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fire inspectors association of indiana



Building Social Media & CRR Community Relationships
 John Mehling  Ashley Heckly

Fishers Department of Fire & Emergency Services

Whether building a following on social media, or making connections with schools, organizations and businesses in your community, you have to start with data driven messaging, and building relationships. Captain Mehling and Ms. Heckly will share their experiences in building an effective program for your own community.

Captain Mehling has 35 years experience in the fire service in a variety of ranks. The last 10 years has been as the External Affairs Officer for the Fishers Department of Fire and Emergency Services.

Ashley Heckly has 14 years experience as a teacher in both middle school and high school and the past two years as a Community Risk Specialist with the Fishers Department of Fire and Emergency Services.

 School and Day Care Inspections
 Rob Miller


 Mangement of Large Events
Michael Beard

Indianapolis Fire Department

Division Chief- Fire Marshal

Fire and Life Safety

Michael Beard, an esteemed resident of Indianapolis, Indiana, has forged a remarkable career path from architecture to his current position as Division Chief of Fire and Life for the City of Indianapolis. Graduating with dual degrees in Architecture and Environmental Design from Ball State University in 2001, Michael embarked on his journey with the Indianapolis Fire Department.

Boasting 23 years of dedicated service in the fire department, Michael's journey is marked by resilience and leadership. His roles as staff training officer, peer fitness trainer, and field training officer, culminated in achieving the highest merit rank of Battalion Chief. Currently serving as Fire Marshal since 2020, Michael oversees a spectrum of responsibilities, including inspections, fire code plan reviews, public education, fire investigations, public events, and emergency management for the IFD.

Beyond his administrative duties, Michael actively contributes to various boards and served on the Fire Prevention and Building Safety Commission for the state of Indiana. Recognized for his outstanding professional achievements, he received the 2021 Outstanding Award from Ball State University's Black Alumni Constituent Society.

Guided by a strong spiritual foundation, Michael embodies values of mutual respect, demonstrating adept problem-solving and team management skills. Motivated by diverse sources, he embraces the challenge of success, consistently building upon his accomplishments.

In his leisure time, Michael finds joy in family moments with his wife and three children. His interests include reading mystery novels, playing golf, and indulging in movie-watching.

Firefighters as Pillars of Hope:

Nurturing Youth Mental Health and Preventing Suicide in our Communities

 Samantha Vidal

Professional Learning Specialist, School Counseling CIESC, Keep Indiana Learning

Explore the vital connection between fire education and prevention and youth mental health. Gain insights into recognizing and addressing mental health challenges faced by today's youth. Discover practical strategies for communication, resilience-building, and collaboration with mental health professionals. Join us in fostering a future where firefighters serve as compassionate guardians, actively preventing youth suicide in our communities. Together, let's build a network of support for the well-being of our youth. 

Learning Objectives: Gain insights into fostering resilience in young individuals, exploring strategies to promote mental well-being and coping mechanisms. Develop effective communication skills tailored to connect with youth, creating an environment of trust and openness. Empower firefighters to actively contribute to the prevention of youth suicide, transforming their roles into those of compassionate advocates for mental health in the communities they serve.


Samantha Vidal has worked as a school counselor for 15 years in urban, rural, and suburban settings. She helped to develop a comprehensive school counseling program that earned the Gold Star School Counseling Award, RAMP Award, Re-RAMP Award, and the Promising Practices Award from the IDOE. Samantha served as a RAMP Reviewer, IDOE Gold Star Reviewer, Carrying the Torch Advisory Council member, and is now the Lead Reviewer for Carrying the Torch to Student Success.. Samantha was one of six national finalists for the American School Counselor Association’s 2016 School Counselor of the Year. She was previously recognized as the 2014 Indiana Elementary School Counselor of the Year by the Indiana School Counselor Association (ISCA). She served as ISCA’s President 2013 – 2014 and served on the ASCA Board of Directors 2017-2020.

Igniting Knowledge: Exploring STEM Activities for Practical Fire Safety Education
 Ryan Murray

Professional Learning Specialist, Keep Indiana Learning

In this one-hour presentation, the focus will be on engaging STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) activities directly related to fire safety. The session will offer practical demonstrations and experiments that attendees can easily replicate in their training programs. Examples include simple experiments to illustrate fire behavior, such as demonstrating how different materials react to heat or showcasing the science behind fire extinguishing methods using household items. Additionally, the presentation will highlight the importance of integrating these accessible STEM activities into fire safety education to enhance understanding and promote effective safety practices among learners.

 Tents and Canopies


 Kevin Schwab

On-site Production Manager

A Classic Party Rental

This presentation will consist of a 45 minute overview of the different styles of tents and general information on installation and safety as it relates to Chapter 31 of the Indiana Fire Code. This will be done inside the conference center. After the inside portion, students will exit to the outside lawn area where they will see the (3) main styles of tents set up for a hands-on demonstration. This will give the attendees an opportunity to see a real world application of tents and the do’s and don’ts of installation.
Healthcare Codes and the AHJs That Enforce Them

Neal Locasto, P.E.

Principal, Project Manager

 RTM Consultants

 An overview of codes that apply to I-2 Occupancies and the AHJ's that enforce them.

Mr. Locasto has been a partner at RTM since 2017. He is a graduate of Purdue University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering. He is a registered Professional Engineer with current registration in the State of Indiana. He is also a registered Fire Protection Engineer with current registration in the State of Ohio.

Prior to joining RTM Consultants, Inc. in 2005, Mr. Locasto was employed as Construction Manager at a two campus, 800 bed hospital located in Northwest Indiana where his primary professional responsibilities included design of remodeled spaces and new construction of facilities at the hospital's South Campus.

Mr. Locasto works exclusively on health care projects including detailed plan review for new and existing facilities, code compliance assessments throughout the construction process and ongoing consulting for owners and design professionals.

Empowering Community Champions for Traffic Safety

 Kel McBride

Impact Teen Drivers,

Education and Outreach Manager

Engage, educate, and empower teen drivers, passengers and their influencers with strategies to keep themselves and the communities they share the roads with safer. Participants will learn about: - Facilitating evidence-based teen programs in your community. - Current research and trends in teen safe driving. - Graduated Driver Licensing, seat belts, speed, and more. - Addressing the #1 unintentional cause of injury and death for young people in America - car crashes caused by reckless and distracted driving. - Changing the culture of driving not just in this generation, but future generations.

Impact Teen Drivers programs and resources outline the dangers of reckless and distracted driving, the importance of good decision making behind the wheel, evidence-based strategies, and the necessity of understanding and following the Graduated Driver Licensing law so students can keep themselves and their friends safe on Indiana roadways. Our programming does not use scare tactics—it is designed to engage, educate, and empower teens and their influencers. The programs use engaging quizzes, interactive tools, and real stories of teens who have lost their lives or caused the loss of life in preventable car crashes—ITD connects emotionally to motivate young people toward attitude and behavior change. Our programs are available in both English and Spanish.


Warehouse Fire Protection: 

Sprinkler Systems within Industrial Facilities 

 Kyle Fisher  Brad Borjab 
Ryan Fire Protection

 This presentation will discuss automatic fire protection within industrial facilities. Including commodity classifications, building heights, fire pumps, water supply, system design, in-rack sprinklers and new technology in the marketplace. 



 Politics and the Fire Inspector
 Brian Lott and Brian Hooten
Noblesville Fire Department and Vernon Township Fire Department


 Systems Acceptance Testing
 Ron Lipps

Fire Marshal

Zionsville Fire Department

 The plans have been reviewed, the building is almost complete, and now it's time for you to witness the acceptance tests of the life safety systems. How to prepare? What to do? First, relax. Then show up with a coordinated plan. While we can't control how well prepared your installers will be, a good plan and good checklist can keep you on track with your inspection.

Ron Lipps started in the fire service in Zionsville in 1991, In 1996 he started full time with the Fishers FIre Department, transitioning to Fire Prevention in 2001. He retired from Fishers in 2017 and returned to Zionsville in Fire Prevention as a civilian.

Due to the amount of commercial development in both communities, he has participated in countless system acceptance tests and has experienced all the good and bad outcomes.  

 Fire Extinguisher Inspections

Joshua Earl
Fire Marshal

Vernon Township Fire Department

This course will focus on what to look for with extinguishers beyond if the annual inspection tag has been updated. We will discuss Section 906 of the IFC as well has NFPA 10, focusing primarily in NFPA 10. You will learn about some important code requirements for extinguishers that are not commonly enforced,  and how to check for those items.

Josh Earl has been working in code enforcement since 2012, and has worked in numerous areas across the State over the years. He first began working for the Indiana State Fire Marshals Office in 2012.  He left the State to go work for Fishers Fire Department in 2015 where he worked in the Fire Prevention Division. During this time he also volunteered for Cicero Fire Department and assisted with their inspections. In 2021 Josh left Fishers to go work for Vernon Township Fire Department to begin a Fire Prevention Program there. Prior to his public service, Josh work for a fire protection company where he inspected, tested, and maintained fire extinguishers, exit and emergency lighting, fire hoses, eyewash and safety showers, and he assisted in testing fire alarm and sprinkler systems. He has an Associates of Science in Fire Science and Safety Technologies from Vincennes University.

FD Recruiting with Public Education Mindset
 Battalion Chief Corey Floyd

Indianapolis Fire Department

Clean Agent Systems

Chris White

Clean Agent Operations Manager

Koorsen Fire & Security

 Plan Review from the Trenches
 TJ Burns

 City of Lebanon, Indiana

Mr. Burns has over 50 years in construction, design, code consulting, building inspection, fire inspection, and plan review utilizing adopted city and state building and fire codes. TJ has work experience in South Lake Tahoe, California, West Valley City, Utah, Kaysville City, Utah, Columbus, Indiana, Pike Township Fire Department, and Indianapolis Fire Department. He is currently employed as a Building Inspector for the City of Lebanon, Indiana. 
 CRR Data Analysis
Rob Miller


 Fire Pumps

Jeff Beckman,

Corporate Trainer Systems

JD Burden,

Sprinkler Operations Manager

Koorsen Fire & Security


Collect The Dots to Connect The Dots:

How to find grants and raise support for your programs!

 Nina Powell

Pub Ed Mngr / PIO / DFM ,Brownsburg Fire Territory

This presentation will guide participants through identifying and securing support through grants, donations, volunteers and in-kind giving. We will share simple steps that everyone can use in their community. This is perfect for new and seasoned Community Risk Reduction professionals as well as the storytellers of your department, the PIO's.

Mailing Address: 

Fire Inspectors Association of Indiana


17437 Carey Road

Westfield, IN 46074

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