Urban Firefighter
Magazine. He delivered the keynote speech at
FDIC in 2009, “True Values of a Firefighter.” Ray
is the author of the Tactical Safety column, which
can be read at Where
you can also view his Training Minutes videos on
Engine Company Operations. Ray is a speaker and
hands on training instructor at conferences around
the country.
John Ceriello
New York City Fire Department
John Ceriello is a 26-year veteran of the New
York City Fire Department, 14 of those years were
spent in the Special Operations Command. He is
a Captain, and is currently assigned to Division
of Training. He has been an integral part in the
FDNY & NIST Wind Impacted Fires Project that
introduced stairwell pressurization, wind control
devices, and high-rise nozzles into the field.
He also was part of the implementation of new
concepts of ventilation and flowpath control to the
FDNY. John is on the Underwriters Laboratories
advisory panel for a number of projects, including
their most recent research on horizontal and
vertical ventilation.
Bill Gustin
Captain, Miami-Dade
Fire Rescue Department
Bill Gustin is a 41 year veteran of the Fire Service
and a Captain with the Miami Dade Fire Rescue
Department. He began his career as a volunteer
in the Chicago area. He is the lead instructor in
Miami Dade’s Officer Development Program.
He conducts training programs for firefighters
throughout the United States, Canada, and the
Caribbean. Captain Gustin is a contributing editor
and editorial advisory board member for Fire
Engineering Magazine, and an advisory board
member for FDIC. He has taught forcible entry
techniques for local and federal law enforcement agencies and marine firefighting to crews of
passenger and cargo vessels. He was a member of the FEMA working group that developed
the organization and standards for USAR Task Forces and participated in the rescue of victims
trapped in collapsed buildings from earthquakes in Armenia and the Philippines.
Rick Kolomay
Fire Chief,
Carol Stream (IL) Fire District
Rick Kolomay has been a member of the fire service
since 1979. Having worked through the ranks of
Firefighter/paramedic, Lieutenant, Captain, Acting
Battalion Chief, Deputy Chief, and Fire Chief on the
Schaumburg (IL) Fire Department, he is presently
the Fire Chief in the Carol Stream, (IL) Fire District
in metro Chicago. Much of his time as a Lieutenant
was spent on a heavy rescue squad responding
to high rise districts. Rick has been an instructor
for the Illinois Fire Service Institute for 31 years,
has taught for the Illinois Fire Chiefs Association, several fire science programs, the Chicago Fire
Academy, and Fire Training Resources, Inc. He has also instructed numerous fire suppression and
officer leadership programs that have been developed and instructed throughout the Nation. His
most notable accomplishment has been the participation in developing and instructing firefighter
rescue courses in major cities such as Dallas, Phoenix, San Antonio, Burlington, Sacramento,
Dayton, Austin, Ft. Worth, Oakland, Chicago, Tucson, Milwaukee, and the states of Massachusetts
and Illinois. Training in high rise rope assisted search operations and high rise tactics has also been
a main focus in his teaching as well.
Robert Hoff
Deputy Chief,
Carol Stream (IL) Fire District
Bob Hoff has spent 42 years in the Fire Service.
He started his career in 1972 as a Cadet with
the Evergreen Park, IL. Fire Department. In
1976 Bob became a member of the Chicago Fire
Department, where he proudly served for over 35
years until his retirement in 2012. He served as
a Firefighter EMT, Lieutenant, Captain, Battalion
Chief, District Chief of Training, District Chief
of District 1 (Downtown Area), Assistant Deputy
Fire Commissioner of Operations, 1st Deputy Fire
Commissioner and Fire Commissioner. During his
Career with the CFD, Bob worked on Engine, Truck, and Squad Companies in some of Chicago’s
busy fire areas. Bob received several Life Saving awards, twice winning the city of Chicago’s
highest award, the Carter Harrison Award for bravery, and the Medal of Valor from the State of
Illinois. Bob is a Field Instructor for the Illinois State Fire Academy, teaching Company Officer,
Chief Officer, Engine Company, Truck Company, High Rise, RIT, and Technical Rescue classes.
He has also taught throughout the Country on these subject areas.
He is a third generation Firefighter, following in his Grandfather Joseph’s, Father Tom’s and older
Brother Ray’s footsteps. Bob’s son Andy Hoff is also a career Firefighter/ Paramedic and State
Instructor. On February 14th, 1962, Bob’s Father Tom died in the line of duty at a fire when the
roof of the fire building collapsed, trapping and killing him and another Chief Officer who were
backing Firefighters out of the building. Bob is currently the Deputy Chief of the Carol Stream,
IL. Fire District.
Erich Rhoden
Dave McGrail
Battalion Chief,
Milwaukee Fire Department
Erich Roden is a Battalion Chief with the
Milwaukee Fire Department assigned to the
4th Battalion. He previously served two years
at the Training Academy as the Chief of the
Training Division. Erich is also the Editor-inChief of FireRescue and Firefighter Nation
and is an editor for Fire Engineering and
Urban Firefighter Magazine. Erich has been
a Hands-on-Training Instructor at FDIC for
over 10 years, and is a Co-Lead Instructor
for Urban Essentials. He has also been an
Instructor for the Milwaukee Area Technical
College for 16 years. He also serves on the Executive Advisory Board for FDIC and the
Advisory Board for UL’s Fire Safety Research Institute. Erich is currently involved in several
major fire service projects focusing on fire behavior, human performance and physiology,
and municipal data for resource optimization and allocation, and community vulnerability.
He can be reached at, [email protected]
Jerry Tracy
Retired Battalion Commander, FDNY
Chief Jerry Tracy retired as a Battalion
Commander with the FDNY with more than
30 years of service. He developed numerous
training programs for the FDNY for the ranks
of firefighter, first line supervisor, and Chief
Officer. He has authored numerous articles
for Fire Engineering and FDNY’s training
publication WNYF. Chief Tracy was the
catalyst to the research conducted by NIST,
UL and NYU Polytechnic Institute on fire
behavior, more specifically, Wind Driven
Fires. He was a member of the NFPA Project
Technical Panel reviewing “Firefighting Tactics under Wind Driven Conditions”. Chief Tracy
has lectured on numerous firefighting topics.
Assistant Chief,
Denver Fire Department
Dave McGrail is a 32-year veteran of the
fire service and an Assistant Chief with the
Denver Fire Department (DFD) assigned
to District #2 in the heart of Denver’s busy
downtown high-rise district. DFD District #2
was ranked as the second busiest Battalion/
District Chief in the Firehouse Magazine 2012
Run Survey. As a Captain, Dave served as the
company commander of DFD Engine Co. 3,
and Rescue Co. 1, two of the DFD’s busiest
fire companies. He instructs internationally
on a wide range of fire service topics, specializing in high-rise firefighting and overall
fireground command & control. He has presented hundreds of training classes to thousands
of firefighters, in several countries, from Canada to Singapore, and on three continents,
North America, Asia, and Australia. He was the lead instructor and developed the first
engine company (high-rise / standpipe operations) hands-on training (HOT) at the Fire
Department Instructors Conference (FDIC) in Indianapolis, FDIC West, and FDIC East.
He was a keynote speaker on United States high-rise firefighting operations, at the Fire and
Emergency Services Asia (FESA) Singapore, 2005. He was also the keynote speaker at the
British Columbia Fire Training Officer’s Association annual conference, Vancouver, 2008,
and FDIC, Indianapolis, 2009. He is a member of the FDIC Educational Advisory Board
and is editorial advisor and contributing editor for Fire Engineering Magazine. He is the
author of the book Firefighting Operations in High-Rise and Standpipe Equipped Buildings
published by PennWell (Fire Engineering Books and Videos) in 2007. Dave holds two
Associate of Applied Science Degrees in Fire Science Technology, one with a focus in Fire
Suppression, and the other with a focus in Fire Prevention. Dave also holds two Bachelor
of Science Degrees, one in Human Resource Management and the other in Fire Service
Administration. Dave is a second-generation Denver firefighter, who was born and raised in
Denver, CO.
Hands on Training Instructors
Gabe Angemi
Rafael Carrillo
Mike Ciampo
James Ellis
Eddie Farley
Luis X Feliciano
Dave Hageman
Brac Heiss
Ramiro Mayorga
Bill McCann
Matt Negedly
Jim Remley
Steve Robertson
Mat Rush
Jim Smith
Shannon Stone
Kevin Story
Jesse Wead
Special Thanks to Our
“There are no new lessons to be learned from a firefighter’s death or injury. The cause of
tragedy is usually an old lesson we have not learned or have forgotten along the way.”
-Vincent Dunn
Philadelphia, PA
One Meridian Plaza February 23, 1991 3 LODD
Memphis, TN
Regis Towers April 11, 1994 2 LODD
Brooklyn, NY
Vandalia Ave December 18, 1998 3 LODD
Houston, TX
Four Leaf Towers October 13, 2001 1 LODD
Manhattan, NY
Duetsche Bank Building August 18, 2007 2 LODD
Ashville, NC
6 Story Office Bldg July 28, 2011 1 LODD
DEC 1-3, 2015 – HROC 2015
Check out
for the latest information and updates on HROC 2015.
Thank you.