High Rise Operations Conference 2021 (HROC)


Our annual High Rise Operations Conference (HROC) will be held December 7th-9th, 2021, at the Hilton Pensacola Beach Gulf Side Convention Center.

We will have an afternoon roundtable on High Rise Operations starting at 3:30 PM on December 6th, 2021, followed by two days of lecture, and one day of hands-on training (HOT).

Attendees have the opportunity to hookup and flow water off the 17th floor of the Hilton Hotel.



HROC is The Only Annual High Rise Operations Fire Conference. Firefighters, Fire Officers, and Fire Chiefs will receive the latest tactics, trends, and lessons learned for operating at fires in both high-rise and standpipe-equipped buildings through our lecture and hands-on training tracks.

Be prepared to make notes, write a lot of things down, and ask a lot of questions, whether it’s in class or after class.

The lecture events will take place Tuesday and Wednesday in-person at the Hilton Pensacola Beach Gulf Side Convention Center in the Royal Palm Ballroom. The H.O.T. Tracks will take place Thursday at the Hilton and other nearby properties.

The speaker and instructor line up is filled with highly experienced and knowledgeable instructors from all across the country sharing national and regional methods.

They even bring their personal cadres from all over the country who love the job and share a passion for making our profession as safe as possible while being as aggressive as possible.

The training cadre’s at HROC have have years of credible, vetted, and trusted fire duty experience they will share with you over your three days and nights on Pensacola Beach.

This diverse group of fire service leaders will prepare you to accomplish fireground tactical priorities and deliver significant amounts of water on the fire in these challenging occupancies.

Nearly 50% of all high rises in existence today are not equipped with fire protection sprinklers systems and the other 50% experience documented incidents of suppression system failure, ineffectiveness, or both.



High-Rise Fire Ops: It’s All About the Process | McGrail

High-Rise Fire Ops: It’s All About the Process | McGrail

Chief McGrail will utilize his 40-years of fire service experience, from nozzleman to incident commander to outline and explain some of the critical components necessary to successfully combat a high-rise fire, while managing the risk to firefighters.  

The central theme of Chief McGrail’s training program is a proper fire fighting mindset, emphasizing the need to continually fight the deadly disease of complacency.  This is achieved through the daily process of building good operational habits.  

A discussion of engine company operations, with an emphasis on “proper weapon selection” will highlight the critical tools necessary for successful standpipe operations along with the fundamental techniques and procedures to make these operations extremely user friendly.  Chief McGrail will also address some of the essential truck company (support) functions, with an emphasis on RECON and Door Control.  

The choreography of the entire operation rests with the incident commander and a solid command structure to achieve overall command and control.  Chief McGrail will provide a recipe for success outlining the essential areas of command and control utilizing the incident command system (ICS) / national incident management system (NIMS).  

This seminar will provide some of the essential components necessary to achieve success at high-rise operations.  Attendees of this training program will leave armed with vital information, and become re-energized to accomplish our most important mission, fire suppression, in our most complicated fire environment, the high-rise building.

Standpipe for Engine Officers | McCormack

Standpipe for Engine Officers | McCormack

This class lays out the basics for a successful fire attack operation from a standpipe. Using the method I taught to thousands of firefighters, you will learn how to get your line into operation quickly and effectively.

More about Ray McCormack

Ray McCormack recently retired as a Lieutenant after 38 years. He holds a BA from the New York Institute of Technology. He was the chair and lead author for FDNYs new Engine Company Operations Manual.

He developed and taught Back to Basics Standpipe for all FDNY firefighters. He was the co-founder and editor of Urban Firefighter magazine. He sits on the FDIC advisory board and FireEngineering editorial board.

He was a panel member for two consecutive Underwriters Laboratories (UL) studies. Impact of Fire Attack Utilizing Interior & Exterior Streams on Firefighter Safety and Occupant Survival Study and Study of Coordinated Fire Attack Utilizing Acquired Structures. He lectures on Engine and Ladder Company Operations, Leadership and Improving Extinguishment Culture.

Truck Co Issues at HR Multiple Dwellings | Ciampo

Truck Company Issues at Hi-Rise Multiple Dwellings | Ciampo

This lecture will go over issues and tactical problems truck companies will face at compactor, electrical, wind-driven and vehicle fires inside hi-rise multiple dwellings. The lecture will point out some tactical tips and procedures from actual fire scenes encountered from the hi-rise capital of the world.

More about Mike Ciampo

Michael Ciampo joined the fire service in 1979 as a volunteer and began his professional career in 1985, he is a lieutenant in the Fire Department of New York (FDNY). Previously, he served with the District of Columbia Fire Department and Wyckoff, NJ VFD. He has a bachelor’s degree in fire science from John Jay College of Criminal Justice, NY.

He is the lead instructor for the FDIC Truck Essentials H.O.T. program and teaches at numerous seminars around the country.. He wrote the Ladder chapter and co-authored the Ventilation chapter for Fire Engineering’s Handbook for Firefighter I and II. He has a monthly column on the back page of Fire Engineering magazine, ON FIRE.

Mike is also featured in Fire Engineering's popular video series “Training Minutes” truck company videos. His video Bread & Butter Portable Ladders DVD is available from Fire Engineering Books & Video's.

Standpipe Hand-line Attack Package Design | LeGear

A Pragmatic Approach to Standpipe Hand-line Attack Package Design | LeGear

This presentation will take a brief Look at these Considerations. Standpipe Jurisdictional Infrastructure Survey Pre & Post 1993 - What to Look For. Building Types Commercial vs Residential. Compartment Dynamics from Hose Size, Kink Radius, Needed Fire Flow, Impacts to Staffing Models. The Solutions Single Diameter and Hybrid Diameter Hose and Nozzle Standpipe Systems.

More about Dennis LeGear

Dennis is a retired Captain of the Oakland, CA Fire Department. During his career Dennis was an integral part of the team that implemented a new engine configuration for Oakland Fire Department as the water supply officer.

After his retirement he continued to pursue this role but as a consultant for other fire departments. Dennis has provided technical advice to some of the largest fire agencies in the nation including, Portland, Seattle, Boston and the City of New York. Dennis consulted with water municipalities assisting in the development of emergency response plans for a variety of water infrastructure problems related to seismic events and other disasters.

Dennis also has played a key role for the fire service on a national level participating in UL studies on fire streams, providing technical knowledge for Pennwell publications and NFPA standards.

Standpipe Valves 101 | Robinson & Plofkin

Standpipe Valves 101 | Robinson & Plotkin

More about Steve Robertson

Steve has been in the fire service for 33 years, the last 29 of which has been with the Columbus Ohio Division of Fire. Steve currently serves as the Lieutenant on Engine Company 18 in the South Linden neighborhood of Columbus. Steve has been a classroom instructor at FDIC for the past several years teaching engine company operations.

Additionally, Steve is the lead instructor of the FDIC HOT program Stretching For Success. Steve is an instructor for County Fire Tactics and has taught engine company tactics nationally. He has also instructed at the High Rise Operations Conference and Command Officers Bootcamp, Water on the Fire conference all in Pensacola Beach, Florida. For the past 26 years Steve has also been a state certified Fire Safety instructor. He is also a past member of the State of Ohio Fire Training Committee.

More about Andy Plofkin

Andy is the National Sales Manager for the SafeFleet Fire and EMS division responsible for distribution in the US. He manages a team of 10 regional sales managers across the country and participates as an instructor at multiple fire colleges and training events across the country.

He has worked in the fire industry over 35 years in various positions for OEMs and a dealership in the Midwest as VP of Sales. His knowledge of distribution, apparatus and hydraulics brings value to all the customers he works with. He is a 39 year veteran of the fire service and has served on departments in Connecticut and Indiana. He is currently a member of the Greenville Fire Protection District in Illinois.


Standpipe Firefighting Tactics & Strategy | Gustin

Standpipe Firefighting Tactics & Strategy | Gustin

This classroom session will examine why tactics for stretching and advancing hose lines from standpipes is often the best way to facilitate the strategy of protecting the occupant's lives. It will examine conditions taking harm away from occupants by rapidly controlling a fire and protecting them in place can be more effective than taking occupants away from harm by evacuation.

Those attending will learn why in order to control a fire in a high rise building firefighters must gain control of its systems; sprinkler, standpipe, HVAC, smoke management/control and elevators. The program will examine differences in residential and commercial high rise building design and construction and why the lack of compartmentation in commercial high rise buildings may require operation of portable master stream devices connected to standpipes.

Similarly, it will examine how to operate more than one hose line from a standpipe. Those attending will also learn how to operate from dry standpipes, manual wet standpipes, and conditions when it is better to stretch hose directly from apparatus rather than from a standpipe.

More about Bill Gustin

Captain Bill Gustin is a 49-year veteran of the Fire Service. He began his career in 1973 as a volunteer firefighter in the Chicago area. He is a third generation firefighter; his Dad and Grandfather were officers on the Chicago Fire Department. He began his career with the Miami-Dade Fire/Rescue Dept. in 1978, was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant in 1983 and to Captain in 1986. Captain Gustin instructs firefighter recruits and newly-promoted fire officers as a lead instructor in Miami-Dade’s Officer Development Program. He has taught fire science classes, industrial fire safety and shipboard firefighting for Miami-Dade College. He also conducts training programs for firefighters throughout the United States and Canada. Additionally, Captain Gustin has taught forcible entry techniques to local and federal law enforcement agencies. He is a contributing editor and a technical editor for Fire Engineering Magazine and an advisory board member for the Fire Department Instructor’s Conference.

Captain Gustin has worked as an instructor and advisor for the U.S. Agency For International Development and has conducted training programs for fire brigades in several Caribbean countries. He was also a member of Miami-Dade’s international Disaster Response Team and participated in the rescue of people trapped in collapsed buildings resulting from earthquakes in the former Soviet Union in 1988 and in the Philippines in 1990. He was also a member of the FEMA working group that established the organization and standards for Urban Search and Rescue Teams that respond to domestic and international disasters. Captain Gustin was named Florida’s firefighter of the year in 1990 for rescuing a women and her child who were trapped between a fire and iron burglar bars on the windows and doors of their home.

The 8 Initial Assignments | Lamping

The 8 Initial Assignments Necessary to Conduct A Highrise Firefight | Lamping

This class will explore the 8 initial assignments that need to be made to conduct a fire attack in large, complicated high rise buildings.  The assignments are Fire Attack, Lobby, Above the Fire, Staging, RIT, Fire Control Room, and Base.  We will discuss the order of the assignments, how many personnel are necessary at each position,  where the firemen should enter the building and stage, expectations of each assignment, and pitfalls that could potentially occur.   This class was developed around the Southern Nevada Fire Operations Guide and the 17 years experience I have working on Las Vegas Boulevard.

More About Clark Lamping

A 21-year veteran of the Clark County (NV) Fire Department, where he has been a captain for 10 years and is on the technical rescue team. He is assigned to Firehouse 11 and is a rescue specialist for NV-TF1. He has a bachelor's degree in psychology and a master's degree in crisis and emergency management.

Operations On the Fire Floor | Morris

Operations on the Fire Floor:  Forcible Entry-Search- Vent and Hallway Management | Morris

More about Robert Morris

Morris retired from the FDNY after 40 years in the department, and completed his career as the Captain of Rescue 1 in Manhattan. He is currently employed as an Assistant Fire Chief with the Stamford Connecticut Fire Department, about 35 miles east of NYC.

The Engine Officer & The Standpipe Fire | Tollund

The Engine Officer and the Standpipe Fire; Size Up, Recon and Mindset | Tollund

The Engine Officer and the Standpipe Fire; Size Up, Recon and Mindset goes deep into the rolls and responsibilities of the Engine Company officer going to work at a fire in a standpipe equipped building. Focusing on the pre incident duties of pre-planning, training and preparation we work up to the incident Size Up.

This is rapidly followed up by the Recon and the dynamic nature of the fire environment and stretching from the cabinet on the floor below. Lastly, we dive into the Mindset necessary to create a high performance Engine Company that is ready for the complexities and challenges of today’s ever changing world, the fire environment and specifically, fires in standpipe equipped buildings.

More about Eric Tollund

Eric Tollund is a 25 year veteran of the fire service. He began as a volunteer in Durango, Colorado and now serves with the Denver Fire Department as Captain of Engine Co. 23 He has a passion for engine company operations, specifically fires in high rise and standpipe buildings and has instructed nationally on this subject.


All HOT Tracks Require Full Turnout Gear, Some Require SCBA.

HOT | Suburban High Rise

HOT | Suburban High Rise

Meeting Time & Location to be announced Wednesday afternoon or sooner.

HOT | Urban High Rise

HOT | Urban High Rise

Meeting Time & Location to be announced Wednesday afternoon or sooner.

HOT | FDNY Engine Ops

HOT | FDNY Engine Operations

Meeting Time & Location to be announced Wednesday afternoon or sooner.

HOT | FDNY Truck Ops

HOT | FDNY Truck Operations

Meeting Time & Location to be announced Wednesday afternoon or sooner.

HOT | FDTN: RIT & Survival

HOT | FDTN: RIT & Survival

Meeting Time & Location to be announced Wednesday afternoon or sooner.

HOT | Back to the Basics

HOT | Back to the Basics

Meeting Time & Location to be announced Wednesday afternoon or sooner.

HOT | ULFSRI Hallway

HOT | ULFSRI Hallway | Stakes & Alt

In this class we will take a practical look at where our water goes, and how our choice of stream and advancement pattern affect our environment.  Where does our water go?  It’s rare that we actually get to see what our water does when it hits a surface during a fire.  Conditions are typically too obstructed by smoke or other things to get a good picture of what our water is doing when it leaves our nozzle. 

Does it create a sprinkler and fan out in hundreds of little droplets?  A lot of us were taught that if we find ourselves in a bad spot, to put our heads down with the nozzle pointing straight up at the ceiling and keep it open until the situation gets better.  Is that really the best way? 
In this class we will help answer those questions and more.  The next piece in your fire attack is your advance.  We have all heard many different debates on whether or not you can push fire…can you? 

Can you as a nozzle operator push heat and smoke with your nozzle?  If you could, are there times when you shouldn’t?  In this class we will go over if and how you can move air with your nozzle, also talking about times it can be beneficial, and when it might not be.  The purpose of this class is to give you the practical knowledge gained by research, to help you be more effective with the nozzle and have a better awareness of your actions at your next fire.  This class truly takes science to the streets.

CLASS | Command & Control

CLASS | Command & Control Mid & High Rise Fires

Meeting Time & Class Location to be announced Wednesday afternoon or sooner.


The Hilton Pensacola Beach is the venue and host hotel for the High Rise Operations Conference (HROC).The neighboring Hampton Inn Pensacola Beach shares the Hilton property, and the Holiday Inn Resort is next door.

The Surf & Sand Resort is across from the Pensacola Beach Pier, only a short walk away. All of these locations offer discounted rooms and no cost for parking.


  • Nightly social activities to connect with instructors, and like-minded people.
  • Breakfast, lunch, and dinner discounts.
  • Beverage discounts with the CFT Tumbler
  • Reduced room rates at two Hilton brand properties.
  • Experience the passion of Chief Isakson and his team of CFT Presenters.
  • Receive up to date information on tactics, strategy, and leadership.
  • Learn from instructors who are shaping the future of our profession.
  • Learning for all ranks from Firefighter, to Line Boss, to the Chief.
  • Location … Location… Location…
  • The ability to network with brothers and sisters from across the country.
  • Investment of time in yourself and your department.
  • Interaction with instructors where you can ask questions you need answered.
  • Our events are organized and students treated like family, not dollar signs.
  • Family friendly, so they know why you have your passion.


County Fire Tactics sponsored airport shuttles will get attendees to and from the Pensacola Airport (PNS) on Monday, and Friday only.

  • Monday, 12/6/2021, arrivals will locate a Dream Catcher Shuttle outside Baggage Claim 3 at Pensacola International Airport.
  • Friday, 12/10/2021, departures will locate a Dream Catcher Shuttle outside the Hilton Hotel lobby.
  • Shuttle registration will open approximately one week before the conference, registration required.


DECEMBER 7 - 9, 2021
JANUARY 10 - 14, 2022
FEBRUARY 8TH - 10TH, 2022
MAY 10 - 12, 2022
AUGUST 23 - 25, 2022
DECEMBER 6 - 8, 2022



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View a list of CF Tactics programs Chief Isakson can deliver at your next conference, seminar, symposium, or in house event. Utilize the links provided to reach Curt and Jessica for more information about booking Chief Isakson or our Pensacola Beach conference series.