Eddie Cox, a Lt. in North Carolina, offered this photo of his travel mug in action. I know Eddie via email and twitter @FF_Eddie. He recently started a blog as well. Check it out here.
The second photo is a his and hers mug set. The picture was shared on twitter by @ssgjbroyles and @shell1972. I am sure they will get plenty of miles out of the mugs!!! If you have a picture to share just send it in!
We just saw the first published episode of the First Due Blog Carnival right here on Fire Critic. The theme “I am a firefighter because…” sparked much story telling which is what Run to the Curb is all about.
Tiger also joined us on the past two Firefighter Netcast episodes to talk about two different topics which encompassed Run to the Curb and other topics Tiger is passionate about.
There are some great stories on Run to the Curb already and look for more in the future. Be sure to send Tiger your story to share.
I just realized on Saturday how great it is be able to share stories from the old guys whom I have had a pleasure to know. Many new guys don’t get to meet them or listen to the stories.
Go now and visit Run to the Curb! I believe we have gone full circle on this topic now!
We all like some humor right! You have got to watch this video right here. Be sure to watch the entire commercial. Then have the other guys watch in your station. Facebook it, tweet it, do whatever…it is that funny. And safe for work!
Tonight on Firefighter Netcast, John and I will be delving into why we are firefighters. This goes hand in hand with the theme of the First Due Blog Carnival. Please plan on listening in and calling in if you would like to share your story.
This is the first episode of the First Due Blog Carnival. I really enjoy reading the various posts from Fire Bloggers on the theme “I am a firefighter because…” . I was interesting how the theme was interpreted and how the various bloggers offered their thoughts on themselves. For those of you who submitted to the carnival be sure to post about it so everyone knows where to find it and check out the various stories! Feel free to grab the logo at the bottom of the page!
If I left anyone out please let me know asap and I will add it.
If you want more information on the First Due Blog Carnival click here. Let me know if you would like to host a future episode. The First Due Blog Carnival is not mine, but actually a blog carnival for the fire service. At this point, I am merely an administrator of the blog carnival.
Updated with 2 late submissions at the bottom!
Fred Simon at First Responder Liability offers probably the shortest post about why he is a firefighter. I really like: I am a firefighter because my non-firefighting friends are envious of me. Fred is a firefighter and a lawyer. I will call him for my next grievance! I have enjoyed reading this blog for a while now. Fred didn’t plan on focusing so much on firefighting with his blog, but he told me that is where it has progressed and is enjoying it!
Joe Schmoe’s take on “I Am A Firefighter Because…” offers his introduction to the fire service following a very exciting career as a juvenile delinquent (jk). A great read! If you don’t read his blog “Report on Conditions” regularly you are missing out on a great fire blog! Who doesn’t like this guy? He writes an anonymous blog yet offers great posts from his job as well as funny stuff everywhere. This guy is hilarious! Tune in for his posts regularly.
The Happy Medic offers his views on why he is a firefighter in a post he had written prior to the blog carnival. His story is a heart warmer and I can only imagine the pride his father must feel after reading this. Check out Sunday Fun – Dad for Justin’s story! Justin might have the best assignment of all Medic-Firefighters being assigned to an Engine!
Notes from Mosquito Hill offers another previously written piece which validates that I picked a useful topic for this episode of the blog carnival. His post titled “The Show Must Go On” explains his firsts in the fire service.
Captain Strauss offers a brand new blog to the mix with Captains Chronicles. She is not new to blogging though as we spoke briefly through email. Strauss offers her post “I am a firefighter because…” and gives thanks to her father and grandMOTHER for her becoming a firefighter. Look for big things from the Captain in the future. I think she is one of those bloggers that has plenty to say!
Tiger Schmittendorf runs the blog TigerSchmittendorf.com. His post titled “It was in the cards” offers a superbly written composition of how and why he is a firefighter. You just have to love the way this guy writes! I must add that Tiger also runs the blog “Run to the Curb” which embodies a lot of us firefighters when we were younger.
John Broyles, 1-Union-801 blog, points to Emergency as a reason for “I am a firefighter because…” . Another new blog on the block, check out his writing and be sure to friend him on twitter where I met him @ssgjbroyles. John is not your everyday firefighter, he is a military firefighter. He compares Military EMS to Civilian EMS…if that is what we call what we do.
Mick Mayers of Firehouse Zen offers the story of how a kid who grew up listening to Philly Fires became a Chief in South Carolina. A 3rd Generation firefighter (from what I can deduce) who is entrenched in the lifestyle and writes a great blog. Check out “I am a firefighter because…” on Firehouse Zen.
This may shock you, but the blogger behind The EMT Spot is a firefighter too! He offers us “I’m a firefighter” to let you know why he became a firefighter after 10 years as a paramedic. I’m a firefighter because I love putting people in the back of an ambulance and taking them to the hospital, but I also love going inside buildings that are on fire, tracking down natural gas leaks, rappelling off stuff, sawing stuff, breaking stuff, checking out alarm panels and crawling through the mud on the bottom of a lake.
Chief Reason Art grew up believing that firefighters were the bravest, most honorable and unselfish people that walked the Earth.His post on why he is a firefighter offers an introspect into his life and why he became a firefighter. I have really enjoyed getting to know Art through his blogging and him calling in to Firefighter Netcast. I know this…This guy is passionate about FIREFIGHTING! He is a true icon in the fire service and his opinion and ideals are certainly worth reading and listening to. You may not always agree with him, but you will always learn something.
John Mitchell at Fire Daily offers his reason for becoming a firefighter and paramedic. He also goes into depth on his first experience battling the red devil. He joined the FD “back in the day” when you learned trial by fire and gives a great example of fighting his first training fire. His post, simply titled “Stay Stoked“, is exactly how he ends each post and hopes that you continue to “STAY STOKED”!
Bill Carey over at Backstep Firefighter takes us back to Salisbury, Maryland where his father was a firefighter. He offers us a first hand account of what it was like to grow up in a firehouse and follow in the footsteps of his father. His on-the-job training and experiences are glanced over (I am sure he has seen his share of fire) and it is not a surprise because he is a very modest man. His post titled “I am a firefighter because…” hits the mark and gives his story. Check it out!
Shari over at Two in, Two out offers her story of being a firefighter’s wife. How could I not pay tribute to a firefighter’s wife? After all, they are our backbone…unless you are a female firefighter. You should also note that she just began her blog. Stay tuned for more! I always enjoy reading about the other side of the coin…what our wives view and how they feel about our jobs.
Last, but certainly not least is my own account here on Fire Critic of why I became a firefighter as well as how I became a firefighter. I hope you enjoy my story as it is very close to my heart. It is who I am and as John would say I continue to “Stay Stoked”. I am one of those “Run to the Curb” kids that Tiger talks about and I hope to continue to enjoy what I do for many more years! My post is aptly titled “I am a firefighter because…“.
So there you have it. The first episode of the First Due Blog Carnival with 14 blogs on board. I hope to see the number of bloggers increase in future episodes. I understand that many don’t know what this is or what to think of it.
Be sure to post a link to the episode on your blog and get involved next time…
Next Months First Due Blog Carnival will be hosted over at Backstep Firefighter. The theme is “Influential Fire Reports”. Look for more information soon.
For the full information on the First Due Blog Carnival just click on the image below.
This post is about why I am a firefighter. This is also my submission to the first episode of the First Due Blog Carnival. I have put off this post as long as possible because I am worried that I will not give proper credence to a topic which really envelopes a large part of my life. So here goes…
First off I would like to say that I am one of those “Run to the Curb” kids. As far back as I can remember, I always turned my neck to watch fire trucks when we drove by. I also ran to the curb to see the fire trucks when they drove by. The trucks and the firemen were larger than life. My childhood was very innocent and I only hope that my children are growing up in a similar World even if us adults know very different.
There I was at the ripe old age of 17. My testing with the high school counselor said that I should be a cop…ugh. The thought of being a cop was intriguing, but much like some people cannot fathom the idea of running into a burning building, I cannot fathom being shot at or worst of all the potential of taking another life in self defense.
I needed to find something different.
The Family Business
My dad was in sales and one of the finest in his field, he got his start at the same company his father had worked for. It was not a family owned company, but the two had a lot to do with the success of the company.
I am not sure what my mothers father did, he died when I was about 3. I remember him, but only vaguely.
My other grandfather (3rd if you are counting and technically step-grandfather but always considered just a grandfather) worked on crews that built many of the interstates we enjoy today throughout Ohio and West Virginia.
I didn’t have an idea of what the heck I was going to grow up and be, yet I was at the point where I needed to figure it out.
My father was a volunteer when he was in his early twenties, he ran the squad too. He volunteered in the Canton, Ohio area as well as the Hamilton County, Ohio area. Neither of the Volly houses are around anymore. Maybe it WAS in my blood but I didn’t know it yet.
The Best Decision Ever
I put the application in for my local VFD after being prompted by a friend and firefighter Eric Campbell. He had asked every couple of months for about a year if I was interested. I often rode with Eric to school and enjoyed his company. I would one of many of my friends to join the VFD from my high school. In total it was probably about a dozen of us. Most of us lived in the same neighborhood.
I didn’t ask my parents; I told them about the application. My mom didn’t know what to think. Hell, I didn’t even fully realize what I was doing….
Next to marrying my wife and having two beautiful children, putting that application in was one of the best decisions of my life.
Once being voted in as a volunteer and passing firefighter I and II I was off to the races. I would later pretty much live at the station for about two years while working and going to college for my associates degree.
I volunteered at a combination station in Chesterfield County, Virginia. Midlothian VFD #5. I stop by occasionally, but rarely bump into anyone I know. I learned so much from those guys; the volunteers and the career guys. In short…I grew up.
In 1999 I was hired by my current department (paid urban department) and have been there ever since. I was promoted to Lt. in 2004 and still hold that rank.
I maintain that my years on my vollie department were some of the best of my life. Truth be told that going from a vollie to a paid guy is a huge change in a firefighters life. The two roles are so very different outside of running calls.
That is how I became a firefighter…Now for why I am a firefighter
I am a firefighter because…
After finding my love for firefighting as a volunteer, I realized that there would be nothing better than to do it for a living. Those nights at the firehouse kicking back, having fun, playing pranks, and being one of the guys was it. Fighting the occasional fire was an adrenaline rush. We didn’t run too much EMS and we didn’t have an ambulance, but I enjoyed the EMS side of things too.
I am very mechanically inclined. I don’t know farming, automotive repair, or HVAC but I can fix almost anything if I put my mind to it. I usually only ask for help when all else is lost. I am a problem solver and am very outgoing. What more could any citizen ask for in a firefighter?
Nothing in this job makes me feel better than being able to show up at someones house and fix their problem. After all, people call us at their darkest hour…some of those end up being our shining moments depending on the extent of the “emergency”.
I am a firefighter because I love the tradition and the brotherhood. Furthermore, I understand the brotherhood and try to live by it. I love the adrenaline rush of going in a fire and providing life saving measures on an EMS call. I love seeing the “Run to the Curb” kids and I always wave even if they don’t wave back. I want to be that firefighter that I used to wave to as a child.
I want to help people, and like most firefighters I NEED to help people. It makes me feel all tingly inside.
When the tones hit, I still get on the truck as quick as possible. Sure, I have changed since I was a snotty nosed rookie and now am just a snotty nosed 10 year guy.
I get excited when people come by the station to say hi, show their kids around, or take a tour. It pleases me that people want to see what I do and that they are interested.
I am blessed because I do what I love. I cannot imagine being stuck in an office pushing a pencil around and hating to go to work every day.
That is why I am a firefighter!
Recruit Class 15 (1999) From L-R Kneeling: Captain Phil Dillon, Todd Reighley, Beth Norwood Joyner, Betty McBride, B.T. Butler, Rhett Fleitz (Me), Kelcey Branch, Barry Kincer, BC Roger Manuel Standing: Captain R.T. "Skippy" Flora, ?, Captain Chris Trussler, Jeremy Bennington, Doug Hurd, William "Sport" Hayden, Travis Simmons, Mac Craft, Dennis Duncan, Charles Williams, Kevin Bradbury, and 1st Lt. Brian Riddle. The picture is from our final burn.
In the picture above, I gave the current rank to the instructors of the day. As for the recruits, many are ranking officers by now. Others have come and gone since our graduation in 1999, some off to other departments, other jobs, and even one has found himself behind bars for many years to come.
One thing is for sure, firefighting attracts all types and kinds of people…but not all of them can hack it. Of the 15 who began our class, 9 have maintained and become great firefighters.
This weeks Monday Morning Shoutout goes to Everyday EMS Tips. Everyday EMS Tips is a well rounded web site/blog that provides a post a day (or more) for EMS professionals to increase their knowledge base. The site is run by Greg Friese.
The site offers podcasts, ebooks, and links to plenty of continuing education type information.
EverydayEMSTips.com started when I began contributing a regular tips column to EMS1.com. When I realized I had more ideas than column space I created a place to collect tips into ebooks and resources for:
* EMT and Paramedic students
* Practicing first responders, EMTs, and Paramedics
* EMS organization managers and training officers
Check out Everyday EMS Tips when you get a chance and be sure to sign up for the email newsletters!
I don’t know about you but if I pull up on a house like this I am pulling 2 1/2″ line with a solid tip on it. Providing I have the water that is.
I don’t know much more than the video shows. I do see some 2 1/2″ line being stretched though.
From the vid:
Heavy smoke from a distance was an indication the firefighters from Bellingham knew they were going to work at this house on Cross St. on March 21, 2010. This 1 sty occupied house was fully involved and a 2nd alarm was called.
I will lay out the following as hypothetical, and no it did not involve me, but consider it having happened and I would love to hear your responses.
Sesame Street Fire Department has a firefighter who has a facebook page. Much like around 3/4 of the department who also have facebook pages, this firefighter uses it for personal use. I do not know if the firefighter labels himself as an employee of Sesame Street Fire Department on his facebook page, but let us say that he does as most others do.
The firefighter posts a status update on his facebook page quoting the movie Pulp Fiction. The quote has the N-word in it. However, the firefighter chooses to use text similar to “n#$%@r” instead of spelling it out. I do not believe the firefighter notates that the text is a movie quote.
By all accounts of people who saw it and the way it was presented, the status update was done in fun and was not done intentionally slight anyone.
Upon seeing this status update, another firefighter in his firehouse raises issue. These two firefighters are reported to already having a less than ideal relationship.
The firefighter who found it offensive then told others. There BC caught wind of the issue.
The status update is reported to having NOT been done on-duty.
Now there are rumors of the Chiefs getting involved. There are rumors of the firefighter being fired.
Upon catching wind of this, the firefighter posted that it was a movie quote from Pulp Fiction, later deleted the status update, and has since removed most of the other firefighters from his friends list.
The Sesame Street Fire department has a policy for using social media sites that goes something like this (in my own words).
You may use the sites (FB, Youtube, etc.) after 5pm, you should not spend too much time on these sites (or the comp. in general) and you should use proper judgment on the use.
Here are my questions:
Do you think quoting the movie with the N-word was irresponsible?
Do you find it offensive?
Do you think this is a fire-able offense?
Do you think the Department has any right to discipline the firefighter?
What actions, if any, should the department take on the matter?
What actions, if any, should the firefighter take to rectify the situation?
The first edition will be hosted right here on the Fire Critic on March 24th. All submissions must be in by the 22nd so I can put the first edition post together. We already have 5-6 submissions that are written very well and come at the title “I am a firefighter because…” from a couple different angles.
If you would like to partake in the First Due Blog Carnival all you have to do is:
Write a post answering the question “I am a firefighter because…”
The title of the post is not pertinent so you can title it anything you want.
Email me the post url to email@example.com and put “First Due Blog Carnival” in the subject line.
I will take care of the rest.
Any bloggers who are firefighters are welcome to submit their post. Basically, if you can answer “I am a firefighter because…” then you can partake! There will be plenty other episodes that other bloggers will be able to submit to depending on the episode title.
The second edition of the First Due Blog Carnival will be hosted by Bill Carey over at Backstep Firefighter and the episode will be “Influential Fire Reports”. There will be more information posted in the future on the 2nd edition.
This weeks Monday Morning Shoutout goes to 1-Union-801. The blog, served up on blogspot, is run by a friend I have met via twitter. His twitter username is @ssgjbroyles. The blog 1-Union-8011-Union-801 tagline reads: Mainly how Military and Civilian EMS differ…although the tasks learned are the same.
The blog is fairly new and you know I love finding out about new fire/EMS related blogs. He doesn’t post everyday, but offers his views when you get a chance. When you get a chance head on over to 1-Union-801 and check it out!
The wheels are constantly spinning here at the Fire Critic Headquarters. The purpose, outreach, and emphasis are constantly changing…in short, this is a blog about the fire service and what is delivered to you is whatever happens to strike me as interesting.
The Fire Critic Mugs
There are many ways to keep in tune with the Fire Critic.
He asked me my thoughts on the matter and I was unable to get them to him in a timely manner, so here they are.
I scanned over the recent report on the 2009 LODD’s of Captain James Harlow and Firefighter Damion Hobbs.
While I am not as in depth as Bill is, I offer my thoughts which came to mind. My thoughts are more National in thought than just on the Houston FD.
The report pointed to a couple of things:
The lack of use of a thermal imaging camera (TIC)
The firefighters leaving the hoseline
The Captain not doing a 360 degree walkaround
The Captain not taking his radio
1. The lack of use of a thermal imaging camera (TIC)
Most departments roll with a firefighter, an officer, and a driver. If the driver is pumping, two firefighters are going in. Two firefighters to make an attack on the fire with a hoseline. One on the nozzle pulling hose, the other helping drag hose and talking on the radio if need be.
Who is going to carry the TIC? If that is an issue, put more staffing on the apparatus. In the HFD LODD report, it does state that in this case there were 3 firefighters going in but one had issues with their mask. In my department that would be an imaginary firefighter…We run with 3 total.
I agree that TIC’s have their place in finding victims, the seat of the fire, or possible means of egress. However, it is not the end-all!
2. The firefighters leaving the hoseline
From what I could tell, this point was processed by where the hoseline was laying vs. where the two men’s bodies were found.
I can only imagine that their last minutes on this earth were sheer terror and panic. I like to think that if I were in their shoes I would revert to training, experience, and knowledge and throw my brother firefighter over my shoulder and walk out the front door. However, we both know that we have gotten tunnel vision, fought panic and anxiety in situations less as life threatening as this.
I cannot correlate their final resting spots as cause for stating that they left the hoselines for any other reason than they realized death might have been imminent had they not.
3. The Captain not doing a 360 degree walkaround
Ah…the 360 walk-around. That ever present topic/tactic in presentations, training, and literature. That thing that I have never seen a first arriving officer do. That thing that incoming Incident Commanders rarely do.
I will put stock in this one….with caveats.
In a perfect world, we would pull up past the house getting three sides of the layout on arrival. My 2 firefighters in the back (remember that never happens in my dept.) would pull a line and force the door while I checked out the Charlie Side. I would then get back to the front of the house with my firefighters and develop a quick strategy (meaning possibly changing the point of entry upon my view of the backside of the house)
If I didn’t, the next in companies would or at least the BC upon arrival.
The truth in my department (urban firefighting hydrants/apparatus/crews bountiful on fires) is that if I were to do a walkaround, the next in engine would put the fire out before I got back up front…hypothetically.
I guess in my perfect World, if it were more than a bread and butter/room and contents fire we would do a walk-around or the BC close behind would do one and relay any pertinent information to us prior to us getting in too deep.
4. The Captain not taking his radio
He forgot it apparently. I have no excuses on this one. For the company officer, having a radio is a must. We have all forgotten something at one time or another. Did it prove fatal in this case? Maybe, there is no telling that if he had it he would have been able to get firefighters to his crew quick enough to save their lives.
You might remember me posting a video of Firefighters dancing to Poker Face by Lady GaGa back in August of 2009. The video was removed from Youtube, but then I found it again and added it back to the page. I have now taken the time to pick out some of the best firefighter dance videos.
The Top Ten Best and Funniest Firefighter Dance Videos…Enjoy!
10. Firefighter Dance
Description: the video starts out sllow but please watch all of it and rate and comments are welcome. i do not own any of the audio used and simply mixed together a few songs that sounded good with a few dj tools and myself and another fellow firefighter danced to it while another firefighter recorded it
9. Just Dance Lady GaGa Bunker Gear Dance
Description: With only 5 min of planning….Take 1…Action
8. Firefighters Got Rhythm
Description: Helping out the community
7. Firefighter Dance Video
Description: Some helicopter crewmembers take some time to develop some dance skills
6. Jake the dancing Fire Fighter
5. Newport Firefighters Doing Solja Boy
Description: four firefighters do soulja boy in front of their truck
4. The Firefighter Dance
Description: TRAINING BURN (since some thing he is neglecting his dutys)…Unprompted response after a firefighter sees the camera on him after fighting fire while training. But remember, after the work is done – nothing wrong with having a little fun. Be safe out there!
3. Fireman Pole Dance
Description: Fireman pole dancing on the fireman’s pole used to slide down to the fire engines from the upstairs floors. (with some unforseen consequences…)
2. Dancing Firefighter
Description: rookie firefighter paid to dance and man can he dance
1. Fire Fighters in Poker Face Music Video
What I found most interesting was how some of the other EMS bloggers were amazed at meeting him. Most of us bloggers have spoke on the phone, seen photos of each other, or at least emailed each other. Over time, this turns into a relationship/friendship of sorts. Prior to this weekend, I do not know that I have ever been in contact with TOTWTYTR. I have read his blog but must admit that I don’t catch it every day.
Apparently he writes some pretty interesting stuff. Interesting and opinionated enough that his identity must remain as anonymous as possible to keep a distance between the online anonymous writer and his real life identity. I understand this and have no issue with it.
I also got to meet Mark Brady (@PGFDPIO) the PIO for PG County, Md. Great guy…I think I bored him.
And how could I forget a highlight of mine. I got to meet Dennis Rubin, the Chief of DCFD. It was an honor to chat with him. I have been a fan of his for a long time. I have enjoyed watching him work in the various roles and departments as well. Great chat and thanks to Mike Ward for introducing us! Justin and Mark got to meet him as well. You might see Chronicles of EMS in DC sometime in the future.
I also added a video below from Dave Statter that showcases Justin Schorr, Mark Glencorse, John Mitchell, Mike Ward, and myself!
Many of the photos below were taken by me. Others have been collected from facebook and other sites. I apologize for not giving credit for each photo. Be sure to scroll down for video and photos!
I hope for many more meet ups like this in the future! Who is going to be at FDIC?
Many of the Bloggers/Twitterers at EMS Today
I got into Baltimore around 1am on Friday morning. My first meetup was with John Mitchell (@FireDaily) of FireDaily.com and my co-host on Firefighter Netcast. We roomed together for the weekend and got to chat a little bit before calling it a night for the events of Friday. John and I have talked on the phone, through email, and even done some video skype sessions. We are great friends and have finally been able to hang out in person.
When Friday morning rolled around we hit the exhibit hall floor at EMS Today. Our first stop was the Zoll booth. Unfortunately I decided to listen to John on where the booth was and we walked a mile in the exhibit hall before realizing it was right near the front. John was adamant it was in the back. Our first disagreement…awe.
Walking up to the Zoll booth, we saw Justin Schorr (The Happy Medic and @TheHappyMedic) and Mark Glencorse (999 Medic and @UKMedic999). I didn’t expect either of them to pick out the two of us (who probably come off as a David Spade/Chris Farley looking duo). Justin quickly came right for me introducing himself. I introduced myself and hugs ensued. Justin is another guy I have spoken with a bunch, blogged about, and consider a brother. We were finally able to meet…in person. I introduced John (John had already realized that I love talking…). We then met Mark Glencorse.
Justin Schorr getting FireGeezer Bill Schumm to sign his mug
Right after meeting Justin and Mark we met Ted Setla (@setla). The stage was set. I had now met the main components of Chronicles of EMS. I would later meet Chris Eldridge (@thedridge), a cameraman who works with Setla and did wonders for Chronicles of EMS.
After chatting with Mark, Justin, John, and Setla we headed to the JEMS booth where we ran into Dave Iannone (@cooldavej) and Chris Hebert (@chebert13). These guys are huge entrepenuers in the Fire/EMS Service and I have learned a lot from them. I have spoken to both of them through email and phone and was thrilled to meet them. I have been a long time fan of both of their work and look forward to following them in the future! They both are with Go Forward Media and bring you FireEMSBlogs.com, FirefighterNation.com, and many other sites. They are formerly of Firehouse.com.
Dave and Chris were a lot of fun to hang out with. Chris and I had fun busting each others chops…just like at the firehouse! They shared the tab of the meetup later that night with George Washington University.Thanks for lunch as well guys!
Things just kinda fell all together after meeting Chris and Dave. The rest is not in chronological order necessarily.
Mike Ward, Rhett Fleitz, Dave Statter, and John Mitchell
We met Chris Montera (@geekymedic) of the EMS Garage and Jamie Davis (@podmedic) of MedicCast. These too guys put on great podcasting shows and put on live shows during the conference. It was great to see them in action and learn about what John and I hope to be doing in the future at Fire Conferences!
Some of the rest of this may or may not include real names. I may refer to them as their twitter tags and/or blogs. I will do this in case of outing an anonymous blogger or because that is the only way I know them.
I met @nateemt_b while talking to some other guys. He was excited to be there and I had fun talking to him.
Soon after,April Saling @Epi_Junky showed up. She runs the Pink Warm and Dry blog. Very cool person and I enjoyed talking to her later at the meetup. Small World…she lives very close to my grandparents!
@Epi_Junky picked up Chris Kaiser (@CKEMTP) of Life Under The Lights. Chris and I hit it off well. He has been a guest on Firefighter Netcast and again it was like I knew him for years! Great guy, very articulate and speaks with words I do not know!
FireGeezer Bill Schumm, FossilMedic Mike Ward, Fire Critic Rhett Fleitz, and Fire Daily John Mitchell
I met Tom Bouthillet (@tbouthillet) of EMS12lead.com. Very cool guy. I know nothing about 12 lead anything, but he apparently does…and enjoys it enough to write about it. He posted about EMS Today here. Tom is a Fire Lieutenant / Paramedic for Hilton Head Island Fire & Rescue and works for Chief Mick Mayers of Firehouse Zen (Mick was not present).
I met up with Mike Ward, the Fossil Medic (@FossilMedic). He runs FireGeezer with Bill Schumm (@FireGeezer). I would finally meet Bill on Saturday. He made the trek up to Baltimore to meet me…ok not really. He came to meet Justin and Mark…and the rest of us. Justin and Mark were thrilled to meet Bill and had him and Mike sign their FireGeezer mugs. Bill and I go back to the beginning of FireGeezer. I caught up with him when I was still going strong with RoanokeFire.com (my first blog). We have talked on the phone and email ever since. Great guy!
Mike Ward was a lot of fun too! He enjoyed the banter between myself and Dave Statter (@STATter911) of STATter911.com. I got to meet Dave at the meetup on Friday night. Needless to say, I feel like I know Dave really well! Anyone you can say “Nice to meet you, you son of a bitch” and them NOT get mad is alright in my book! Dave and I hit it off really well (at least that is what I thought..he may hate me now). Actually, Dave and I share a similar sense of humor.
Dave and I have talked on the phone and through email for years as well. I remember when he started STATter911.com and have enjoyed reading his site daily. His site is probably one of the most read in blogs in the Fire Service. Some love Dave, some love to hate Dave, but they all come back to see what he is writing about next. I cannot wait to hang out with Dave again in the future!
You might know Dave Statter as the blogger with the longest post titles in the world!
I got to meet @NJDiveMedic. He hung out with Me, Justin, Chris, John, and @Squirrl325 for drinks after the meetup.We had a blast and enjoyed some brews. @Squirrel325 was a blast to hang out with and was able to hunt down a great Irish pub when our first idea folded. Kaiser ended the night with an offer for all of us to do shots….I can’t hang like that anymore!
I got to meet Carissa O’Brien (@Carissao). She is really cool people and seemed to stay busy during the events. I also got to chat with Sebastian Wong (@SebWong). He is the EMS Chief (pretty sure that is his title) for the San Fransisco Fire Department. He just started a blog here. Great guy, easy to talk to, and fun to be around.
The interesting thing about David and Greg is that they have never met. Much like Justin and Mark before they finally met for Chronicles of EMS and John and I before this weekend. It just goes to show how friendships are born, partnerships are created, and businesses are started via networking through social media. Great guys and great ideas…forging ahead!
I also got to meet up with Ronnie Grubb, his wife and a friend. Ronnie lives near me and blogs. Ronnie runs The Gatekeeper. He gave his view of the events at EMS Today here. Ronnie was a blast to talk to. His excitement for EMS, firefighting, and other things we talked about was awesome. I look forward to more from Ronnie in the future…
I am sure there are plenty others out there whom I met and others there I did not get a chance to meet.
Geeky Medic Chris Montera
Mark Glencorse, Justin Schorr, Michael Kurz MD, and Chris Montera
Justin Schorr getting FireGeezer Bill Schumm to sign his mug
Justin Schorr and Mark Glencorse
Mike Ward, Rhett Fleitz, Dave Statter, and John Mitchell
Jamie Davis...The PodMedic (on the right)
Rhett Fleitz and Justin Schorr
Justin Schorr and John Mitchell
John Mitchell, Mark Glencorse, and Rhett Fleitz
Many of the Bloggers/Twitterers at EMS Today
David Konig and Mark Glencorse
Rhett Fleitz, April Saling, and Jared Scott
FireGeezer Bill Schumm, FossilMedic Mike Ward, Fire Critic Rhett Fleitz, and Fire Daily John Mitchell
I had a blast this weekend. I was able to meet so many of my fellow bloggers, twitter friends, and many others. I also had my dose of EMS “stuff” for the next year.
I will have a long blog post tomorrow about it with some pictures and even some video. It may end up being a series of posts.
Thanks to FireEMSBlogs.com and George Washington University for sponsoring the Blogger/Twitter meetup!
If you blogged about the event, posted pictures, have pictures to share, or have embeddable video please let me know.
I am working on a long list of people I met and even a couple I am finding out were there who I didn’t get to meet.
The entire event was awesome. The highlights were meeting John Mitchell for the first time, cutting up with Dave Statter, meeting DCFD Chief Dennis Rubin, Justin and Mark, Bill Schumm (FireGeezer), Dave Iannone, Chris Hebert, Chris Kaiser…the list is long.
I just read an article about people questioning a 9 minute response time. Apparently, numerous other apparatus were responding to other 911 calls and the house fire response in question got apparatus from a further fire station than the first or second due.
It is unfortunate. It is also becoming more and more prevalent.
Whether it be increased call levels, apparatus taken out of service, decreased staffing, brownouts, or fire station closures response times are suffering.
From the report:
The city has five fire stations that house a variety of equipment, from engines to ambulances, but stations are not staffed with enough firefighters to fill all of the vehicles.
When the firefighters from the Country Club and Simpson stations were out on the other calls, no one else was available to go to the Broadway fire.
Huhn said officials want to add another fire station in the future, but in the meantime, being short-staffed is the big problem.
The department hasn’t had to lay off any firefighters in recent rounds of city budget cuts, but it has left four positions unfilled and hasn’t hired more firefighters to keep up with growth in Bend.
He said the kind of situation that happened on Wednesday is becoming more common.
“Unfortunately, the potential is there virtually every day,” Huhn said. (Continue reading)
Who works for a department that has NOT had apparatus removed from service permanently?
How would you combat questioning if this happened in your department?
When will enough be enough. The Russian Roulette of the fire service.
Until something changes for a lot of localities…9 minute response times…get used to it!
I have always been intrigued by PIO work although I have never done it. I guess it is one of those things that I wouldn’t mind doing as a second career after my fire career is over or something to fall back on if I were to get injured. I think that I would be decent at it.
Now there is a new guy on the block with a refreshing view of PIO work. The Fire PIO is run by Jeff Bressler.
Jeff Bressler is the Public Information Officer for the Smithtown Fire Department located on the North Shore of Long Island’s Suffolk County. An all volunteer department, Smithtown answers over 3,000 fire and EMS calls annually www.smithtownfd.org. (From his bio on the blog)
Jeff offers ideas for PIO’s, points out good and bad PIO work across the Nation, and blogs about other information for PIO’s. If you have not been following him you should check him out. His blog is one of the newer additions to the FireEMSBlogs.com community.
You can also follow him on twitter, facebook, and linkedin via links on his sidebar.
Flashback about 16 years ago. I was a junior in high school and had just been voted in as a member of the Midlothian Volunteer Fire Department in Chesterfield County, VA. I would become a junior firefighter and realize my ambition of becoming a career firefighter (that is another story coming soon).
The evening I was voted in was also the beginning of a couple other guys time at the VFD. Needless to say, we were stoked and had no clue of what the heck we were getting ourselves involved in.
That night we were to become one of the guys….and they other guys had an idea of how to break us in something proper. There we were hanging out between the vollie engine and paid engine. We were given an example of how we were to place the funnel in our pants and guide a quarter down our forehead into the funnel. The three of us did it at the same time. An example of the prank is below. Although, our guys went one step forward and drew around the quarter with a pencil leaving lead remnant on the edge of the quarter which made nice lines down our forehead and off our noses.
If you want to see more pranks…check them out here. Enjoy the video below. Hat tip to Dave Statter for sending me the vid!