Conference Presentations

Over the past 30 years, ESCI has offered presentations for conferences and professional workshops, providing invaluable training and information for participants. ESCI is known for its first-class motivational and workshop presentations that cover a wide range of audiences. 

Please contact Lane Wintermute, Director, Planning and Strategic Services, at lane.wintermute@esci.us, or directly by telephone at 208-661-4865, for assistance with planning your next conference.

Key Speakers

Sheldon Gilbert: Chief Executive Officer, ESCI

Chief Sheldon Gilbert has served as a metropolitan Fire Chief, private sector Chief Operating Officer, and a Chief Executive Officer. Chief Gilbert is a well-known and respected speaker and leader on a number of fire, EMS, leadership, innovation, business practices, and public private partnership topics.

Dr. Cassi L. Fields: Vice President, ESCI Human Capital Services

Dr. Cassi Fields is a nationally known expert in the design, development, validation, and administration of fire/rescue, law enforcement, and other public safety personnel assessment/testing projects of all sizes. She has been producing testing and other human capital programs for public safety agencies since 1990. Her special expertise is developing promotional systems for at-risk organizations.

Lane Wintermute: Director, ESCI Planning and Strategic Services

Chief Wintermute served as a fire chief in Oregon, Washington State, and Idaho. He has a wealth of experience in both large and small fire departments, and is knowledgeable about fire and EMS planning and cooperative service delivery subjects.

Jennifer Flaig: Director of Testing, ESCI Human Capital Services

Ms. Flaig is the ESCI-Fields Human Capital Division’s Director of Testing and has been developing and managing personnel selection and training projects since 2002. She is also the instructor of record for George Washington University’s Resource Management program, which is designed for individuals with full-time jobs in public safety to pursue their undergraduate degrees.

Mike Montgomery: Senior Associate, ESCI Planning and Strategic Services

Chief Montgomery is a recognized leader in the development and implementation of fire/rescue, law enforcement, and emergency management programs, with specialization in management and leadership, community risk assessment, cooperative service and consolidation, training, regulatory support, and legislation for rural, suburban, and regional service providers and organizations.

Conference Offerings

All presentations listed are 60 to 90 minutes in length unless otherwise noted.

Making the Pieces Fit Through Cooperative Efforts

As public funds diminish and competition for existing local tax dollars increases, many emergency services organizations are looking at alternatives. Often, a viable option is to engage in cooperative service with neighboring agencies. This informative presentation will use examples and tools to assist in answering questions such as: Why cooperative service? What are the options? What are the short and long-term benefits? What are the risks? Where would savings most likely occur? Are the savings significant? And will the efforts provide enhanced services, capabilities, and safety for your communities and personnel?

Managing the New Reality

This session is designed to assist managers, supervisors, and staff in coping with the challenges of the current environment. ESCI will share innovative, but proven concepts, and techniques that will not only be informative and useful, but also entertaining. We will discuss what happened to create the current operating environment, including structural deficit issues; tools for your toolbox; innovation and consequences if we don’t change. Also, in the discussion will be quality issues and customer service, the human elements of being successful, the changing environment, and dealing with change. Don’t miss this opportunity to learn and participate as we take a hard look at what is driving the New Reality.

Behavioral Documentation

This session concentrates on the value of behavioral documentation and how it can assist a supervisor in achieving the most out of his or her subordinates. We discuss why it is important to document performance, the internal biases supervisors must be aware of when observing and documenting performance, and how understanding those biases can make the documentation more beneficial. This will also include a discussion about how to write behavioral documentation in a way that will give a supervisor support for performance appraisal ratings, discipline, and positive reinforcement, as well as giving them the best chance to get the performance desired from their subordinates.

NEW! Cost Allocation Models for Shared Services

Local fire departments are facing new challenges and calls for optimized service delivery, all while being faced with changing populations and community needs. Growing in popularity is the concept of shared services—like mutual aid, only better—while retaining system autonomy. This session will compare common cost allocation models and their financial impact, help department heads and elected officials understand how to select criteria and understand the financial implications, and provide a useful tool for equating and selecting future cost allocation processes.

Inclusive Leadership/Implicit Bias

This discussion involves how leaders can recognize and identify the implicit and explicit biases within themselves that may prevent them from assessing their personnel in an accurate way. A pitfall of these biases is that they may prevent leaders from including people who are different than themselves from appropriate inclusion in work activities and career development. All people have unique biases that come from their individual surroundings and upbringing from the day they were born. We will show how to identify personal biases and remove them from your personnel assessments using a method we call Directed Thought.

Fire-Rescue Executive Recruitment and Selection

Fire-Rescue executive recruitment and selection, which includes finding the right fit in command staff personnel, must be based upon the most important competencies an executive needs in any specific jurisdiction. What this means is that a generic, one-size-fits-all process that includes non-focused advertising, recruitment assessments, and interviews will not be an effective way to find the best person for your organization. In order to obtain a highly qualified fire-rescue executive that is committed to your organization and is an innovative, great leader that serves the community, there are some key measures that must be included in the process. Our session will describe how measuring the right competencies and conducting the right past-performance check will make for the most effective recruitment.

Managing Contracts, Metrics, and Measuring Performance and Outcomes

In Managing Contracts, Metrics, and Measuring Performance for your Agency, representatives from Emergency Services Consulting International (ESCI) discuss the importance of assuring that your agency is receiving the most appropriate levels of service from fire, EMS, and other contract service providers. The presentation addresses developing effective contracts and contractor relationships, establishing performance standards and measurable metrics, along with how to monitor and measure performance and outcomes utilizing the identified tools.

Mega-shelter Operations: Two Case Studies for Success

Katrina and Harvey—Two hurricanes with a big impact on the Gulf Coast and on emergency shelter operations across the nation. This session will show how the largest shelter operation in peacetime America came to be and the lessons learned when, 12 years to the day, the need for large-scale shelter operations happened again. What went right, what needs to improve, and quick fixes that you can use to prepare your emergency shelter plans for housing large groups of people with little advance notice.

Moving Forward or Falling Back: Planning for Your Agency’s Future

ESCI’s presentation Moving Forward or Falling Back: Planning for Your Agency’s Future takes an in depth look at the changes that face today’s public safety agencies and the importance of planning for the future. Areas discussed include long-range master planning, organizational strategic planning, and how public safety agencies may pursue shared service delivery thorough cooperative efforts including merger, consolidation, and other forms of collaboration.

Public-Private Partnerships: Oil and Water or the Secret to Success?

Public-private partnerships offer complex and compelling opportunities for today’s fire service. Significant benefit and risk can be realized through the service enhancements and innovation these partnerships can provide. As a public safety leader, it is important to move beyond seeing potential to structuring partnerships that protect your interests while increasing efficiency and capabilities that provide a measurable benefit to the communities you serve.

Today’s public safety agency finds itself in a new world with challenges and opportunities not seen before. New realities including “outcome-based” performance metrics, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Accountable Care Organizations, Community Paramedicine, and other public/private opportunities leave public safety providers at a crossroads on how to deal with these emerging themes and opportunities.

Through presented case studies and personal experience, Sheldon Gilbert will look at the leadership, innovation, and partnership elements necessary for successful public private partnerships. Picking the right service, with the right partner, at the right time will determine your success or failure. Don’t leave it to chance. Have all the best information you can!

NEW! Risk-Based Inspection Models: Matching Resources to Risks

Regular inspections of commercial and public buildings help reduce community fire risk, but staffing levels often do not support the desired number of inspections. In this session, we will discuss an inspection model that links the frequency of inspections to risk, using three recognized standards—ISO, NFPA 1730, and IEC 17020 to determine optimal inspection staffing requirements and projected costs for each.

Situational Awareness: It’s Not Just for the Fireground Anymore

Situational awareness is the ability to scan the environment and sense danger, challenges, and opportunities, while maintaining the ability to conduct normal activities. In this session, we discuss how a low concentration of situational awareness, in all aspects of the fire service, can lead to poor decision-making and very undesirable, or even legal, consequences.

Succession Planning

Many organizations find themselves without future leaders because they did not envision events such as high levels of turnover and very young employees being promoted at a very fast rate. In order to leave your organization better than it was when you arrived, you must plan for your departure. We will discuss the tools you need to create a comprehensive succession plan. Some elements include assignment rotation, soft skills training, and exposure to tasks and relationships that normally occur at higher ranks.

NEW! SWOT Analysis: New Tricks for an Old Dog

Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats. You’ve used this analysis tool for a long time, and you’ve probably heard that it’s been replaced by newer, more powerful analytical models. But SWOT is back, and in a big way. This session will show you how SWOT has changed over the years, why this simple tool is sometimes the best, and how to use the latest version in your strategic planning process.

NEW! Landing a Fire Chief’s Job

To land a fire chief's job, you must have an exceptional resume that is grammatically flawless and that clearly demonstrates that you possess the skills needed for the position. You also need to do your homework: candidates who have more exposure to the job and the selection process, have a much higher probability of landing the job. In this session, we teach you how to prepare your resume and gain the needed information to prepare properly for the job and the selection process.

NEW! Rescuing the Rescuers—A Holistic Approach to Emotional and Physical Wellness

Today’s first responders sacrifice daily to ensure our communities and their brothers and sisters are safe. In many cases, this continual state of readiness and hyper-vigilance takes a toll physically and emotionally. Addiction, depression, suicidal tendencies, dysfunctional behavior, heart disease, cancer, and a lack of work-life balance is on the rise. As these realities become more prevalent, public safety agencies are on the defense trying to catch up with identifying, acknowledging, and managing this reality. In this presentation, Dr. Cassi Fields and CEO Sheldon Gilbert share the contributing and cumulative factors that are leading to increased risk to first responder’s emotional and physical health. This interesting and interactive presentation will provide an overview of best practices, management tools, and intervention resources that should be present in all public safety organizations to deal with this reality. This is an essential discussion for all leaders and managers in your public safety organization. It is time to pay attention and do the work necessary to rescue the rescuers!

Again, please contact Lane Wintermute, Director, Planning and Strategic Services, at lane.wintermute@esci.us, or directly by telephone at 208-661-4865, for assistance with planning your next conference.