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Back to Back Disasters: Reno Fire Chief Michael Hernandez
to Address Response to Deadly Incidents

Firehouse World opens February 19-23 at the San Diego Convention Center
San Diego, CA (February 3, 2012) &ndsah; Over the past five months, the Reno Fire Department, led by Chief Michael Hernandez, has had several high profile disasters that have required response from multiple agencies and hundreds of firefighters, paramedics, and EMS professionals. On Tuesday, February 21st, Hernandez will open up to thousands of Firehouse World attendees in San Diego about lessons learned and the importance of being prepared.

“The Caughlin fire cut power to homes, making it difficult to communicate with homeowners about the need to evacuate,” says Chief Hernandez. “It was challenging and issues continued to mount. Alternatively, we had prepared for the possibility of a plane crashing into the grandstands for more than a decade, participating in mock mass casualty exercises that allowed us to act quickly during the Reno air race crash. Training, proper equipment and a well prepared plan for response saved lives.”

Chief Hernandez manages a staff of nearly 400. Formerly from Corpus Christi, TX, he has spent 30 years in the fire service. He was appointed Chief of the Reno Fire Department in 2010. The department saw several catastrophic events in 2011 with the National Championship Air Races and Air Show in Reno on September 16th. The event had never had a spectator death due to an aircraft losing control. For the past 15 years, however, the Regional Emergency Medical Services Authority (REMSA) has engaged in mock exercises specifically focused on the possibility of an aircraft crashing into the grandstands and creating a mass casualty incident.

The planning paid off. According to EMSWorld's John Erich, the “Regional Emergency Medical Services Authority (REMSA) treated and cleared 54 patients from the scene — 25 of them critical — in just 62 minutes.”

In November more than 2000 acres burned in Caughlin, Nevada, destroying 30 homes as firefighters contended with wind gusts of up to 60 mph.

Firehouse World kicks off on February 19th at the San Diego Convention Center with Hands-on Training. All courses are eligible for CEU - Live Fire Critical Evolutions (HS6 or HM6), Scenario-Based Patient Extrication Training (HS5 or HM5), Commercial Fireground Operations (HS4 or HM4), High-Density Forcible Entry Concepts "Softening the Structure to Get Out Alive" (HS2 or HM2).

In addition to hands-on training, the 4-day Firehouse World conference program will offer unparalleled educational opportunities for fire service professionals. Recognized experts will offer firefighters and emergency responders the leadership skills, tools and solutions they need, focusing on areas including career advancement, firefighter safety, wildland, hazmat/WMD, EMS and rescue. The innovative conference program will focus beyond the classroom, providing attendees with resources to take home and apply in their communities.

The Firehouse World exposition will feature over 350 companies showcasing the latest products, services and technologies offered to the fire service. Firefighters, emergency responders, members of specification committees and Fire Chiefs will be able to find what they need all under one roof, helping them prepare for tomorrow's emergencies today.

For more information on attending or exhibiting, visit Firehouseworld.com.

Firehouse World is produced and managed by Cygnus Business Media. Cygnus' public safety portfolio has the largest reach with over one million Fire/EMS and professionals logging on to Firehouse.com, EMSWorld.com, attending tradeshows Firehouse Expo, Firehouse World, and EMSWorld Expo, and reading Firehouse Magazine, and EMS World magazine. Cygnus Business Media reaches millions of professionals annually. As one of America's top business-to-business media companies, Cygnus is leading the way in providing targeted content to top decision-makers and organizations. The company's corporate initiatives and organizational architecture are built with one goal: fully engaging audiences in Aviation, Building & Construction and Public Safety & Security, as well as Diversified Industries such as agriculture, transportation, printing, accounting and vending.