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Shaping the Future: Pioneering Technological Advancements and Strategies in Modern Fire Service and Public Safety

About This Webinar

This isn’t just another virtual session.

The fire service's future calls for urgent action, and we need your help.

Join us as we give you an appetizer to the Technology Summit International (TSI) - a virtual microcosm of the “real thing” on December 5-7 in Irving, Texas.

In this 60-minute experience, you will take a deep dive with three fire service leaders who challenge conventional perspectives, present future-forward strategies, and get you thinking differently. Each speaker will present for around 10 minutes on a specific topic followed by a moderated Q&A from the IAFC community.

Dr. Katelynn Kapalo - First In, Left Out: Why We Can't Afford to Ignore the User Experience

Ken Willette - Five Things the Fire Service Needs to Know About Immersive Learning Technologies

John Oates - Beyond Pretty Dashboards and Twitter (X) Factoids…Making Your Data Work for Your Department and Community

We are excited to have you for this virtual event and even more thrilled to see you in Irving, Texas December 5-7.

Who can view: Everyone
Webinar Price: Free
Featured Presenters
Webinar hosting presenter
Western State Fire Chief Senior Research Scientist/Assistant Director & U.S. Fire Administration National Fire Academy’s Executive Fire Officer Program
Katelynn Kapalo is an instructor for the U.S. Fire Administration National Fire Academy’s Executive Fire Officer program. She is the Senior Research Scientist/Assistant Director for the Western Fire Chiefs Association’s Applied Sciences Center for Resilience Studies. She has held multiple roles in academia and completed a postdoctoral appointment with Brown University, supporting the National Institute of Standards and Technology Public Safety Communications Research Division (NIST PSCR).

Dr. Kapalo previously worked in industry as a Research Statistician for Orange County Fire Rescue Department and as a Research Psychologist for the Naval Air Warfare Center Training Systems Division (NAWCTSD). Dr. Kapalo has supported large-scale (multi-billion-dollar) research and development programs focused on integrating augmented and virtual reality training capabilities for the U.S. Navy, U.S. Coast Guard, DARPA, and the U.S. Army. She serves as a technical panel member and principal investigator for efforts to integrate immersive learning and training simulation for firefighting and EMS. Kate was recently appointed to the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) HazMat Advisory Board.

Kate earned her Ph.D. in Modeling and Simulation from the University of Central Florida. Her dissertation focused on leveraging emerging technologies to support fire ground incident command more effectively in pre-incident planning and community risk reduction efforts. Her work has been published and presented at national and international conferences.
Webinar hosting presenter
President and CEO, International Public Safety Data Institute (IPSDI)
John Oates is the President and CEO of the International Public Safety Data Institute, the fire service’s leader in data and analytics. As CEO, he is responsible for growth, adoption, and continuous improvement of the NFORS Analytics, Exposure Tracker, and FireCARES programs.

Prior to being appointed I-PSDI CEO in November 2021, John served as Chief of the East Hartford, Connecticut Fire Department for 13 years. Prior to that, he served in West Hartford, CT for 20 years, reaching the rank of Battalion Chief. John has a BS from Franklin Pierce University, an MS from Oklahoma State University, is a graduate of the National Fire Academy Executive Fire Officer Program, and holds numerous professional certifications. He has been an Advocate for the NFFF’s Everyone Goes Home Program since the inception of the 16 Firefighter Life Safety Initiatives. He serves the First Responder Center for Excellence as a member of the Behavioral Health Advisory Committee. Chief Oates serves as a member of the NFPA 3000 Active Shooter/Hostile Event Response Technical Committee and the Technical Committee for Safety at Motorsports Venues (NFPA 610) where he served as Chairman from 2005 until 2016.
Webinar hosting presenter
Technology Advisor - IAFC
In 2023 Kevin Sofen joined the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) as a Technology Advisor to help plan and lead the upcoming 2023 Technology Summit International on December 6-8 in Irving Texas. Kevin spent 11+ years at W.S. Darley & Company, overseeing community development, market strategy, and emerging technology. Since 2012, Kevin successfully commercialized a range of products that include packaged water in a box, virtual reality training, and autonomous drone solutions. In 2017 Kevin launched the www.SmartFireFighting.com community which highlights thought leadership and change management around technology and innovation adoption in the fire service.
Webinar hosting presenter
Executive Director of the North American Fire Training Directors
Ken Willette, a 35-year veteran of the fire service, serves as Executive Director of the North American Fire Training Directors, providing support to the member organizations that train more than 1.1 million volunteer and career emergency responders in the United States and Canada. In his duties, he routinely works with state, provincial, and federal government leaders, as well as private sector representatives.

Willette spent more than three decades in emergency services, working as a Department of Defense aircraft rescue firefighter, volunteer firefighter, municipal firefighter, and shift commander before rising to the rank of fire chief in two Massachusetts towns. He then spent eight years leading teams that supported first responder standards development and fire service solutions at the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). He is a project lead on two AFG-funded projects examining immersive learning in the fire service and has presented on this topic at several conferences.

He is also a former president of the Fire Chiefs Association of Massachusetts and a graduate of the National Fire Academy Executive Fire Officers Program with a BS in Fire Protection from SUNY Stony Brook.
Hosted By
International Association of Fire Chiefs webinar platform hosts Shaping the Future: Pioneering Technological Advancements and Strategies in Modern Fire Service and Public Safety
The International Association of Fire Chiefs represents the leadership of over 1.2 million firefighters and emergency responders. IAFC members are the world's leading experts in firefighting, emergency medical services, terrorism response, hazardous materials spills, natural disasters, search and rescue, and public safety legislation. Since 1873, the IAFC has provided a forum for its members to exchange ideas and uncover the latest products and services available to first responders.
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