Journeyman Fire conference


JANUARY 18TH, 19TH, 2OTH, 21ST 2020




We are Journeymen


Based out of West Point, VA, the Journeyman Fire Conference has a focus on tried and true fireground skills. We are dedicated to keeping the blue collar nature of the fire service alive. All proceeds go to the Sons of the Flag, volunteer fire departments in need, and local schools.

Every firefighter should strive to be a journeyman. We all start out as apprentices and are on a road to improving our knowledge base. Good firefighters know there is no mastery of our craft. Firefighting is a perishable skill and we should always be striving to improve our skills.






0800hrs: Keynote: Jeff Johnson

0830hrs: Sam Hittle, Wichita Fire

1230hrs: Lunch

1315hrs: Tim Klett, FDNY

1515hrs: Jared Sergi, Norfolk Fire


0745hrs: Keynote- Ryan “Birdman” Parrott

0830hrs: John Salka, FDNY

1230hrs: Lunch

1315hrs: James Johnson, Vancouver Fire

1515hrs: Dan McMaster, Alexandria Fire


MONDAY JANUARY 20TH   tuesday january 21st  

0800hrs: Keynote- Andrew Zysk 0800hrs: HOT CLASSES BEGIN

0830hrs: Brian Yonkin, Harrisburg Fire 1700hrs: HOT CLASSES END

1030hrs: Ben Schultz, West Palm Beach Fire

1215hrs: Lunch

1315hrs: Dena Ali, Raleigh Fire

1515hrs: Andrew Pristach, Murfreesboro Fire


Firefighter Friendly Thermal Imaging- Sam hittle (wichita fire)

Thermal imaging is one of the most misunderstood disciplines on the fire ground today. Too often, fire fighters with this tool in hand, approach their tactical objectives believing that the camera will execute the necessary thinking to derive at the critical information needed for success. Regrettably, this is not the case. The camera is only capable of performing interpretations within its inherent confines. The technician is responsible for the critical thinking required to conclude what is truly occurring on the fire ground. It is vital that fire fighters using a camera understand and appreciate both its capabilities and limitations to successfully assess conditions for positive mitigation. The basics, such as white is hot, black is cold, and victim identification will be fast and easy are lies without imager comprehension, training, and drilling. Unfortunately, this is the extent of thermal imager knowledge most of the fire service is operating with today. Through lecture, classroom hands on experiments (students will observe with cameras in hand), and live fire scenarios, this class will demonstrate real world infrared concepts and applications to help students understand and properly interpret feedback from the thermal imager. Hands on experiments include mode transitions, environmental subjectivity, peripheral limitations, thermal interpretation restrictions, proper object analyzation, 1 dimensional conflicts, emitter and contrast variance resolve, temperature accuracy, misinterpretations and unrealistic expectations, and principles of transmission, reflection, and emissivity. Lecture addresses how to apply these concepts to effectively utilize the imager when conducting structural size up, extent of fire conditions, interior size up, suppression, search techniques, pitfalls of exterior search, ventilation, reading smoke from the interior vantage point, overhaul, smells and bells alarms, and hazmat. It is easy to appreciate what the camera can do. To be efficient and successful we must talk about what it can’t do. Only when we recognize the limitations, operate competently with the capabilities, and recognize the camera is there to help us do more and not less at our fires, will we enhance our tactical decisions.

Instructor: Samuel Hittle is a Captain with Wichita Fire. He is an FDIC, Traditions Training, and Wichita HoT Instructor, FDIC Lecturer, contributing author for Fire Engineering, Urban Firefighter, and Fire Rescue, former contributor to Fire Nuggets, and FiRescue Interactive publications, a Fire Engineering Google Hangout Panel Member, is a two time Firehouse Magazine Heroism Award recipient (2012 and 2015), Kansas State Fire Marshall Tom McGaughey Award Recipient, Wichita Fire Department Firefighter of the Year, Wichita Fire Truck Company Coordinator, served on the Interior Attack Technical Panel for UL, and a member of the Fire Department Instructors Conference (FDIC) Executive Advisory Board.

Applied Irons (forcible entry)- Andrew Pristach (Murfreesboro, TN)

If you can’t get in, you can’t go in, but all too often, we rely on recruit academy dogma and party tricks when confronted with obstacles. To be performed under stress reliably, forcible entry must be approached systematically. This course will give a solid, algorithmic approach to conventional irons work using realistic props and a wide variety of tools, and more importantly, explain the much needed why behind the technique.

Instructor: Joining the Fire Service in 2011, Andrew Pristach is a Firefighter with Murfreesboro Fire Rescue Department in Middle Tennessee, assigned as the bar man on Ladder 1. He was formerly a Technician with Frederick County Fire & Rescue Department in Northern Virginia and a volunteer Lieutenant in Loudoun County, Virginia. He is one of the founding members of Dixie Firemanship, owns Tradesman Fire & Fabrication, and teaches occasionally with Rise Above Fire Training.

Vehicle Extrication-

Join some of the best vehicle extrication instructors in the country for an 8 hour advanced extrication class. This is no state level class and is bound to test your skills no matter your experience level. The street experience of this group is second to none and this is a can’t miss class.

Instructors: Brian Sanzo (Newport News Fire) 32 years in the fire service 27 with the City of Newport News Fire Department currently holds the rank of Lieutenant assigned to Rescue Company 1 , has been a member of VATF-2 Urban Search and Rescue for the past 19 years . Deploying as a squad leader for the last 12 years . An adjunct instructor for the Virginia Department of Fire Programs Technical Rescue program for over 10 years . Also a structural collapse instructor for The FEMA USAR system . Instructor with Spec Rescue International and can also be found at the Smithfield Volunteer Fire Department.
John Burruss (Charlottesville Fire), is a 40-year veteran of the fire service, and recently retired as the training officer for the Charlottesville Fire Department. He is currently a heavy and technical rescue instructor with the VA Department of Fire Programs. He also spent 30 years as a volunteer with the Charlottesville-Albemarle Rescue Squad where he was the Deputy Chief of Special Operations. John has substantial experience in fire, and rescue services, with a strong background in instructional development and course delivery. He is also a facilitator for the Heavy Vehicle Extrication station at the annual Virginia Rescue Challenge. John is also been certified at Level 8/9R through WreckMaster. His teaching credentials include presentations at the North Carolina Fire and Rescue Instructor Conference, New Jersey Vehicle Extrication School, Nebraska Vehicle Extrication School, and Andy Frederick’s Training Days.
Randy Journigan (Newport News Fire), serves as a Lieutenant in the Newport News Fire Department at station 2/C and is a member of the technical rescue team. Journigan is on the FEMA team, Virginia Task Force 2, where he has been deployed to several natural disasters including Hurricane Harvey, Maria and Joaquin. He teaches technical rescue classes with the Virginia Department of Fire Programs and is the program manager for Spec Rescue International for PARATECH University and Big Rig Technician. He is also a FEMA Instructor for Structural Collapse Specialist.
Chris Smith (DCFD)- is a Sergeant in the District of Columbia Fire Department currently assigned to Rescue 3 in the Anacostia section of Southeast Washington. During his 18 year career with D.C. he has been assigned to Engine Company 26, Truck Company 4, and Rescue 1. Chris began his journey in the fire service in 1988 as a volunteer with the Falmouth Volunteer Fire Department. While there he rose through the ranks to become Fire Chief in 2002, a position he would hold for 12 years. Before attending Blue Plains University in Washington, D.C. he was previously employed by the Fort Belvoir Fire Department and was a member of the Kentland Volunteer Fire Department from 1992-1996. Chris holds numerous certifications from Officer IV to Master Underwater Criminal Investigator but considers himself as a lifetime student of the fire and rescue service. He is also an adjunct fire and technical rescue instructor for the D.C. Fire Department, Virginia Department of Fire Programs, and Spec Rescue International.

Before the Fire- James Johnson (vancouver fire)

This hybrid class starts as a down and dirty overview of basic residential and commercial building construction, while also getting a look at popular building components. Then head out for a walking tour of various buildings including residential, strip malls, and ordinary construction. From 100 year old homes to modern construction and everything in between this class is bound to get you ready for the fire. James is a firefighter, contractor, and subject matter expert and will lead you to a better understanding of the battlefield you will face. This is an absolute must for all firefighters who want to get know more about building construction.

Instructor: James Johnson is a firefighter in British Columbia, Canada where he is member of the Special Operations Technical Rescue Team for his department. Before becoming a career firefighter, James spent a number of years in the construction industry and completed an apprenticeship as a Red Seal Journeyman Carpenter. James is a technical committee member for NFPA 5000, 220, and 221, the International Code Council Representative for the International Association of Fire Fighters, FDIC instructor, and lectures internationally on the subject of building construction.



1030 Thompson Avenue

West Point, Va 23181




By Car:
From I-95 take I-64 East to Exit 220. You will follow VA-33 East towards West Point. Make a left onto Main street, then a right onto Thompson Avenue. Directions are the same from both East and West bound on I-64. Parking is available on site. 

If you are traveling by car and would be interested in ride sharing let us know and we can try to find someone to pair you up with.

Air Travel: 
Book your air travel to Richmond International Airport (RIC). It is a 30 minute drive to West Point from RIC. Other options include Newport News Intl (PHF) located about 40 minutes from West Point, and Norfolk International (ORF) located about an hour from West Point. 

IMG-6858 (1).JPG

Contact Us

If you have any questions about the line up, lodging, location, or sponsorship opportunities please send us a message.


Please complete the form below

Name *

Lodging options



For those of you that have registered there are multiple lodging options in the area, but the Holiday Inn Club Vacations Williamsburg is the best option. They offer suites that accommodate 4-6 people with very reasonable prices. This is the hotel we recommend you try to stay at. Holiday Inn Club Vacations Williamsburg Resort features spacious 1 and 2 bedroom villas with a living room and in-unit washer/dryer. Prepare meals in fully equipped kitchen with cookware, tableware, and dining table included. Plus, Wi-Fi and parking are free for all guests! For a more luxurious stay upgrade to an exclusive Signature Collection 1 or 2 bedroom villa.

Address200 English Garden Way, Williamsburg, VA 23188

Phone(757) 941-1540 https://www.ihg.com/holidayinnclubvacations/hotels/us/en/williamsburg/wbgcv/hoteldetail

Other options are listen below.