Fighting Fires, mitigating emergencies and serving the public are hard enough tasks. Managing the resources to accomplish these tasks takes leadership and trust. The two do not come with a promotion ceremony or the pinning of badges. They come from Fire Officer Trust.
While Larry Conley and I took a pause to grab some grub, we met two cool firefighters from Canada @FDIC. LT Stephanie (pronounced "STEF-ON) Denis, of Gatineau Province Canada. He and his co-worker Patrick traveled to FDIC to train and meet other firefighters from near and far. We had a great conversation about the fire service and he agreed to share some of it our readers and listeners here. There may be some minor differences in our organizations, but listen clearly to the many similarities. Almost everyone of our interviewees have been able to point one, if not more, person(s) who influenced them.
That makes me know that we, who have been in the service for some time, have to be careful about those who are watching us and being influenced by us. Not just by what we say, but more importantly, by what we do and how we carry ourselves.
I want to thank LT Denis, for taking the time out to share.
Had a great and informative time this week at FDIC 2013. As always, a record crowd. As always, a great place for firefighters and fire instructors to exchange ideas, learn and grow.
The session opened with a stellar ceremony and great words of encouragement and inspiration. As with most important ceremonies and events the pipes and drum corps sound the clarion call to action and remembrance. The corps is made up of Pipers and Drummers from all over the nation.
I found a great opportunity to chat with Sparky in his fire engine. He gave a lesson on how to become "The Man:. LOL This great piece of Public Fire Safety Education equipment still draws a crowd and when the operator s a character themselves...well, you just have to watch.
The week has gone so fast we're going to post pictures (worth a thousand words) to catch you up. Sat down to interview some great fire officers and instructors that we are posting for your listening pleasure and edification. Be sure to check back periodically for them.
With all of the great opportunities @FDIC to share and grow, you cannot help but get edified in the presence of a John Mittendorf. I have know John for quite some time. I have followed his career and work ethic for many years. Many will value his lectures, articles and new book on Truck Company Operations.
He is legendary for his description and detail of all truck company operations on the fireground. His publications and lectures are as entertaining as they are informative. He is a frequent presenter at FDIC and across the nation.
But few may remember that he wrote a book on, "Facing the Oral Interview". Pages I still peruse from time to time. They have ageless wisdom inextricably attached to them.
I caught up with Chief Mittendorf, recently. I asked him a few questions about Fire Officers and the Fire Service. Click on the link below and take a listen to our chat.
With all of the activities and training occurring this week, at @FDIC 2013, we were fortunate that the staff of the conference made available a live feed from the memorial service honoring the 10 Firefighters killed in the tragedy of the West, Texas Fire and Explosion.
Those being remembered and honored include
Morris Bridges, West Fire Department
Cody Dragoo, West Fire Department
Joseph Pustejousky, West Fire Department
Douglas Snokhous, West Fire Department
Robert Snokhous, West Fire Department
Cyrus Reed, Abbott Fire Department/West EMS
Jerry Chapman, Abbott Fire Department/West EMS
Kevin Sanders, Bruceville Eddy Fire Department/EMS
Kenny Harris, Dallas Fire-Rescue
Perry Calvin, Merknel Fire Department/West EMS
Jimmy Matus, honorary firefighter, West Fire Department
William Uptmor Jr., honorary firefighter, West Fire Department
and emergency service as a whole mourns the loss of 10 of our own and two honorary
firefighters and honors their service and sacrifice in West, Texas. "We remember
with deep sadness and gratitude our colleagues who died in service to the community
of West, Texas, and extend our sincere condolences to their loved ones," said
Chief Hank Clemmensen, IAFC president and chairman of the board. "It's with heavy
hearts that we say goodbye, but it's in their honor that we put on our helmets each day."
Our thoughts and prayers, from Fire Officer Trust, go out to the families, members and friends of those who lost their lives. More information can be found on the National Fallen Firefighters Foundationsite:
Where did the year go? I blinked, had a Christmas
cookie and the next thing you know it's April!
In all seriousness and not to whine, A Vision and as an extension, myself has been incredibly busy. You might have heard about
our weather experience...you know Sandy? Lost my home office and basement, computer, network and microwave. Sheesh....we're still working on
getting out from under the mess, but as in everything, some good did come out
of it. I was assigned as the Evacuation/Mass Shelter Branch Director for Jersey City; managing 9 shelters. We were able to develop a few new directives in Mass Shelter that we will be sharing with the rest of the country in Emergency
Preparedness. Our validation came when Federal Agencies, Assets and Resources stated that they wanted to copy a few items from my playbook. Great job done by all and a tremendous effort by, Fire, EMS and Police. (why can't we work that way with the day to day ops), --- Did I say that?
Many Thanx to all who helped. The full story has to be told and I will post when I get a vacation. Special Thank You goes out to our Military Personnel, at the Jersey City Armory; led by Chief Armorer Charles Parsons and my new Bro. Capt. Rene Roa. (fotos to follow)
I recently joined the prestigious Instructor Cadre of the International Association of Fire Fighters (www.iaff.org) Master Instructor Corps. I am honored and humbled; I hope to share and learn with the best (students and instructors). This position gives me the opportunity to share information
and knowledge with even more folks in the upcoming years.
Are you going to be at FDIC2013(www.fdic.com)? If so, please let me know
and let's get together, trade a few war stories, and just learn from each
other. My best lessons are those I've picked up from
colleagues and friends. I'm giving a class on "Highrise Fire Safety Management: A Look from Both Sides Now". It will be Friday, April 26, 2013, in Rooms 134-135, @ 8:30hrs and will last for 90 minutes. Pop by and say hello
Also to the Victims and Responders in Boston and elsewhere. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.
Before we experienced Hurricane Sandy, I was writing a short article about a great Fire Officer. Over the last few weeks, we have been busy, here on the East Coast; responding and recovering from the emergencies created by that storm. We're back on track, now.
Congratulations to Mark and Cheryl Lee. Captain Mark Lee, was named Fire Officer of the Year, by the Jersey City Fire Department. Mark is a tremendous Fire Officer and gentleman. He is well respected throughout the city and department. I have had the pleasure to work with Mark as firefighters, company officers and now as a captain in my battalion.
Whether at a fire, medical call, school drill, working with firefighters or being Santa Clause to so many Jersey City children, he is kind, compassionate and knowledgeable. Mark possess all of the qualities, expertise and professionalism that a Fire Officer should have. We have come to count on him and his crew on the scene of emergencies. He constantly trains his crew and is proactive at incidents.
If we didn't have him, we'd have to invent him. Congratulations to you, Cheryl, because I know that none of us are who we are by ourselves.
After all that has happened, Mark is right back to his old tricks:
making sure the children in the area have a great Christmas; that's
after working the entire storm.
Hey Friends. Thanx for all of the kind thoughts, wishes and actions on our behalf, during Hurricane Sandy. As you must know, I haven't had time to blog or write lately. I was in charge of the Evacuation & Shelter Branch. It was a labor of love and quite arduous. It was accomplished by a great team and cooperation between all agencies, medical and military. We are going to re-write the book on Mass Care and Sheltering. More details to follow, as we defrost from the Nor-easter that followed the hurricane. (I just got power and internet back on at home )
Listen to this great song, by Barry Manilow and continue to think of us in NJ, as we recover. It's not over yet.