Honoring Fallen Firefighters and New Brow Light Launched

Highlights from FDIC 2024

One of the best things about going to a trade show as an exhibitor is the feeling you get when all the planning and hard work you’ve put into making it an informative and engaging event comes together. And when it turns out better than you could have imagined—well that’s just the kind of motivation that drives you to work even harder to ensure every experience and interaction with your company is equally memorable. That’s the experience Whelen had at FDIC International held in Indianapolis, Indiana from April 14-20, 2024.

As you may know, FDIC is the biggest and best Fire and Rescue conference in the world, bringing tens of thousands of attendees to the Circle City each April for a week of classes, workshops and the showcasing of products and services from over 800 exhibiting companies. With so many people attending, as well as things to see and do, it can be difficult to stand out from the crowd. That’s one of the reasons why Whelen is always evaluating the experiences we offer at trade shows. We work hard to create a high-quality experience for attendees.

We were extremely proud and honored to bring so many to our booth for the unveiling of the special paint scheme for the No. 2 Whelen Chevy Camaro honoring 226 firefighters who died in the line of duty, and the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF). Among those in attendance for the unveiling were Richard Childress Racing’s Jesse Love, driver of the No. 2 car, along with NFFF president, Victor Stagnaro; Editor in Chief for Fire & Rescue Media and Education Director for FDIC International, David Rhodes; Whelen CEO, Geoff Marsh, and members of the Whelen family.

The unveiling took place in our booth on Thursday morning of FDIC week, shortly after the doors opened to the exhibit halls. A sizable crowd gathered in and around the booth to watch and a hush fell over them as the Fire Brigade Pipe & Drums appeared in single file in front of the No. 2 car and began to play Amazing Grace. Looking across the crowd while the familiar melody played, the emotion was palpable.

Pipe and Drums play Amazing Grace in our booth just before the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation themed paint scheme was revealed.

Whelen’s Director of Fire and EMS Sales, Matt Kehoe, welcomed those in attendance and talked about how supporting firefighters is an important part of Whelen’s mission and culture. Speeches were then made by David Rhodes and Victor Stagnaro, and the No. 2 car was unveiled to show a large NFFF logo on the hood of the vehicle, and the names of 226 firefighters who died in the line of duty in 2023 displayed prominently on the car’s deck lid (trunk). These firefighters were most recently honored at NFFF’s annual Memorial Weekend held May 4-5, in Emmitsburg, Maryland. This special paint scheme will also be featured on the No. 2 car on August 23, 2024 at the NASCAR Xfinity race in Daytona Beach, Florida.

The names of 226 firefighters who died in the line of duty in 2023 are displayed on the No. 2 car’s decklid.

No. 2 driver, Jesse Love, hung out after the ceremony to take pictures with fans and sign hero cards. “We’re proud to support NFFF and honor those who have lost their lives in the line of duty,” Love said. “First responders are the heartbeat of our communities and keep us safe daily. It will be special to carry the names of the fallen on our No. 2 Chevrolet, and hopefully we will be able to make their families smile with the recognition of their loved ones.” (Side note, keep an eye on our social feeds this week for a chance to receive one of the special NFFF Jesse Love-signed hero cards from the show.)

RCR’s No. 2 driver, Jesse Love, poses for a picture with a fan after the car unveiling.

We’d like to send much love and thanks to Billy Higgins and Billy Goldfeder and everyone at NFFF, the Fire Brigade Pipe & Drums, Clarion Events, and all those involved for helping us honor fallen firefighters and making the moment a memorable one. You can watch the unveiling of the car at FDIC in the live video we recorded on our YouTube channel.

The No. 2 Whelen Chevy Camaro with special NFFF paint scheme on display in our booth at FDIC.

The car unveiling wasn’t all we had going on at FDIC, however. We also unveiled our brand-new Field Series™ Brow Light! This new light is a gamechanger and is the only brow light on the market that features revolutionary dynamic beam technology to provide advanced control and maximum visibility with the flip of a switch. Field Series illuminates your entire field of vision using Near and Far Field optics. So, you can put the light where you need it most, when you need it most. Click here to download the brochure for all the details on this exciting new product that is slated to be available in August!

The Field Series™ Brow Light features all-new dynamic beam technology.

Many of you had a chance to see and learn about this light by visiting the demo room we created for the Field Series at FDIC. Product Manager, Jon Sestrom, and Sales Representative, Naomi Menard, spent two full days at the conference delivering live demonstrations of our newest innovation and sharing all the details on the groundbreaking features and benefits it offers with attendees. If you didn’t catch a demo at the show, you can check it out on our YouTube channel here.

Product Manager Jon Sestrom talks about the ease of serviceability of the Field Series™ in a demonstration session.

We heard A TON of great feedback on the Field Series at the show and are working hard to have it ready for release later this year. You can learn more about how the Field Series was made in this video. It includes behind-the-scenes interviews with engineers, footage from our tooling process, and a couple of anxious moments as we turned this idea into reality, crafting it from the ground up. Needless to say, we’re particularly proud of this one!

Product Manager Jon Sestrom demonstrates the Far Field optics capabilities of the Field Series™ to FDIC attendees.

By all accounts FDIC exceeded our expectations. We are truly honored to help protect those who protect others and look forward to the opportunities to share our innovations with those who rely on them every day. We take that responsibility very seriously, and it drives everything we do. Thank you to everyone who visited our booth, watched a demo, or just came up and said hello. We appreciate you and can’t wait to do it again next year!

The revolutionary new Field Series™ was prominently featured in our booth at FDIC.