Vote for Larry Conley for the 2016 ISFSI Board of Directors

Posted by Larry Conley on Saturday, December 19, 2015 Under: Larry Conley
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Larry Conley

1. Tell us about yourself.
I am a fire captain with the St. Louis Fire Department.  I have been in the fire service almost 24 years and am the president and lead presenter at Leadership Development Concepts, LLC,  Chief Instructor for Highlander Fire Academy and St. Louis Community College at Forest Park.  I volunteer in my community and sit on a few boards including the St. Louis Firefighters Credit Union, Missouri Community College Association, Parkway Gardens Neighborhood Improvement Association; currently serving as Director at Large for the International Association of Fire Service Instructors, a member of the NFPA Responder Forum, faculty member for the Expert Online Training and Camp Director of The Missouri Childrens Burn Camp.  

2. Who or what has inspired you in the fire service?
My initial inspiration for the fire service was Fire Chief Adam Long of University City, MO.  He was a fire captain at the time and took the time to educate and mentor me through my introduction and first few years on the job.  Watching him balance doing his job and doing volunteer work were notes I took to help with my career template.  What inspires me today is my love for training and teaching.

3. What are some things you are working on in your department and how can others learn or build upon that?
Growing Leaders Using Empowerment (GLUE) is a personal leadership concept that my brother and I developed years ago that has been incorporated in the recruit training I've done over the past 15 years. Currently, our department is in the early stages of developing an officer training program and GLUE is one of the programs being considered. Personal leadership that fortifies leaders in the fire service will keep firefighters safe and accountable.

4. Tell us about a project or training accomplishment that you consider to the be most significant in your career.
Two projects/training accomplishments that I consider significant in my career are the professional leadership workshop (GLUE), that has been a concept taught at conferences and audiences nationally and internationally and the Principles of Modern Fire Attack Program with the ISFSI. I feel our voice is changing  paradigms where ever we present. The science can't be denied and with the changes in fire behavior and flow paths, I feel we are all on a mission to help save lives in our industry. These 2 projects have kept me on the road for over a year now and I'm having a blast meeting and sharing information with my fire fighting family.

5. What do you hope to accomplish in the fire service?
My legacy is my message of personal leadership.  If our service can benefit from this message I feel no matter what changes come to the fire service in the future, the principle of personal leadership will be the compass that keeps all firefighters on course no matter how tricky the navigation gets.

6. What is the biggest change you have noticed in the fire service since you started that has made a direct impact on you?
SAFETY and how fast we can access information via the internet.  Safety has always been important but now we are holding firefighters more accountable.  The old acceptance that we just have to accept the hazards of the job are no longer the norm. We have an inherent danger with our profession, but its good we are reducing predictable and avoidable injury and death.

7. What is something that most people don't know about you.
Most people don't believe that I'm very shy and and introvert.  I can talk all day when I'm teaching on subjects I'm passionate about, but I am just as comfortable being alone reading or watching a great movie.

8. And finally, what advice do you have to give another instructor or to somebody just starting out in the fire service?
Whenever I address a new fire recruit class I give the message that as you become veterans, leaders, instructors, etc always always always be a student of our industry. The day you feel you know everything is the day you become the dumbest firefighter in the world.

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