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Our heritage as American Firemen.

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 […]

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; […]

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 […]

Warrior Poets

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Here we sit at the kitchen table. I enjoy the table in the back lot too, but there’s no C’gars allowed these days. Can’t say as I like it, but can’t argue much with it either. So its hot Joe, n’ we’ll make do. Had a heck of a time, this past several weeks. Been […]

Remembering 9 / 11, Ten Years Later

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I had intended to post my speech here today.  But the editing is all messed up and I don’t have time to fix it.  I will repost after I return home.  It has been an incredible honor to be asked to speak today.  Needless to say I am humbled and a little quiet today.  My […]

Why Am I Here? Someone Please Remind Me…

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“The first day, the look on the DC’s face was priceless, he looked like he was gonna have a coronary. I asked him, “You want me to back off?” He said, “No, I am out of my element, …but I have never seen so much accomplished in so short a time. Keep it up, I’ll go protect your job!” The trials and tribulations of training recruits how to be a part of the fire service and convincing the establishment that it still has merit in the modern world we serve in.

“True Grit”

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What kind of firemen and women should we be? Take a look from the past. Those who know the past, know their history are then aware of their lineage. They have a good foundation that is there to fall back on. “As you walk through the engine bay through the old house, you come across reminders of these men. Old leather helmets and fronts, brass nozzles and iron axes, perhaps a parade item or two and you see things that they took great pride in and cherished as emblems of their chosen profession.”

The Mask

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There is something about that moment, when you don your mask and feel the suction and then the rush of air into your lungs. It is a moment of commitment.  You and the mask.  It marks that moment that you have committed yourself to whatever is beyond the threshold.  I don’t know that I’ve ever […]