What’s your story?

It’s been a great, long, hot summer —causing me to take some time away from blogging to spend with my family and friends. Although I haven’t been writing much, I have been doing a lot of reading and observing. And, it’s my observation that the need for effective story telling in the fire service has never been greater.

This was never more apparent than during my observation of and interaction with recruits participating in the Firefighter 1 Boot Camp at the Erie County Emergency Services Training & Operations Center where I work.

Each day, I had the opportunity to spend time with those 50 recruits from 37 different fire departments across our county, talking not just tactics and techniques, but about life in the fire service.

I meet more and more firefighters every day who are in full agreement that we need to revert to our roots in sharing our experiences with the folks who already are, or someday soon, will be our replacements. Compensating for a decreasing level of experience requires us to increase both the quantity and quality of the training interactions we have with our less-experienced members.

Effective story-telling is a low-cost, high-impact investment that can reward us with big returns. It’s our means of passing down our values, our traditions, our experiences — and even our legacy. It’s something we owe to our replacements — and ourselves.

Thus, I’m pleased to announce that Firefighter Storytellers — my online radio talk show on the FirefighterNetcast Radio Network is returning after a one-month lay-off. I’ve got a very special guest in Wally Pieczynski, a firefighter and preservationist of fire service history.

Click here to read more about my upcoming show with Chief Walt Pieczynski on Wednesday-September 8, 2010 at 9pm EDT.

Listen in. Call in. Download and share our stories.

The question is: What’s your story?

Visit www.runtothecurb.com and tell your story there.

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Tiger Schmittendorf

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