Les Lukert Winter Conference

February 5-7, 2021

Holiday Inn Hotel and Convention Center, Kearney, NE
Hosted by the Nebraska Society of Fire Service Instructors

Register/Pay Online Nebraska Society of Fire Service Instructors

Traditionally, Les Lukert Winter Conference courses have been directed at all ranks of firefighters and current or aspiring instructors. The 30th Annual Les Lukert Winter Conference is no exception, providing multiple opportunities to network by attending 4 or 12 hour courses. Many of the instructors presenting this year are familiar, but the courses are all new!

If you have questions, don’t hesitate to ask (nesociety@ hotmail.com). A conference package is being offered again this year. The package rate helps in financial planning by providing a discounted rate for the entire conference.

We look forward to your continued attendance and feedback as we plan future conferences! 


Friday, February 5

Registration open: 7-9 a.m. 
Pre-conference classes: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Registration open: 5-8 p.m.

Saturday, February 6

Registration open: 7 a.m. - 12 p.m. 
Exhibitors open: 7 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Classes in session: 8 a.m. - 12 p.m. 
Lunch: 12-1 p.m. 
Classes in session: 1-5 p.m.
NSFSI Annual meeting: 5:30 p.m. 
Networking/mixer for banquet attendees: 6:30 p.m. 
Leadership Banquet: 7 p.m.

Sunday, February 7

Exhibitors open: 7-11 a.m.
Classes in session: 8 a.m. - 12 p.m.


Full Conference: $220
Weekend Conference: $220
Pre-Conference Workshop Only: $70
NSFSI Membership Dues: $25
Guest Banquet Tickets: $35 each

Registration Questions

Call Cheryl at 308-324-8480


Fire Instructor I, 3-Day Classroom Session (Friday 1 p.m., Saturday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday 8 a.m. to noon)

Instructor: State Fire Marshal Training Division, Allen Michel 

(Must attend Friday, Saturday and Sunday Sessions) 

Class Description

Please Note: Students must have the Jones & Bartlett, 3rd Edition, Fire and Emergency Services Instructor textbook and brought to class. 

*Certification is available for this level with successful completion of the testing process. 

This course introduces participants and prepares them to become instructors in the emergency services field. The course enables students to become effective instructors which is one of the most important and influential positions within a fire department. This course meets the objectives of the current edition of the NFPA 1041 Standard for Instructor Professional Qualifications. 

Course Objectives: 

  • Gain an understanding of what a course objective is and how it relates to training 
  • Identify the parts of a lesson plan 
  • Adult learning methodology 
  • Presentation techniques for adult learners 
  • Classroom set up and the use of audio and visual aids when presenting a lesson plan 
  • Test administration and student feedback 

Course will begin on Friday February 5 at 1 p.m. and go through noon Sunday February 7. The course will continue on February 19, 20 and 21 at the Kearney Fire Station 1. Course instructors will give further details at the beginning of the class. Please Note: Students must have the Jones & Bartlett, 3rd Edition, Fire and Emergency Services Instructor textbook and brought to class. 

Class length 16 hours at the conference plus the second continued session on Feb. 19-21, 2021. 

Building a Technology Based Training Program, 1-Day (Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.)

Instructor: David Mellen - Valor Fire Training 

Class Description 

This class will show you various technology-based platforms for you to be able to provide training to your personnel. From web-based meetings to online learning management software, there are lots of options out there at your disposal and you will get to see them in action. Almost all of the platforms discussed are free or have minimal cost associated with them. Students will learn how to evaluate what type of platforms will work best for their organization, how to create a 

technology-based training plan, and various methods of ensuring that personnel are getting the training they need. When students leave this class, they will be armed with all of the information they need to set up a program and has a support network to answer more questions as they arise. 

Class length 8 hours 

HOT Training - Fire ground Fundamentals, 1-Day Friday (8 a.m. to 5 p.m.)

Instructor: Squad 5 Training 

Class Description 

This ALL HANDS-ON class will challenge attendees by refining their current skills and introducing new techniques to improve their fireground operations. Topics will include forcible entry, search, hoseline advancement, and others. 

Please Note: This class is limited to 30 students and it requires SCBA and PPE: Turnout Gear, Helmet, Eye Protection, and Gloves 

Class length 8 hours. 

HOT Training - Back to the basics Rescue 2-Day (Saturday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday 8 a.m. to 12 p.m)

Instructor: Squad 5 Training 

Class Description 

This 12-hour class will begin with skill stations such as auto extraction, grain rescue, lifting/moving, and patient packaging. Attendees will be introduced to “old school” techniques that still have a place. Attendees will then be presented with scenarios based on real rescue incidents that will put rescue skills to the test. 

Please Note: This class is limited to 30 students and it requires SCBA and PPE: Turnout Gear, Helmet, Eye Protection, and Gloves 

Class length 12 hours 

“Answering the Call” - Nebraska Army National Guard Aviation Unit, Classroom Sessions (4 hours) Saturday AM, PM or Sunday AM (Select One Session)

Class Description 

This will cover the capabilities of the Nebraska Army National Guard (NEARNG) Aviation units. This will be a retrospective review of domestic response events throughout the United States. An in-depth discussion and review of the wildfire response within Nebraska as well as the historic 2018 spring flood. 

The 2018 spring floods lessons learned will be reviewed. The Fremont Fire Fighter rescue will be discussed and reviewed. 

The class will cover how the NEARNG Aviation Units fit within the Incident Command System (ICS) and the expectations for response packages. Wildfire response capabilities, Search and Rescue requests and capabilities using the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center (AFRCC). 

Helicopter Types as defined by the ICS system and capabilities. Helicopter Landing and Takeoff Areas and requirements. 

The development of the Nebraska Helicopter Search and Rescue Team (NE-HSART) program. Interagency partnership with Nebraska Task Force and Nebraska Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to form this partnership. 

At the conclusion of this program, the students will be able to: 

  1. Understand essential elements of helicopter operations within the Incident Command System (ICS). ICS Classification of helicopters. 
  2. Identify several key elements of helicopter landing and takeoff areas. 
  3. Understand the Nebraska Helicopter Search and Rescue Team (NE-HSART) capabilities. The importance of partnerships and training prior to a catastrophic event. 

This lecture is interactive, and students should share previous experiences. The panel will be utilizing a (UH-72A Lakota) static display, slides and videos. At the end of the class, students are given time for a question and answer session. 

Class length 4 hours 

Fully Involved, (4 hours, Saturday a.m. or p.m. or Sunday a.m.)

Instructor: Mark VonAppen 

Class Description 

Thousands of fire service professionals have attended the FULLY INVOLVED Leadership Seminars and are now among the involved. "Getting team members to pull towards a common goal is a key component in successful operations. FULLY INVOLVED gives students the tools to create a pact that is applicable to all levels of the organization." 2. Target audience: This presentation is aimed at those who wish to lead at any level, from firefighter to chief officer. Leadership pacts and building trust are key components of the presentation. 3. Learning objectives: At the completion of this presentation, the student will better understand leadership principles as outlined in the Fully Involved Standard of performance and have improved leadership skills; Do your job, treat people right, give all-out effort, and have an all in attitude. Students will have the opportunity to exchange leadership styles, as well as learn about the Fully Involved 10/10 Leadership pact. Strong leadership is key to successful outcomes in emergency incidents whether it is a fire, mass casualty, or terrorist event. Strong leadership is essential to mitigating high stress incidents. 

Class length 4 hours 

I’m the New Training Officer, Now What? Classroom Sessions (4 hours) Saturday AM, PM or Sunday AM (Select One Session)

Instructor: Chris Hultengren – Williams Pipeline 

Class Description 

NFPA 1021 FOR: Training Officers, young and established, or those who aspire to be Training Officers. OBJECTIVE: You're now in charge of training/drills for your department, now what? This class is designed to assist those who are required to plan and deliver compliant, quality training sessions. The class will help you better understand your audience, keep your people involved and interested, and help create enthusiasm about in-house training. We will look at training models, legal responsibilities and the step by step approach to creating top quality training. We will also provide information relating to various available resources that may be available. 

Class length 4 Hours 

Just Culture for the Fire Service, Classroom Sessions (4 hours) Saturday AM, PM or Sunday AM (Select One Session)

Instructor: David Mellen - Valor Fire Training 

Class Description 

Discipline in the fire service can take on many different forms depending on geographical, generational, and cultural differences. This class examines the theory of “Just Culture” which is a concept related to systems thinking that emphasizes mistakes are generally a product of faulty organizational cultures, rather than solely brought about by the person or persons directly involved. A just culture recognizes that individuals should not be held accountable for system failings over which they have no control. A just culture also recognizes that many individual or active errors represent predictable interactions between humans and the system in which they work. However, in contrast to a culture that touts no blame as its governing principle, a just culture does not tolerate conscious disregard of clear risks or gross misconduct, such as falsifying a record, performing professional duties while intoxicated, etc. Students will learn how to use the just culture model to evaluate their own organization for deficiencies and also learn how to use the theory to carry out discipline in a way that is fair and equitable while at the same time, helping the organization grow in a positive direction. 

Class length 4 hours 

Shaping Your Vol. Fire Dept. to Fit Todays Expectations, Classroom Sessions (4 hours) Saturday AM, PM or Sunday AM (Select One Session)

Instructor: Brandon Fletcher 

Class Description 

Is your Volunteer fire department struggling to maintain relevance in our changing society? Does your current service delivery model meet the needs and expectations of your community? Are you struggling to recruit, train, and retain members? Each day, it seems that the news feeds contain a story about a volunteer department closing its doors, in financial trouble, or even worse legal trouble. There seems to be a nationwide panic about the critical shortage of volunteers. Does it have to be this way? In this class we will: examine how industry and society trends impact today's volunteer fire service, take a hard look at the way we've always done it, as well as share and develop alternative ways to recruit, market, lead, train and manage our departments and members. 

Class length 4 hours 

Conference Information

Leadership Banquet

The 5th Annual Bill and Cindy Meehan Leadership Banquet will take place on Saturday, February 6th in the Ballroom. Networking/mixer at 1830 hours, banquet begins at 1900 hours. A keynote address will be delivered following the meal. Tickets may be purchased in advance or in limited quantities at the conference registration desk.

Keynote Speaker: Mark VonAppen

Biography: MARK VonAppen, a member of the fire service since 1998, is assigned to the suppression division where he holds the rank of captain. He is a committee member for California State Fire Training and has contributed to the development of Firefighter Survival and Rapid Intervention curriculums. Mark has been published in Fire Engineering Magazine, Fire Service Warrior, and is the creator of the fire service leadership blog FULLY INVOLVED. He is an instructor for the Santa Clara County Joint Fire Academy, a recruit Instructor for Palo Alto Fire, an academy instructor at Evergreen Community College, and a member of the “Nobody Gets Left Behind” training group. He has been involved in public speaking since 2005. --- “Fully Involved Leadership is just the thing to give your moral compass a shot in the arm. The program inspires the participants to take charge of their attitude and effort, regardless of their situation, and strive for the common goal of carrying out the mission we swore to complete. This program rekindled a fire in me that I haven't felt since I was a firefighter. It is applicable to all levels of the organization. I highly recommend attending this program.”

Lodging and Meals

A block of rooms at $109.95 (plus applicable taxes) has been reserved at Holiday Inn under “Fire Service Instructors”. You must phone in for reservations at the hotel of your choice to receive the discounted rate prior to January 1, 2021.

Registration fees include continental breakfast and lunch (Saturday only). Additional lunch tickets may be purchased at registration or the registration desk. If you have special dietary needs, contact the Holiday Inn staff as early as possible.

Registration and Cost

Classes are reserved on a first come, first served basis. Class sizes are limited, so ensure your registration by registering as soon as possible. Courses without sufficient registration numbers as of January 28, 2021 may be cancelled.

Phone registrations will be accepted for large groups only. Call Cheryl at 308-324-8480. Registration fees must accompany your registration form. Payment and registration must be received prior to class. Substitutions/walk-ins may be accepted pending availability.

Students will be provided with proof of registration. This proof of registration must be worn/carried at all times during the Les Lukert Winter Conference.

Cancellation/Fee Refund Policy

Students registered in courses cancelled due to low student numbers will be offered an alternate open class or a full refund. Student requested cancellations should be made in writing and sent to nesociety@hotmail.com or NSFSI, P.O. Box 80405, Lincoln, NE 68501. A $35 administration fee will be retained for those received by January 29, 2021. No refunds will be made after this date.

NSFSI Annual Meeting

The Nebraska Society of Fire Service Instructors will hold its annual meeting during the Les Lukert Winter Conference. In addition to conducting the business of the Society, the NSFSI, Nebraska Fire Chiefs and Bill Meehan/Fireguard scholarships will be presented. The annual NSFSI Bill Behrens Instructor of the Year award will also be presented. If you have items for the agenda, please contact us at nesociety@hotmail.com. Everyone is welcome, but only NSFSI members may vote. Saturday February 6, 2021, 1730 hours, location TBA.

Considerations for Dress

To ensure your comfort, please dress in layers as personal preferences and room temperatures vary.

Message Center

The message center is located in the registration area as well as the conference operations center. Holiday Inn’s phone number is 308-237-5971, we will make every effort to contact you if needed.

NSFSI Membership

The Nebraska Society of Fire service Instructors (NSFSI) is an organization dedicated to furthering the training and education of emergency response personnel.

Our membership includes those responsible for emergency response education, whether from the State, volunteer, career or private organizations. The membership year is from January 1 through December 31. Membership dues shall be paid annually to remain a current member.

NSFSI offers two kinds of membership, active and sustaining. An active member is actively involved in the education of training emergency personnel and subscribes to the practices and code of ethics of the Nebraska Society of Fire Service Instructors. Sustaining members can be any person, firm or corporation wishing to assist in attaining the objectives of the Society. Annual dues for both active and sustaining members are $25.

To become a member and receive discounted registration to the Les Lukert Winter Conference, you must:

  1. Complete a membership application. The application is available online at nsfsi.com/membership
  2. Submit a letter of recommendation by an active member in good standing of the NSFSI.
  3. Pay your membership dues.

Your 2021 membership dues may be paid with conference registration. New members please complete the membership application and written recommendation and submit it to nesociety@hotmail.com OR mail to NSFSI, P.O. Box 80405, Lincoln, NE. 68501

If you are a current NSFSI member please remember that you MUST be in good standing in order to vote at the annual meeting in February. You may renew your membership with your conference registration or at the conference. If you did not receive a membership number when you renewed your membership, please contact NSFSI at nesociety@hotmail.com as soon as possible.

Directions to the Kearney Fire Department Training Center

Thanks again to Kearney Fire Department for hosting parts of the Les Lukert Winter Conference at their outstanding training facility. From the Holiday Inn, go north on Hwy 44/N. 2nd Ave. to Hwy 30/25th Street. Go east 4 miles to Airport Road. Approximately 1/2 mile north, turn west on Aeronica Road.

Cell/Phone/Pager Policy

We ask that cell phones and pagers be placed in vibrate mode during classes as a courtesy to others.

Lester L. Lukert

June 18, 1931 — October 10, 1988

Les Lukert was the Past President and a longtime member of the Nebraska Society of Fire Service Instructors. Les was an individual dedicated to the training and education of firefighters. He broadened their knowledge and skills and demonstrated to them the importance of preparing today for tomorrows emergencies.

Les was elected to the Seward Volunteer Fire Department on January 6, 1954. He was appointed fire chief in the early 1960’s. When he began teaching for the Nebraska State Fire Marshal Training Division in 1967, he relocated to Oshkosh and transferred to the Reserves with SVFD. He returned to active status with Seward in November 1974 and retired to the Reserves again in 1982. He was also a member of the Oshkosh Volunteer Fire Department. As it says on the NSFSI Memorial Plaque: “Let those who pass after him be recognized for their contributions to the educational process and the ultimate goal for all firefighters – To Save Lives.”