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Many firefighters talk about brotherhood while others demonstrate it.

Drugs are Killing me.

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It takes a lot to shock me but this is the most sickening, disturbing story I’ve read in a while. There is no such thing as recreational drug use any more. Abstinence is the only real solution to this crisis. Once they’re in deep enough it’s difficult to bring them back from the depths of […]

Taking the Volunteer Out of Volunteering!

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“Please don’t tell my parents I’m a volunteer fireman, they think I’m a piano player in a cat house.” That’s the tongue-in-cheek message printed on a bumper sticker that used to be pinned to the bulletin board in our chief’s office about 25 years ago. Decades later, have we overcome the stigma of being volunteer […]

Eagle Eye

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For me and I’m sure many others, February 12, 2009 was one of those moments in your life where you’ll always say “I remember exactly where I was, what I was doing … at the moment I heard of the crash.” My wife Laurie and I have always had an unwritten rule that we don’t […]

Xbox Hack#160125: Meet Individual Needs. Exceed Organizational Expectations.

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Xbox Hack#160125: “Creating a work environment that meets the individual needs of your team members creates outcomes that will exceed your organization’s expectations.” I tell the participants in my facilitated conversation: “From the Xbox to the Box Alarm” that if they remember nothing else about our discussion, remember that “The greatest expectation of this XboxTM […]

Xbox 2.0: The Greatest Expectation

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I originally wrote “From the XboxTM to the Box Alarm” in 2008 as I stumbled upon what I saw as a direct correlation between Generation Y and the influence of video games on virtually every aspect of their lives. Based on my reading of some formal research conducted by those a lot smarter than I am […]

The Four Layers: How Deep is Your Brotherhood?

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The term ‘Brotherhood’ means different things to different people. Ask 100 firefighters what brotherhood is and you’ll get 100x different answers. You know it when you see it; you miss it when it’s gone and you certainly feel it when it’s turned against you. Used gender-generically to refer to this special, sometimes inexplicable bond that […]

The Greatest Show on Earth!

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While I believe it was P.T. Barnum who referred to the Ringling Brothers, Barnum & Bailey Circus as “The Greatest Show on Earth!” – I’m not clowning around when I tell you that FDIC should be one of the definitive destinations for every firefighter at least once in their career. Unfortunately, as fire department and personal […]

15 Years of Fire Suppression

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Recently I had the opportunity to participate in what I thought was going to be a “speed recruiting” event at a local high school, unaware until I got there that the tables would be turned and I was the one who was going to be interviewed. More than 30 high school sophomores, juniors and seniors […]

The Bob Legacy

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I make no apologies if my readers have grown tired of my semi-annual tribute piece to a man who meant more than a mentor to me, as this year is even more special to me, and even more important than the previous five. Each time I've written about how Bob Newell impacted my life and […]

Are We Losing Our Voice?

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This post, like many of my half-written, unpublished works has been brewing for a while now. It didn’t just dawn on me today, or yesterday or even necessarily a year ago. However, its being published is a direct result of singular action that I took recently and the decision that brought me to take the […]

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