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What to expect at #MAFFC2019

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The Metro Atlanta Fire Fighters Conference is scheduled for May 15-18, 2019.

For those registered for classes, here is need-to-know information related to the conference, including what you need to bring, where to meet, and conference events.

Where Do Attendees Stay?

If sleeping on the floor of your second cousin’s den isn’t for you, MAFFC partners with hotels who have agreed to give us a reduced rate. For a list of partnered hotels for this year’s conference click here.

Transportion to classes

MAFFC will get you to your class in vehicles departing from the check-in site, and we’ll get you back. How you get from your hotel or second cousin’s house to the check-in site every day is on you. We tried to provide van service in years past, but people kept wanting to stop for food along the way. (Seriously.)

Where is the check-in location?

The Cobb County Safety Village is a training center that MAFFC uses as its hub. Students report to the Safety Village for check-in and “Day Of” registration, and all buses headed to hands-on training depart from the Safety Village. It’s also the location for all of our classroom training and our sponsor/vendors use the Safety Village halls to display the newest and best equipment. It’s located at 1220 Al Bishop Drive Marietta GA 30008.

Can I drive myself to my class?

No. All attendees must depart for the training sites from the check-in site on one of our buses. This ensures that all students are accounted for and are en route to the right location at the right time. Besides, some of these training sites don’t have what you would call “adequate” parking, and some of the instructors use the time on the bus to get things like the safety talk and other stuff taken care of so that when the parking brake on the bus sounds, we can get the training started as soon as possible.

What do I need to bring to my class?

Check the class description for exact details. However, if it is a hands-on class, you should bring everything you’d need to go interior on that awesome house fire or commercial building fire. Having more than you need never hurt anyone. But, checking with the class description is the best option, as some classes require workout clothes and apparel.

Is there lunch for my hands-on class?

Yes, all 8-hour hands-on classes come with a lunch included. The lunch is delivered to your site.

Does MAFFC supply an SCBA?

No. Bring your own. We can’t possibly supply every attendee with an SCBA.

Is there anything for purchase at the Safety Village?

Many of our sponsors set up tables within the halls of our registration site, The Safety Village. They display the coolest of their equipment and gear; much of which is available for purchase. It would be smart to have a few walk around dollars in your pocket in case you see something you can’t go back to your station without. Plus, #MAFFC2019 has t-shirts, patches and shirts for sale.

MAFFC sponsored events

MAFFC is excited about hosting several events this year. On Wednesday, join MAFFC at Red Hare Brewery in Cobb County. On Friday, MAFFC will host its annual bash night, located at the conference hotel. At the bash, we will have drinks, food, fellowship and, yep, raffle giveaways.

What is there to do outside of classes?

Great news. The official MAFFC hotel is located less than 1/2 mile from The Battery Atlanta, the home of the Atlanta Braves. You can find restaurants, drinking establishments, shops and entertainment inside The Battery. Have we mentioned the Braves are home the whole weekend? The Braves host the St. Louis Cardinals and Milwaukee Brewers over the course of the MAFFC weekend.

Our Tank Is Almost 3/4 Full

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Never before in the history of our conference have we seen classes filling up like we are experiencing right now. Here are a few of the stats as of today:

  • 575 registered for Hands-On classes (almost 3/4 full)
  • 226 seats in Hands-On classes still available
  • 13 classes are full with an additional 3 classes that are at over 90% full

All of that to say, if you were waiting on something before you register, you might not want to wait much longer. After only 5 days of registration we are light years ahead of where we were with regards to being full as we were this time last year. We always plan to leave registration open for at least two months, but this time around we might be completely full well before that.

Why is it going so fast? We like to think it’s the top-tier training we offer at rock bottom prices. We also like to think that it has something to do with the family atmosphere of our conference. In the end, we’re all just firefighters here to learn; the students, the volunteer instructors, and our volunteer staff.

How do we do offer top-tier training at rock bottom prices? Simple. It’s just a lot of dedicated people getting together to be better at what we do. No one with an agenda other than passing on what we know. And as always, every dollar we take in goes back into training our attendees. NO ONE gets paid. And if you look around at other conferences, that makes up pretty damn special.

Acceptance Letters To Instructors Due To Go Out

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Instructors who proposed classes for this year’s conference will be notified very soon if we have a spot for them. That means that we are very close to being able to announce the classes on our website. We’re currently building the webpages and instructor bio pages for all of this year’s training (over 100 webpages in case you were wondering).

We’ll announce when they go live on the website via our social media accounts. Stay tuned.

“Holidays” for MAFFC

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At MAFFC, we don’t necessarily spend our time during the November and December holidays like the rest of you. Thanksgiving was near the end of our Call For Instructors, and the entire month of December is spent going through the class proposals and finalizing what we will be offering for MAFFC 2017. In other words: lots of stuff to do.

We hope to roll out that list of classes around the beginning of the new year. And if everything goes as scheduled, you can look for registration to open around the beginning of February.

In the meantime, listen to the podcasts and/or read a book from one of our reading lists if you find yourself with nothing to do until then.

New Additions to Our Website

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We’ve made a few additions to the website this week:

  • We added our second episode of our podcast Combustible
  • We added a site search in the main navigation bar so that you can “find what you can’t find”
  • We added the dates of the conference to the website logo

The last two on that list were things that we didn’t really realize were a problem. Kind of like when you are standing too close to the TV.

Anyway check it out. And if you have a question, drop us a line using the form at the bottom of the FAQ page.

You’ve Got Some Down Time So…

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We’re all pretty busy. Firefighters aren’t usually blessed with a lot of spare time. We work second and sometimes third jobs. So, suggesting that you pick up a book in your “spare time” might seem a little ridiculous. But hear us out.

Firefighters are firefighters all the time. It’s not really something you can turn off depending on your proximity to a rig or fire station.

Now, our suggested reading selections can make you a better firefighter, but if you’re always a firefighter, then it will also make you a better whatever else you are; father, daughter, husband, businesswoman, etc.

Sure, it’s a stretch, but it makes sense if you really think about it. And in the end your reading is an investment in you.

The first step is to check out our suggested reading. Surely books don’t scare you, right? And who knows? Maybe you’ll find something there that piques your interest.

MAFFC Suggested Reading

Another One In The Books

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Well, we hope you all enjoyed the conference as much as we did. There’s really nothing better than hanging out with a bunch of firefighters while we all get better at what we do. And it bears repeating a few things:

  • Without you the students we are nothing. Thank you for making MAFFC what it is
  • Without our sponsors and partners we wouldn’t have a conference. A big thank you to all of them for providing us the means to do what we do
  • Without our incredible instructor cadre there would be no exchange of ideas. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and expertise
  • Without our all-volunteer staff you would have the ingredients, but no one to bake the cake. As one part (the website guy) of a larger group of dedicated firefighters, I want to recognize the sacrifice and hard work that built this conference

As we wind down MAFFC 2016 and prepare to begin work on MAFFC 2017, we want to let you know about a few things that we are working on:

  • We’re working hard on making sure everyone got the certs for the classes they attended, but please remember we’re all volunteers. We work at least one fire department job (maybe two) and work on this conference when we’re not putting food on the table or enjoying some time with our families
  • Pictures from this year’s conference will be uploaded to the website in the next week or two. Because we have so many training locations we couldn’t get around to every one to take pictures. If you’re willing to share pictures you took, email the website guy at wvoorhies@maffc.org

We’re Trying To Build A Better Whole Firefighter

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Even though our conference is the linch pin of our mission to build better firefighters, it’s not the only way to get that done. We’ve started a collection of the recommended reading of our committee members. Now, none of us think you can read yourself into being a firefighter, but you can read yourself into being a better firefighter. Give the lists a look. You’ve got a couple of months before the conference. Plenty of time to knock out a book or two.

MAFFC Committee Reading Lists

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