The NVFC launched its first Training Summit in 2014 to provide a unique, intimate learning experience for volunteers. The conference is an opportunity for emergency responders from across the U.S. to participate in valuable classroom training and share ideas and best practices with peers and industry leaders. Through general sessions, keynote presentations, and breakout sessions, the event addresses key topics in first responder health, safety, leadership, recruitment, and retention. 

The NVFC works to be inclusive when reviewing session proposals. We solicit proposals nationwide from a variety of voices and viewpoints to ensure conference content is timely, relevant, and targeted to attendee needs. We know many great ideas are being shared at the local, regional, and state levels. We encourage those new to instructing at a national level to apply! Many well-known national fire service instructors got their start at an NVFC conference. All complete proposals are evaluated by staff and a volunteer review committee comprised of NVFC stakeholders nationwide.

Read through the following sections for more information. Download the full Call for Presentations Guide here. Preview the form questions here.

Important Dates

  • Drop-in Live Q&A Help Desk (optional): Have questions about the presentation proposal process? Want to hear what others are asking? Drop in as time allows and stay for as long as you like during our virtual help desk sessions.
  • Call for Proposals Closes: Sunday, October 1, 2023, at 11:59 p.m. ET
  • Conference Session Notifications: By Friday, November 3, 2023
  • Conference: June 21-22, 2024, 9:00am-4pm daily (tentative)

Proposals should:

  • Be developed by the proposed instructor, or be delivered by an authorized representative of the course developer.
  • Explore timely and relevant topics important to emergency response organizations that are diverse in size, geographic location, funding sources, and staffing structure.
  • Be informed by sound learning principles, including well-defined learning objectives (see Call for Presentations Guide for information on writing learning objectives).
  • Demonstrate innovative strategies.
  • Challenge attendees to think of new solutions and leave with clear action items.
  • Support and reference NFPA standards when applicable, and support instructional claims with research and/or data.
  • Facilitate knowledge transfer and development of new competencies.
  • Stimulate and provoke discussion, reflection, and audience engagement.

The following demographics are based on trends from the past 10 years of NVFC training conferences.

  • 150 attendees representing 30+ states
  • Current and emerging leaders in the fire and emergency services
  • Half of attendees represent all-volunteer departments; the remaining are primarily mostly-volunteer or combination (with a small number of attendees from career departments or other organizations)
  • Job titles include all ranks, including Chief, officers, R&R coordinators, training officers, administration, fire service instructor, and more
  • A third of attendees are from departments serving a population of less than 5,000
  • Attendees’ years of experience ranges from 0-40+ years
  • Ages 18-65+
  • 70% male, 30% female

The 2024 Training Summit will feature 90-minute breakout sessions in three tracks: Recruitment & Retention, Leadership, and Health & Safety. There are numerous topics within these tracks. You will be required to select one of the following topic areas in your submission form. These selections help us guide the balance of course offerings and will be used in the registration form to help attendees select the best courses for their goals. Click here for examples of subtopics within each topic area. 

  • Effective Training
  • Fireground/ Response
  • Physical Health
  • Behavioral Health
  • Fire & Life Safety Education
  • Working Intergenerationally
  • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
  • Mentorship
  • Department Culture
  • Family Engagement
  • Work/Life/Volunteer Balance
  • Recruitment
  • Communication
  • Management
  • Long-term Planning
  • Data for the Fire Service
  • Finding Funding and Resources
  • All proposals must be submitted using the online form, no exceptions. Think quality over quantity; you can submit up to three (3) proposals.
  • The primary point of contact (POC) is the person submitting the proposal. The NVFC will communicate with the POC for all communications including notifications and deadlines, who must share information as needed with co-instructors. All proposed co-instructors must be listed.
  • Use clear, error-free language. Session and workshop proposals require clear and concise titles, persuasive outcomes-focused descriptions, and at least three (3) action-oriented and well-thought-out learning objectives/takeaways that answer the prompt “after this session, participants will be able to…” (see the Call for Presentations Guide for more information on creating objectives). The NVFC retains the right to modify titles and descriptions during copy editing for marketing purposes.
  • Don’t underestimate the importance of a clearly defined instructional flow/design. Adult learning theory suggests that the best learning environments are those that are collaborative and utilize a problem-based approach, with content that ties back to the learners’ lived experiences.
  • Avoid all commercial bias/marketing tone. Any submission that is not educational in nature, neutral and unbiased, replicable by attendees without the author’s assistance, and free of commercial motive/intent will not be accepted.
  • All accepted presenters must be committed and responsive to working with the NVFC to deliver an exceptional attendee experience by adhering to deadlines. Key dates include:
    • Session needs (a/v, etc.) sent to staff: May 1, 2024
    • Hotel room requests sent to staff: May 1, 2024
    • Session materials due for review: Monday, June 10, 2024
    • Final documents due for inclusion in mobile site: Monday, June 17, 2024
    • Conference: June 21-22, 2024, 8:30am-4pm daily (tentative)
  • All accepted presenters must register for the conference to ensure accurate counts for meals and space planning; registration is complimentary for instructors.
  • Selected presenters will be eligible for a nominal stipend to offset your time and expenses. Please note, only one instructor per course is eligible for a stipend. You will receive more information if invited to present at the conference.
  • For one instructor per course, all travel expenses will be reimbursed within the NVFC’s travel policy, including lodging during the conference, transportation fees, and meals. You will receive more information if invited to present at the conference.
  • All accepted content leaders must observe intellectual property rights. Presenters must ensure that information, illustrations, images contained in presentations, related materials, or visual aids shall be factual and not be misleading and will not violate the intellectual property or copyrights of any third party. Written documentation of ownership or permission must be provided upon request and is required for all video and television/film related imagery.

Thank you in advance for your time and for sharing your ideas, expertise, and leadership. The NVFC training and education team is here to help. If you have questions, please reach out anytime.

Rachel Buczynski
Chief of Training and Education

Maggie Mojab
Program Coordinator