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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 […]

Going to the Show! See You in Indy.

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I hope to see all of my loyal followers (both of them) at FDIC in a few short weeks. I’ll be presenting “From the X-Box to the Box Alarm” on Thursday-April 22, 2010 at 10:30am in Room 127-128. There’s room for 308 of my closest, most personal friends so there’s really no excuse for not joining […]

Listen Up: Recruitment Radio

This was the second installment of “Sound Magazine” that focused on volunteer recruitment and more are planned for the future.

It offered me the opportunity to talk about being a kid who “ran to the curb” whenever I heard a fire siren and all of the great things that come with being a volunteer firefighter.

Make It Personal

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The following article is a reprint from the June-2009 edition of Fire-Rescue magazine. It is also a companion piece to my blog titled: Clean the Litterbox.

I recently attended a seminar on preparation for line-of-duty deaths and firefighter funerals. If you’ve ever read one of my blogs here or at FirefighterNation.com, you know that I have very strong feelings about firefighter deaths.

But, for the first time, the subject really hit home with me. While it’s important to plan that stuff, if we really think about it, doesn’t the need for proper funeral planning only further acknowledge our acceptance of failure in protecting our own from the risks we face?

Too often we focus more time, energy and attention on those types of activities instead of the things

Dig In.

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ToolkitDig in.

“Early on in my fire service career, we responded to a report of a tractor-trailer rolled over on a nearby state highway. We arrived on scene and found a truck lying on its passenger side. The wheels were facing the roadway and the top of the cab was on the shoulder of the road. The truck driver was being treated as walking wounded. It seemed like a relatively benign accident.

As we approached the curb side we realized that this was no ordinary call. It

Fortune Tellers

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Fortune Tellers:

In my last blog titled “Dig In.” I talked about the importance of story telling in the fire service and how it serves as a means of sharing experiences, traditions and values from generation to generation. In this article I try to tell a story, and in that story, I hope you can find a lesson to share for generations to come.

Almost every firefighter I meet speaks of how they always knew, from the time they

From X-Box to the Box Alarm

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img_5855-cropAs I travel around the country talking with other firefighters, a commonly recurring theme of our chat is the future of the volunteer fire service.

The conversation always comes around to the topic of today’s firefighters and the next generation of firefighters. Some “more experienced” firefighters (notice I didn’t use the term older) share that they don’t understand the “kids” coming into the fire service today.

The veterans don’t think today’s recruits share the same values as those who are currently leading us. And they certainly don’t have the same appreciation for the traditions and discipline of the fire service. Community service is not in their blood as it is in ours. Or at least that’s their complaint.

The first question I

Clean the Litterbox

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This blog is a companion piece to my article titled “Make it Personal” in the June edition of Fire-Rescue Magazine.

 

I was reading a not so tongue-in-cheek blog on FirefighterNation.com written by my good friend Art Goodrich titled: “Ordering From the Risk Menu” and it reminded me of a Saturday I spent recently, full of fire service activities.

 

I started the day by attending a heavy dose of an 8-hour seminar focusing on preparation for a Line of Duty Death. If you’ve ever read one of my blogs, you know I’m very passionate

Join the Conversation

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ToolkitJoining on the heels of the recent well-attended presentation for Suffolk County, fire departments in three more New York State Counties have recently signed up for Tiger Schmittendorf’s “Leadership in the Firehouse” seminar series.

Tiger’s flagship presentation is a comprehensive review of the Recruitment and Retention Rescue vs. Recovery discussion. The highly interactive presentation engages the participants in a conversation to discover the root causes of the challenges we face, why we face them and what we can do about them; together.

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Continental Flight 3407 crashed into a home in Clarence Center around 10:20pm on Thursday-February 12, 2009 - killing 50 people and changing the lives of thousands more, including mine.

I responded in the first wave of emergency services personnel sent to help restore order to the chaos that the crash created.

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