Experts from across the country charted the future of firefighting at a landmark national conference held in Racine County last month.
The Racine Fire Department in July hosted the Wingspread VI Conference, the sixth national gathering to prepare fire departments for challenges they might face in the next decade.
The conference, held every 10 years and celebrating its 50th anniversary, was first convened at Wingspread in 1966. It had not been held in Racine for 30 years. The 2016 conference was held July 17-20 at the Wingspread Conference Center in Wind Point, part of the Johnson Foundation.
“The conference focus was to essentially create a strategic plan on what the fire service faces for the next 10 years,” said Racine Fire Chief Steve Hansen. “This plan is very similar to what the first five conferences created.” In all, 43 leaders from all segments of the American fire-rescue service community discussed and dissected issues of national significance, Hansen said. The panel discussed the future of the industry, higher education and training, technology, homeland security, emergency operations, facilities, apparatus and equipment and environmental protection.