Rolling With the Punch

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  Change sweeps over us all, sometimes like an on rushing train.  As the fire service leadership, we must lead our organizations successfully through it, while making sure we ourselves are still on the train. Back in the early ’90′s, I had the opportunity to spend some quality time with an old Baltimore fireman, my […]

9/11 – Keeping My Perspective

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For whatever reason, this third year after the ten-year anniversary of the attack on the World Trade Center in New York seems for many of us to have felt different. Different as in, forgotten. This was the first topic of discussion this past Wednesday morning as a few of us gathered on Fire Engineering’s Humpday […]

The Oath

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“My fundamental duty is to serve humanity…” We all stood. “All rise and raise your right hand”..The clatter of the old wooden auditorium seats clapped and banged as the entire academy stood as one. “Repeat after me..”, said the Chief officer in attendance. The thunder of male voices rang through the auditorium. Our families sat […]

Random Thoughts and Four Parallel Lines

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I’ll allow I’ve been busy lately. Going back to school. Self-improvement, …or maybe self-destruction, …not sure yet. But I’ve had this topic on my mind for months and wanted to get it out to you. Pour a cup and sit yourself down… Its been that time of year for us. Twice a year our department […]

Know What You’re Doing…Its Expected

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“Leaders have to be knowledgeable and proficient all the way around, day and night and in all areas. That knowledge, or the lack thereof, is easily read by all followers. My basic point with being tactically and technically proficient is that leaders must know their job, know their people, and be physically involved with them; […]

Leading Firemen and Chasin’ Kinks

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So I get a call from a young brother on the other side o’ the country. We’ve broken bread together a coupla’ times and he’s the kind of Jake you just naturally take a liking to. He’s all fired and up and rarin’ to go, just askin’ for a little leadership to light the way. […]

Leadership: HoldFAST..

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“Leadership is intangible, hard to measure, and difficult to describe. It’s quality would seem to stem from many factors. But certainly they must include a measure of inherent ability to control and direct, self-confidence based on expert knowledge, initiative, loyalty, pride and sense of responsibility. Inherent ability cannot be instilled, but that which is latent […]

A Requiem: The Gray Building Fire

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“The blaze was a stubborn, dangerous and heavy smoke fire–but every man faced this with the highest courage that men can attain. There was work to be done, and these brave men did that work without a look behind..” from the Firemen’s Grapevine. Nov. 15th 1939 The Gray Building Fire, Los Angeles, Ca. 1939, courtesy […]

Investing Time: Know Your People

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“Spend quality time with the team, learning who they are and what motivates them.” — Lt. Col Hal Moore, USA Ret. Old Man Winter keeps crackin’ on here in the North. I’m lookin’ forward to Spring. Had a garage fire the other night. Two snowmachines (snow mobiles for those of you down in America), caught […]

Rocket Propelled Fire Engines and Leading Up In Front

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“You young men of the department today will perhaps see fire apparatus propelled or driven by a rocket, and many new evolutions to fight fires. In time to come the lessening of fires by fire resisting material will cut your work down. Yes, we men of 1909 have lived to see rapid advances in fire […]

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Ben Fleagle

Ben Fleagle is a 23-year veteran of the fire service and is currently a fire captain with University Fire Department, Fairbanks Alaska.  Ben has served as an instructor with the Community Technical College, University of Alaska Fairbanks, teaching Rescue Practices, Building Construction for the Fire Service, Rapid Intervention Company Operations and has been the Sr. Drill Instructor for the summer Fire Fighter I Academy for the past four years. Ben has been a member of the Fraternal Order Of Leatherheads Society (F.O.O.L.S.) since 2004, establishing the first chapter in Alaska along with a handful of brothers in Fairbanks.  Serving as the chapter president for a decade, he has moved on to pursue other opportunities, becoming the Secretary of the F.O.O.L.S. International E-Board in 2015.  Ben continues to pursue leadership and servanthood topics for the fire service and remains a devoted Leatherhead.

FE Talk: Humpday Hangout

Recent Posts
About This Leatherhead
Cap, I work for a small dept in northern CA. Ive been here for a couple years, and as the time has passed, Ive realized a few things about where I work. The deep seeded brotherhood that I have with other guys at other depts Ive worked for, doesn't exist here. I come from an…
2015-03-19 21:03:07
Ben Fleagle
Rolling With the Punch
We run in the same train of thought, you and I. Talk with you soon!
2015-03-02 05:12:35
Dave LeBlanc
Rolling With the Punch
great read brother, just what I needed this morning. Thanks.....
2015-03-01 12:39:23
Hudson Babler
“Iron Sharpens Iron”: Company Officers in today’s Fire Service
Cap, I just wanted to let you know that due to this post I was inspired to search out that IFSTA text. I finally purchased and received it this week. I have to agree with what you wrote about in regards to this book, this is a great text and it is disappointing that it…
2014-10-29 18:32:27
Ben Fleagle
9/11 – Keeping My Perspective
Dave, While I do not feel inclined to agree with your opinion on the cause of that day's events, you are certainly entitled to your views. Regardless, the horror of it effected us all who watched it happen. I know I am not the same fireman that I was before 9/11 either. It changed everything.…
2014-09-30 03:46:15

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A Warrior Poet

I am a Warrior Poet of the American Fire Service. My objective here is to keep the spirit of our heritage alive as our profession is attacked by the modern world. Please join me and we’ll walk a bit together, perhaps smoke a stogie or two and share a strong cup of joe. Take a seat on the tailboard. We’ll blend together, share our hearts and minds, and become like brothers. Leatherheads, sewn with sturdy thread, woven into the filigree that marks us as firemen.

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