FDIC 2018 Firefighter Conference Recap

I had an opportunity to attend an exciting conference on behalf of Sunlighten in Indianapolis, Indiana called FDIC International, the world’s largest firefighter training, and expo. This was very exciting to me since early in my career I study fire technology and was a training to become a full EMT as well worked with the Mojave Greens for the U.S. Forest Service in California as a Wildland Firefighter.

It was exciting to learn from the firefighters that have not experienced the benefits of Sunlighten saunas but have heard about their detoxing power and a new gross decontamination protocol developed by the Huntley Fire Department in Illinois. Huntley Fire Department currently has four Sunlighten infrared saunas and implements the Shower-Sauna-Shower detox protocol.

The firefighters are encouraged to hydrate, especially after being on a fire. When talking with a few of the Huntley firefighters at the show, they explained to me the importance of being able to just sit and relax in the sauna. There is no need to exercise while sitting in a Sunlighten Sauna. The infrared technology uses our patented Solocarbon® heaters which heats their core body temperature by 3 degrees, helping them to detox harmful carcinogens from their body. Many have noticed they are healthier and have much more energy.

Many firefighters had questions about our saunas. They ranged from how our sauna worked to how come we do not have a bike in our saunas.

Here were some common Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: What is the Shower Sauna Shower Protocol?
A: The Shower-Sauna-Shower Protocol was created by the Huntley Fire Department. It is fairly simple. After a fire, the firefighters hit the showers, sit in their Sunlighten Saunas and then hit the showers again.

The firefighters stated that since implementing the Shower, Sauna, Shower protocol, they are able to get the smoke smell out of their skin. Not smelling like a campfire all the time gives them confidence that the toxins they were exposed to are coming out of the top layer of skin, much more than just a detailed shower can do.
The Huntley Fire Department doesn’t just use the sauna after a fire, but also as part of their daily physical therapy. They stated, it adds to their workout and they feel fantastic afterward with more energy, and they don’t seem to get as sick as often.

Q: What are some instant results firefighters are seeing with sauna use?
A: Because Sunlighten saunas induce a detoxifying sweat, I asked some of the firefighters if their towels changed colors after a session. They said it is was amazing when they first started with a white towel, it turned a nasty brown. Now, their towels are starting to get less brown from their sweat after coming off a fire.

Q: How do the Solocarbon® Far Infrared Heaters work?
A: To deliver health benefits like reduced blood pressure, weight loss, and detoxification, saunas need to emit high concentrations of infrared waves—not just heat. Sunlighten worked directly with chemistry and coatings expert Dr. Ronald Lewarchik to develop its patented Solocarbon heating panels. The active ingredient in these panels is a special coating that emits the highest quality and quantity of infrared heat available from any sauna on the market. To read more about our patented Solocarbon® Far Infrared Heaters, please click here: SOLOCARBON HEATERS

Q: How do you clean the sauna from the toxins being released during a session?
A: Infrared is antibacterial, antimicrobial and Anti-odor. Sunlighten recommends: 1) leave your sauna on for 10-15 minutes after a session and this will kill the germs inside 2) wiping down the sauna with a damp cloth or use a non-toxic cleaner 3) sit on a towel during your session, the sweat is absorbed into the material instead of the wood

Q: We see other saunas here with exercise bikes inside. Why don’t Sunlighten Saunas have exercise bikes inside?
A: One of the consistent things we heard from firefighters at the FDIC conference was the dislike of having to ride a bike after a fire when they are worn out. I think they were happy with Sunlighten’s solution with comfortable seating where they can sit and relax while the powerful Solocarbon FIR heaters do the work.
Once they sat down in the Signature III Sauna, they didn’t want to get out. Many said they could stay in there forever and ended up purchasing one for their homes. Some had already been doing research on the technology and after seeing our saunas in person, they knew it was the best choice for their stations.


Another trend at the expo was attendees purchasing a sauna for their themselves or a spouse with chronic pain issues such as fibromyalgia, arthritis, lupus, Lyme as well old injuries from the job.

For me, this hit home. Being injured on the job at an early age affected my career choice from continuing my education in fire technology and emergency medicine back in 1997. Dealing with chronic pain has been a journey for me. I have been through many different treatments over the years and have found that the Solocarbon Infrared Technology has helped me dramatically. In fact, while at the expo, I would periodically sit in the sauna for a few minutes at a time to get refreshed after standing for long periods of time.

I am spoiled working for Sunlighten, I get the opportunity to receive infrared therapy every other day in our day spa that is located at our global headquarters in Overland Park, KS. Paired with my portable Solo sauna at home, I have noticed a big difference in reduced pain throughout the week. The great part is it relaxes my muscles from spasms and calming the over-firing nerve pain from CRPS (Complex Regional Pain Syndrome). Other tools in my arsenal to deal with chronic pain include chiropractic care, exercise, supplements and I hydrate like crazy.

Many of the firefighters I spoke with have also injured themselves a few times on the job and like the fact they could relax for 30-40 minutes to relieve their body from the strain put on their muscles and then get back to work.


It was exciting to speak with many of the people at the event, and I came across some fantastic events in my local area such as the Kansas City Stair Climb to remember the fallen in 9/11. Everyone Goes Home, a great organization working to keep our firefighters safe along with the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation and so many others.

One of the conversations I had at the event was with Dr. Burton A. Clark, EFO. Dr. Clark wrote a book focused on the American Fire Culture titled “I can’t save you but I’ll die trying” It was great learning from Dr. Clark. With his 45 years in the fire service, he aims to help educate firefighters on proper safety protocol. He has published more than 200 articles and lectured around the world and counseled with business leaders in insurance, fire suppression, and equipment manufacturers.

I look forward to returning to FDIC in 2019!

Shining light on infrared technology, Sunlighten® is the #1 choice for personalized infrared light treatments. Since 1999, we have been committed to innovating wellness products and services that empower our customers to improve their quality of life. Our patented SoloCarbon® technology rejuvenates the body by delivering the highest dose of infrared energy to the body - proven up to 99% effective. Our technological innovations are fueled by our passion to make a difference. And we are building a global community of businesses, consumers, and trusted experts to support each other along the way and make the world a healthier, happier place.

Sunlighten saunas are not a medical device as defined by Section 201(h) of the Food, Drug & Cosmetic Act. Sunlighten provides general information relating to various medical conditions for informational purposes only and is not meant to be a substitute for advice provided by a doctor or other qualified health care professional. Please consult with your physician regarding diagnosis or treatment.

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