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David Mellen and Ben Burbridge with Valor Fire Training 

Fire For Effect HOT and Classroom 

This class discusses the rise and fall of realism in training and what impact it has on our firefighters. In today's fire service training we are often faced with the dilemma of having to choose between realism or safety. Students will learn how to get both and why it is so vital that we expose our trainees to situations as close to real life as possible. Through lecture and hands on drills we will examine the benefits both mentally and physically, that using high fidelity training bring to your training programs. Students will learn how to incorporate realism in a safe and effective manner while still maintaining compliance with NFPA standards. Whether you are the new recruit firefighter or the Chief, everyone can learn from this class and walk away with the knowledge needed to be better prepared and better trained.

David Mellen is a 20-year student of the fire service, currently serving as career Firefighter/Paramedic with the Edwardsville (KS) Fire Department in addition to serving as a volunteer Captain with the Reno Township (KS) Fire Department. As a Lieutenant, Mellen and his crew were awarded a fire service Medal of Valor award in 2015 for the rescue of a 104-year-old woman from a house fire. Dave has his certification from the International Fire Service Accreditation Congress (IFSAC) as a Fire Officer I and Fire Instructor I as well he serves as a lab instructor for the Johnson County Community College and has sat on several review committees for fire service training publications. He is a instructor at FDIC, Firehouse Expo, and several other state and local fire schools as well as the owner of Valor Fire Training.

Ben Burbridge started his career back in 2007 as a volunteer firefighter/EMT in Schuyler, Nebraska. He has over a decade of experience including various roles from a volunteer to career firefighter. Ben has served as a Firefighter/Paramedic, Training Chief and currently Assistant Chief of Ralston Volunteer Fire Department in Ralston, Nebraska. Ben began his career service with Bellevue Fire Department in Bellevue, Nebraska, where he currently serves as a Medic Officer/Fire Officer. In addition to working as a firefighter, Ben is also an instructor for Valor Fire training, State of Nebraska EMS Instructor and assistant EMS Instructor at Metropolitan Community College. He currently lives in Omaha, Nebraska, with his fiancée Lauryn and three dogs.