Education | Events

Life Safety and Emergency Management Summit

Event Location


USF Health, CAMLS: 2nd Floor Auditorium
124 S. Franklin Street,
Tampa, FL 33602

Self-Parking: Complimentary

Life Safety code compliance, survey preparation and emergency preparedness are a crucial part of the health and well-being of skilled nursing center residents and staff. FHCA's 2023 Life Safety and Emergency Management Summit will provide six hours of training sessions with Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) representatives, former law enforcement officer and SWAT Team Commander, Terry Choate Jr., profession peers and subject matter experts, focusing on planning, anticipating issues and achieving successful surveys.

This training is designed for the team - administrators, maintenance and operations staff - to attend together. Attendees can choose from the morning breakout sessions which include the Emergency Management Track with discussion on common emergency issues, best practices, along with lessons learned, or the Life Safety Track with a comprehensive review of current state and federal life safety requirements. Following the morning sessions, attendees will come together for a networking lunch and the last two general sessions of the day. For those unable to attend in-person, a virtual, live broadcast is available.

In-person, Live Program: How It Works

  • Choose from 6, in-person breakout sessions within the Emergency Management Track or Life Safety Track and 2, in-person general sessions.
  • Training Dates: April 21 in Tampa, FL.
  • Training Materials: Speaker presentations and handout materials will be made available.
  • Continuing Education Credits: This program offers a total of 6 live contact hours. FHCA will post contact hours to CE Broker by May 19, 2023.

Virtual, Live Broadcast Program: How It Works

  • Delivered over 8, virtual live broadcasted sessions.
  • Training Dates: The virtual, live broadcasted sessions take place April 21 during the live event. All registered attendees will access these sessions through Zoom. These sessions will also be recorded and available to watch between April 21 – May 12.
  • Training Materials: 8 video sessions; post-quiz; speaker presentations and handout materials.
  • Continuing Education Credits: This program offers a total of 9 computer-based contact hours. FHCA will post contact hours to CE Broker by May 19, 2023. Participants must watch the session video in its entirety and pass the corresponding post-quiz by May 12 at 4:00 p.m. EST to receive CEUs.

Event Agenda

7:30 to 8:30 a.m.


8:30 to 9:30 a.m.

Breakout Sessions 1 & 2

Life Safety Track

1 - AHCA Life Safety Hot Topics 
John Altherr, Fire/Life Safety Lead, Agency for Health Care Administration
Robert L. “Robin” Stokes, Fire Protection Specialist, Agency for Health Care Administration

Achieving full compliance and preventing deficiencies has its challenges. This session will outline the current top five K-tags and top five federal E-tags to help centers improve their compliance and ensure better survey outcomes.

Emergency Management Track

2 - Emergency Response 101 and Best Practices – Panel Discussions
Elizabeth Brust, Executive Director, Life Care Center of Punta Gorda, Tracy Greene, Chief Operating Officer, RB Health Partners, Inc., and Tricia Thacker, Chief Executive Officer, Aston Health

Centers today must be prepared to mitigate any number of emergencies. In this session, attendees will hear from seasoned presenters who will share special insight on the best practices for managing disasters that range from cybersecurity threats to major hurricanes. Attendees will be provided with the tools to effectively prepare for a variety of emergencies,

9:30 to 9:45 a.m.


9:45 to 10:45 a.m.

Breakout Sessions 3 & 4

Life Safety Track

3 - Building Codes
Scott Waltz, Chief of Plans and Construction, Agency for Health Care Administration

This session will outline the revisions to the 7th edition Florida Building Code (FBC) that directly affected nursing center design and construction beginning in 2021. Revisions to Chapter 4, with emphasis on Section 450, Nursing Homes, and Section 467, Assisted Living Facilities, will be highlighted. The revisions to the 2018 edition of the FGI Guidelines for Design and Construction of Residential Health, Care, and Support Facilities, which has been adopted as the design standard for all new nursing centers will be reviewed. In addition, significant revisions to the Florida Fire Prevention Code and the NFPA 101 Life Safety Code, 2018 edition, both of which directly impact nursing center design, will be discussed.

Emergency Management Track

4 - After Action Report and Lessons Learned
Deborah Franklin, Senior Director of Quality Affairs, Florida Health Care Association and Dan Frenden, Executive Director, Life Care Center of New Port Richey

Whether or not an After Action Report is written after an exercise or an actual event, the process is not complete without a roundtable discussion including leadership, department heads, and critical staff. The roundtable discussion should review what should have happened during the drill, or what actually occurred during the event. This session will walk attendees through the specifics of drafting an After Action Report and how to use the After Action Report as a tool to foster growth after drill or disaster.

10:45 to 11:45 a.m.

Breakouts 5 & 6

Life Safety Track

5 - Life Safety Overview
Clinton Slier, Life Safety Code Advisor, Integrity Health Care Systems, Inc.

Florida and CMS have adopted different versions of the Life Safety Code, and this difference can lead to citations if the facility is not prepared. This session will educate attendees on these differences, as well as the most recent survey trends, to better prepare for a successful Life Safety survey. Attendees will be provided with additional information that includes resource links, survey forms and best practices on preparing a survey ready book.

Emergency Management Track

6 - Emergency Management Planning for Effective Response and Recovery
Joe Borries, Response and Recovery Manager, Pinellas County Emergency Management, Eve Rainey, Executive Director, Florida Emergency Preparedness Association, and Adam Pedzich, Health and Human Services Program Lead, Pinellas County Emergency Management

Florida is a recognized leader in emergency management and has rigorous standards for emergency plans at all levels of government and residential health care providers. During this session, Florida Emergency Preparedness Association (FEPA) representatives will highlight the important role that Comprehensive Emergency Management Plans play in preparing for emergency events. Coordination with local emergency management partners in “blue skies” contributes to an effective response and recovery. Presenters will describe how local emergency managers pivot from their day-to-day responsibilities to emergency response in times of crisis and will provide an outline of the processes used to develop protective action recommendations for community safety. Experiences from Hurricane Ian and other events will be used to share lessons learned and evaluate practices.

11:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Networking Lunch

12:30 to 1:30 p.m.

General Session

7 - Why You Should Be Engaged with Your Health Care Coalition
Dan Frenden, Executive Director, Life Care Center of New Port Richey, and Franklin Riddle, Executive Director, Tampa Bay Health & Medical Preparedness Coalition

Preparation is the most important factor in emergency response, and without a local network, preparing for disasters becomes infinitely more difficult. Building a relationship between your skilled nursing center and your region’s Health Care Coalition is the key to a broader network of resources and contacts that are willing and able to stand alongside your center in preparing for emergencies.

1:30 to 1:45 p.m.


1:45 to 3:45 p.m.

General Session

8 – True Security in Today’s World of New, Dangerous, and Dynamic Threats
Terry Choate, Jr., CEO/President, and Joseph Hileman, Executive Vice President, both with Blue-U Defense, LLC

Individuals have been conditioned to believe that we can rely on others, and “things” to keep us secure like alarms, video, alerts, physical barriers and access control. The fact is that none of these things can keep us secure. What is true security? People.

This session will raise the attendee’s understanding of what real security looks like and how to get as close to achieving it as is possible. An important piece of security is determining and controlling what a threat will do inside of your building rather than leaving it to chance. This session will outline what it takes to truly be secure and inspire attendees to create and implement a security threat plan, including an active shooter plan. This begins with the “Gatekeeper” of your building through practical, effective, reality-based policies and procedures that keep people secure. Attendees will leave with increased security knowledge by enhanced desire and ability to serve others, employees, co-workers, people that we serve and care for, and visitors.