As always, I was with Zach Green and my MN8 Fox Fire family. It was a GREAT show!
I always get asked why I travel so much. Why I enjoy going to these shows and exactly what is “it” that keeps me going back. The answer to that is simple …. it’s THE PEOPLE!
We always meet so many GREAT Brothers and Sisters at these events. I guess we call it “networking” now but the opportunity to meet, talk with and share information (and the brotherhood) with these folks is invaluable. I learn something from every trip we take but more so, I make life long friends and get to share and spread the Brotherhood.
Before I even left, I posted on Face Book that I was heading North.
Within minutes, I was getting messages with invitations to stop by this station or that one. To meet this Brother or that for lunch etc. It always amazes me and is very humbling that these Brothers and Sisters openly invite me in.
I did make a stop on this trip beyond my regulars. On the way up I-81 I dropped in on the Riverheads VFD.
Brother Chris Botkin invited me out and gave me a great tour of their station and rigs. I could see the PRIDE these Brothers have for the job by the way they kept the house and their rigs. Thanks to Chris for inviting me out. I wish I had longer to stay by the short rest was needed and very welcomed.
As usual, we were very busy in the booth…. we always are and for several reasons.
“The most interesting man in the world” was there for one reason and that guy from the Dos Equis beer commercials made an appearance as well.
LOL … all kidding aside, we are always busy because the product is that good. For us it’s all about firefighter safety. About increasing your visibility, aiding in your accountability and decreasing your chances of becoming disoriented.
If you’ve never seen the product in person, you need to. We can’t effectively explain what it is and how it works. Contact us through our web site or via Face book to find a dealer near you.
As hard as we work in the booth … we play and rest with just as much vigor afterwards.
There are always a group of old friends and “regular” show attendees / vendors that we are able to catch up with at each show. This event was no different.
Clayton Murphy from Crosstitched was there. If you’ve never seen Clayton’s work, that the time to hit the link I provided. Clayton is a class act and it’s evident in his work. Even the boxes he ships in will make an impression on you … trust me.
He’s a plethora of knowledge and always a BLAST to hang out with. It was good to be able to spend some time with him once again.
I should also mention Bryan Sypniewski and Dolores Bochenek. They are both part of our “Boots on the Street” team who helped work the booth this weekend and they did an AWESOME job!
Like I said, beyond our team, family and long time friends, it’s always good to meet new Brothers and Sisters for the first time. Some many people came up to speak to me this weekend that I could never mention them all.
Everyone offers words of encouragement, condolences and appreciation. Again I’ll say it humbling… VERY humbling. Thanks to each of you for taking the time to talk to me.
I remember you all and several stand out. One of those stand outs was Dave Hitt from Vestal New York. We have been talking to Dave on Face Book for a while now and we were all very excited to meet him in person.
Dave even wrote a blog post about the expo and our visit. Check it out here … Through the Smoke
Special Thanks to Dave for the “shout out” in his post but more importantly for taking the time to drop by the booth and say hello.
Thanks as well (and again) to everyone who took the time to drop by or hang around and chat. If you took a photo of us, please remember to “tag” me in them if you post to Face Book.
I hated to leave but Sunday was Fathers Day and I made it back just in time.
I got to spend a little time with the Buckaroo before heading out to spend a little with Pop.
I have to admit that even as tired as I was, it was very relaxing spending time with dad and the boys of Nothin Fancy .
The boys were up in nearby Floyd County Va playing a few bluegrass tunes for the folks. If you’re a Bluegrass fan and have never heard of Nothin Fancy be sure to use these links and check them out… you’re gonna LOVE em!
It was an outside venue and VERY relaxing. It’s always good to be out with friends and family and it tied up my weekend very nicely.
Besides the great music, there is a very nice restaurant nearby and all sorts of other activities to get into.
Apparently, they even had a face painting booth. Looks like my wife found out where it was. Mustache envy knows no boundaries …. just look at her face … GUILTY! LOL
I hope you all enjoyed your Fathers Day as much as I did mine. If this rain ever quits, I’ll be back in the hay field until about Christmas. Meanwhile, I’ll try to get back to ya as soon as possible. Until I do … stay SAFE and in House!
It’s a VERY fancy place and sure to be a great show! You should have seen the look on their faces when I walked into the hotel with my cowboy hat and boots last night. When I asked “How yall doin” you could have heard a pin drop ….. LMAO (they’re gonna LOVE me here!).
We will be set up in booth #2125 so if you’re at the show, be sure to stop by for a personal demo of the MN8 FoxFire product line.
If you’re already using FoxFire, stop by anyway to tell us how it’s working for ya or just to say hello.
I’m not sure of our full schedule yet but I do know that tonight, I will be at the Capitol Region F.O.O.L.S meet-up. If you want to attend, you can find more details HERE . These are a GREAT bunch of Brothers and Sisters and actually, Rhett and I will be back up here in September to speak at one of their events …. I can’t wait!
I’m not sure who all was on duty yesterday or who was first in but I do know that the Officers and members of B-shift are all “dialed in” and good at what we do. Most likely, it would have been Engine #2 (Captain Trussler), Engine #3 (Captain Kesterson) or Engine #13 (Captain Dillon) first in. Either way, it looks like the boys did a great job of handling the incident. STRONG WORK Brothers….. STRONG WORK.
So, It’s time for me to iron my Bunker Kilt and get ready for today’s events. Rhett stayed behind this trip as he’s at the Virginia Fire Officer’s Academy in Richmond ( “getting his learn on” …LOL). He says it’s a GREAT class and that he’s taking a lot away from it. I can’t wait til he gets a post up about it over on FireCritic…. be sure to keep an eye out for it.
So there ya have it. Short and sweet for now. I’ll try to get ya more tonight … depending on how late those F.O.O.L.S keep me out.
It must be promotion season because they’re popping up everywhere. There are several that I’m aware of with more pending. There are a couple I’ll share with ya along with a retirement.
Promotions can go either way. Sometimes they work out well … other times not so much. I guess it all depends on the position, the process and the person. Sadly, a lot of times; we see people promoted to a position for the wrong reasons and that most always sets the stage for failure.
Whether or not a newly promoted member has (or should have) ”come through the ranks” has always been a highly debated topic in the firehouse (especially when the promotion is to an Officer or Chief Officer position). Personally, I give a lot of merit to those who have.
It just seems simple to me. Coming through the ranks allows you to learn and become proficient at each level you’ll soon be expected to supervise or manage. I think it would be difficult for a Chief Officer to set and enforce policy and procedures for firefighters if they’ve never been one themselves. If they’ve never worked as a firefighter, as a Driver / Operator, a Lieutenant, Captain or Battalion Chief. If they’ve never worked in a firehouse, pulled 24 hour shifts, missed Christmas, ball games etc. How could they understand those they intend to lead? I could (and may) be wrong here. I once had a Chief of Department tell me that the pilot of a 747 Jetliner never had to load the luggage to become a good pilot. His point was true I guess but I’d argue that had that pilot loaded luggage at some point, then he would understand that how the luggage is loaded has a direct bearing on weight distribution and how the plane will or will not handle / fly. He would also better understand what the people working with and around him has to deal with on a daily basis. In my opinion, it would have made him a better pilot.
Anyway, the promotions I’m gonna tell ya about did move through the ranks and I’m excited to see how they handle their new positions. I know they have the experience and skills. I’m sure they’ll do well.
I was very excited to learn that Mark Akins made Battalion Chief last week. It’s been 34 years in the making!
John’s Creek is a fairly new Department having been established in 2008.
They have 3 stations staffed with approximately 78 firefighters. Learn more about the Johns Creek fire stations HERE .
Johns Creek has some GREAT members and is sure to grow. I can say that because I’ve had the honor of meeting a few of them, including their Chief Jeff Hogan.
Rhett and I were in Atlanta back in August 2011 to attend Fire rescue International.
It was a great trip that included a 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb.
That’s where we first met Mark (then a Captain) and his A-Shift crew from Station #63.
Mark was a loyal fan and follower or both Ironfiremen and FireCritic.com. He read that we were planning the trip and invited us out to meet and share a meal with him and his crew. To Rhett and me, just the invite screams PRIDE.
Mark had so much Pride in his Company and Department that he wanted to share it with us. It was a great visit and it was easy to see from the moment we walked in the door that these brothers “got it”.
Congratulations to the Johns Creek Fire Department and all it’s members. You just got yourself a great Battalion Chief. Congratulations as well to Chief Akins!!! All the hard work and effort has paid off Brother. Sometimes, the “good guys” do finish first. Well EARNED and DESERVED Brother …. keep up the strong work and look after the boys down there.
Ok, so the next promotion is in a Department closer to home for me and involves another member who has worked through the ranks.
The Roanoke Fire / EMS Department (Va) announced last week that Battalion Chief Jeff Beckner will be promoted to the position of Deputy Chief of Operations.
Roanoke Fire/EMS is located in beautiful Southwestern Virginia. They cover approx. 43 square miles protected by 11 stations and 200+ members. They hold an ISO rating of 2.
I know Chief Beckner personally as well. I’ve known him for years actually. I know he worked through the ranks and has been well respected by the members of the Roanoke Fire Department throughout his career. Chief Beckner has close to 30 years on the job having served most recently as an Operations Battalion Chief on the South Battalion.
Jeff (Chief Beckner) has always been a strong leader. As a Captain, he always built strong companies. He carried that ability / trait with him to the level of BC and built strong Battalions as well. Hopefully, he will continue the trend as Deputy Chief and build an even stronger Department. I’m sure he will and look forward to seeing the progress he makes.
CONGRATULATIONS to Chief Jeff Beckner on his promotion to Deputy Chief of Operations!
I happen to know a little of the inside story on the Roanoke promotions. Because of Chief Beckners bump to Deputy, several more promotions are likely to follow. There seems to be at least 2 Battalion positions open, 4-5 Captains and then some 1st. Lt and Lieutenant positions open to fill as well. Why all the promotions ??? Retirement.
Battalion Chief Manual retired from the Training Division and Deputy Chief Ralph Tartaglia is retiring as Deputy Chief of Operations after 37 years of service.
Yea … 37 years!
Chief Tartaglia also worked his way through the ranks and has served as the Deputy of Operations for 2 Chiefs now.
Like Chiefs Akins and Beckner, I know Chief Tartaglia well. He’s often said that if he ever needed a letter of recommendation written that I would be the first person he came to. He said that because he has read a lot of letters that I’ve written throughout my career. That’s both a good and bad thing…. LOL.
A local news station did a small piece on Chief Tartaglia’s retirement … watch it below ….
For those wondering, Rhett (The Fire Critic) and I both tested from promotion within our Department. Rhett tested for 1st Lt and Captain while I tested again for Battalion. Rhett is ranked somewhere in the middle of his lists and I haven’t received my results as of yet.
In my opinion, our process is somewhat flawed but I’ll post more on that in the future. Until then, CONGRATULATIONS to Chief Akins and Beckner on their promotions. Im back on duty tomorrow and then headed to New York for a Chief’c Convention on Wednesday. I’ll get back to ya as soon as possible but until I do …
Today, June 6, 2013 marks the 69th Anniversary of the Allied Invasion of Normandy.
156,000 troops from The United States, The United Kingdom, Canada, free France and Norway made up the Allied forces.
The small town of Bedford, Va provided some 30 soldiers (Company A) to the 29th Infantry Division when the Virginia National Guard’s 116th Infantry Regiment was activated. Company A would assault Omaha Beach as part of the First Division’s Task Force O.
By the end of the day, nineteen of them were Killed In Action. At the time, Bedford’s population was 3,200. That meant that proportionally, Bedford suffered a larger loss than any other community in the United States.
To learn more about “The Bedford Boys” and The National D-Day Memorial, click the link below.
I should also note here that the National D-Day Memorial is now located in Bedford. If you’ve never been, you should schedule a visit soon!
I hope you took the time today to remember our D-Day Veterans … I did.
It’s often said that these men were from our “greatest generation” and I tend to agree. Because they were the “greatest” doesn’t take away from those that followed. Bedford is a good example.
Today, there is another group of “Bedford Boys” but they’re not military … they’re Firefighters.
These “boys” are just as professional and dedicated as their predecessors. They’re a class act and a great Department that I’ve wrote about several times here on Ironfiremen.com.
Their Captain, Greg Fulton (or “413″ as I call him) stopped by my station this morning (several of their members, including their Chief work for my Department). We had a great conversation about all the things I stand for … The Brotherhood… Tradition, Pride, Honor and Respect.
I got to meet and hang out with a group of his boys at the Harrisburg, Pa Fire Expo. Greg (413) and I shared a little of that experience from both perspectives (don’t worry boys … I didn’t tell him everything…LOL) .
click to enlarge
Then, Greg told me of their recent loss.
A past Chief, John Turner passed away just last week.
Thinking about today’s anniversary (D-Day), The Bedford Boys and The Bedford FD’s loss, I found it ironic that Chief Turner was appointed to the BFD in 1944.
Greg told me several stories about Chief Turner.
Then he told me about the funeral.
The Bedford Fire Department carried Chief Turner to his final resting place in a piece of apparatus from the BFD.
The Respect, Honor and Tradition were evident!
They didn’t carry the Chief in just any piece, they carried him in their 1927 Seagrave!
That’s the actual truck pictured left.
It was not only a front line piece for the BFD, it was also the first motorized fire truck in Bedford County at the time.
Can you believe the purchase price was a whopping $12,500?
It got away (out) of the Department / County at one time but the boys located her, bought her back and refurbished her to original condition. It’s now on display at the Bedford County Welcome Center. When you come to visit the D-Day Memorial, be sure to stop by and see it.
Again I’ll mention Tradition, Pride, Honor and Respect. I think the original “Bedford Boys” would be PROUD of the job today’s Bedford Boys are doing. Keep up the strong work Brothers and THANKS!
I don’t do it often but I want to revisit a post from my past. I have a lot of new followers / fans who may not have been around in the early days and believe it or not … sometimes I actually managed to get up some cool posts….LOL
I’m back on duty today and we have a fill-in. We had an overtime person for 1/2 the shift but tonight we got a transfer from the South Side.
I was happy to see Adam Fleming (or “Snowbird” as I so affectionately call him) walk into the house this evening.
Snowbird and I go way back. We were assigned together at Station #6 back in 1997 just after I made Lieutenant.
Station #6 was not only a busy house (and still is) but it also held a lot of family memories for me as my dad spent the majority of his career there.
Needless to say, Snowbird and I seen a lot of work together but we also had just as much fun. We became good friends.
Fast forward to the year 2011 and I got a very cool phone call from him.
He was telling me about this “bar” he had built for his basement. Of course he knows how much I enjoy a “tall tottie” or an ice cold Old Milwaukee so he figured I should have one (or twelve) at his place just for “old time sake”.
What he described over the phone didn’t touch what I found when I got to his house that day.
WOW!!! I was speechless! He had taken an actual fire truck and made it into a BAR!!! This thing was amazing!
I’ve drank at some very fancy places. I’ve also had a few at some dumps but this bar ranks right up there with the coolest ever. Almost every piece he used was salvaged from a 1988 Pierce Arrow.
The rig came from the Orange, NJ Fire Department. I wrote a little about the rig and Snowbird’s plans in a the post linked below …..
Starting to see what I mean? Well tonight, we were talking about the bar and he tells me one of the guys who helped him build it has some MUCH BETTER PHOTOS.
His friend Joe Amato lives in our area and was a huge help in the bar’s construction (along with Robert Shumate). Joe is also originally from up on the other side of the Mason – Dixon line but now lives in our area and serves as a volunteer for a local Fire / Rescue Department. Use this link below to see more than 100 other photos of the bar from Joe’s Face Book page ….
She always knows what to say and how to say it. She told me of the troubles I’d face before I actually did. She warned me about “triggers”. Something that will “trigger” a memory and bring all my emotion back to the surface.
I’m still not sure if it’s PTSD or simply depression that I’ve been fighting but I can tell you this …. it’s a hell of a battle.
I’ve talked about it here on Ironfiremen.com before and it’s worth re-mentioning. Depression and PTSD are REAL. They’re an illness / disease that are both bigger than I ever imagined.
I bring this up again for a couple reasons. First, I had a rough weekend and kind of made mention of it in a status update on Face Book. As always, it resulted in an overwhelming show of support. THANKS to each and everyone of you.
The 2nd reason I’m revisiting this topic is because June is PTSD Awareness Month!
I’ll add here to keep in mind that it’s not just our soldiers who suffer from PTSD. I’d bet you’d be shocked to know how many of our Brothers and Sisters (Firefighters, EMS providers and Police Officers) suffer from and battle PTSD on a daily basis.
Special Thanks to a good friend and Brother Firefighter, Gary Allen Ridenour for sharing the links with me.
“Take the Step” and help raise PTSD awareness.
The first link below is from the Department of Veterans Affairs but they have a “public” section for you to visit.
And for the record, I’m feeling better today. I’m hoping for a long run of “good days”. Don’t let my postings or status updates worry ya. I’ve been sharing my story (and emotions) with you in hopes that someone out will realize (like I did) that they are not alone. Maybe someone out there will see my battles and realize that they too can fight. Several folks have told me that my postings on these topics have actually helped them in one way or another. For me, that makes it all worth it so I’ll keep writing about it when I can.
Hopefully I’ll kick this “writer’s block” in the butt as well. I’ve been wanting to get something up for ya but I just haven’t been able to focus here lately.
Of course my busy schedule doesn’t help matters much either. Hay season is here and that always occupies a lot of my time and adds to my stress level but I’ll figure all that out too (I’m tougher than I look …LOL). We had a very productive day in the fields on Saturday due to some GREAT help from family and friends. I just hope I didn’t over work em on the opening day of our season … we’ve got a lot more left to get up
So, until I get back to ya …. stay SAFE and in House!
LOL …. those are 3 basic things I try my best to avoid fooling with because you never know what’s going to happen!
I guess I should add natural gas to the list as well. I’ve always hated those “odor of gas” calls, especially when you can’t find the source. Well today, that wasn’t a problem.
First thing this morning, we were dispatched, single engine no doubt; for a truck that had hit a gas line. Something didn’t “feel” right so, while still en route; I requested a Ladder be added to the assignment.
We were more than a block away from the address when we ran into what seemed like a wall of gas. A truck working in an alley way had taken a commercial gas meter completely off a building and natural gas was free flowing through the 1 inch supply line.
What made it more interesting was the location. On one side of the alley is all commercial buildings. On the other side however is all residential.
A quick investigation found the meter completely broken off below the shut off and there was no cut off box in the alley or street side…. in other words … I couldn’t stop the flow! I established “command” and quickly upgraded to a full assignment.
My first assignment was directed toward evacuation. We evacuated an entire block (20+ adults, 4 children and 4 pets) before the gas company arrived and was able to plug the leak. Lines were laid, staging areas established, streets closed etc. We were VERY busy taking care of everything that needed taken care of.
Here’s the thing …. it all went as smooth as silk and I LOVE IT!!! I know it’s supposed to happen like that on every incident but we all know it usually doesn’t. This incident got big quick and covered a large area. It had all the potential to turn into a real cluster but it didn’t and that’s because of the companies assigned.
I don’t brag enough about the Battalion I work in. Rhett (FireCritic.com) and I don’t get to “publicize” or talk about the Department we work for because we (or our sites) are not endorsed or supported by our Department. It’s probably (and honestly) closer to the exact opposite of support and that’s a shame. As much as I’d like to be able to tell ya what a GREAT job our Department does on a daily basis, I can’t.
What I will say is what a GREAT job C-shift and the North Battalion of my Department does. Today’s incident would not have ran so smoothly without the well trained and disciplined Officers and members we have on shift. We could have very easily made Fire Geezer’s headlines today with another big “Ka Boom”. Thankfully, we didn’t. It’s always a good feeling when you leave a scene knowing that everything went exactly the way it should have. I had that feeling this morning and it’s all because of the 21 members assembled on scene (and our AWESOME dispatchers).
So, what I wanted to say is THANK YOU for a job well done to each and every member assigned to that incident this morning. Your professionalism and dedication to duty make our job much easier and it’s an honor to work beside you all.
Moving on … I hope everyone had a great Memorial weekend. I hope more so that you took the time to remember the reason why we have Memorial Day in the first place.
I took a moment to reflect on our fallen and what Memorial Day means to me.
I thought not only of our soldiers but also of the 343 murdered in the towers back in 2001. They too were on the “front lines” of the war on terror.
My thoughts also lingered on a family member taken too early. The picture to the left is in memory of my cousin, Chase Prasnicki who was Killed In Action on June 27, 2012 just 5 days after his deployment. I wrote about Chase and others in a 2012 post….
It was kind of a difficult and emotional day for me. Thoughts and memories of my brother Jackson weighed heavy on my mind and heart.
Being surrounded by family helped get me through the day. My youngest daughter, Reba; was working but my eldest, Randi-Jo; my wife Donna, the Buckaroo and Kevin all spent the day with me.
Like everything I do, it was quite the adventure. I came across a fairly big snapping turtle on my way home yesterday morning. I don’t know how he got where he was but I decided to give him a ride up to the house and introduce him to our little creek.
Of course the Buckaroo had to check him out first. I took some video of him trying to put the turtle back in the truck …. here it is …
LOL…. don’t worry. No turtles or the Buckaroo were harmed in the making of that video. The day got better.
After a little farm work, we all loaded up on the 4-wheelers (quads for those of you above the Mason-Dixon…lol) and headed to our fishing hole.
The Buckaroo was pulling em out right and left! Here’s another short video of that …
After some fishing, we took a nice ride on the mountain. It was very relaxing and just what I needed. If only it could have lasted longer!
Well, we start our 4 day break in the morning and Kevin and I will be starting our first cut of hay. As funny as it sounds, I’m a little excited about getting back to spending all day in the tractor. That too is a peaceful place for me…
I’ll try to keep ya updated on our progress as well as cover a few more topics that I’ve been wanting to visit. Until I get back, stay SAFE and in House!
“From the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation, “Charleston 9: The Ultimate Sacrifice”, looks at the dramatic changes made in the operations of South Carolina’s Charleston Fire Department following the deaths of nine firefighters on June 18, 2007. The video, produced by STATter911 Communications and Greg Guise Media, focuses on how the leadership of the late Chief Tom Carr helped the department recover after such a devastating loss”
I’ve gotten several comments, e-mails etc since attending the Harrisburg, Pa Fire Expo last weekend. Like all of the trips Rhett, Zach Green, the MN8 FoxFire Team and I take, this one’s success was well beyond expectations.
I hit some of the highlights of our Expo adventures in my latest post. Use the link below to read that article if you missed out on the details.
Most of the comments I received were “private” although lots of Brothers and Sisters we met “tagged” themselves in photos and left some great “public” comments. Several of the messages dealt with my visit to two neighboring companies … Colonial Park Fire Company (#33) and the Progress Fire Company (#32). Both were AWESOME visits!
To begin with, Lt Mike Rodkey of Colonial Park hit me up to invite us for dinner. We had never met prior to his invite.
After a few conversations and some scheduling, we arranged to meet them at the station for dinner on Friday evening after our first day on the Expo exhibit floor. I was exhausted.
My wife (Donna) had traveled with me to Harrisburg and accompanied me to Colonial Park. We felt welcome as soon as we got out of the truck.
This was obviously not my first invitation / visit to a firehouse. It was also not the first time I had been invited to share a meal with a Company of firefighters but each experience is as emotional as the first.
I can’t explain it but there’s “something” special that happens for me at these events. I don’t know why Brothers and Sisters across the Country choose to share these things with me but they do. It’s humbling.
One of the first things I noticed when we arrived was the crowd. There was a lot of people gathered but what stood out most was the number of wives and children …. FAMILY …. it was obvious to me that Colonial Park is a firehouse vs. “station.
Something as seemingly simple as the station tour can make an overwhelming impact on a first time visitor to a station (house). My tour was given by a young “live-in” member, “Cheech”. The PRIDE he displayed in showing me each and every little detail of the station was infectious. He knew and explained the history of things like their custom kitchen table, the run board, the photos on the wall displayed in custom diamond plate holders. Their Public Safety Education trailer and custom made “props”.
They have a “Trophy Room” near the front entrance of the station. Trophies and photos line the walls and the center piece is a early model rig used by Colonial Park. Sam Swartz conducted the tour of this room. Sam has been a volunteer at Colonial Park for over 50 years! That in itself says something about who Colonial Park is … about the type of Company they are.
While I was getting a tour of the house, others were cooking and setting the table. It wasn’t long before we all sat down to a fabulous meal…. TOGETHER. Sharing a meal (or “breaking bread” as we call it) is also something very personal. This wasn’t each person grabbing a plate and gulping the food down in which ever secluded place each chose. This was a group of firefighters … husbands, wives and children … a FAMILY sitting down to eat together, talking across, up and down the table and they had invited ME into their group.
I often hear people on the job talk about the mythical “Brotherhood” and how it either doesn’t exist or is fading. I couldn’t disagree more.
After our meal, we gathered for a few pictures and I had to say my “good-byes” for the evening. I got a little emotional while talking with them … I do that more and more here lately. You see, I explained to them that the Brotherhood is NOT dead. It’s alive and well in houses just like Colonial Park all across our Country. Sometimes, the members just have to slow down for a minute to see it. Sometimes, it takes someone like me, looking (coming) in from the “outside”; to point it out.
It can be overwhelming to see it working … the Brotherhood. To KNOW it still exists. It’s overwhelming to me because I need it. I need to KNOW it lives and that I’m a part of it …we CAN’T do this job alone. The Brotherhood is a big part of why I joined the Fire Service and I couldn’t stand seeing it gone.
The Brotherhood doesn’t have to be something big …. something tangible. The heart of Brotherhood is often found in the seemingly small things. TRADITION, PRIDE, HONOR and RESPECT is shown in a multitude of ways.
I also fielded several questions about the kilts Rhett and I often wear. And for those of you who don’t know, there is a difference between a man wearing a dress and a kilt …. I’m not sure you really want to know what that difference is though …LOL
Rhett and I currently have two kilts that we LOVE. One is Alt Kilt, the other a Bunker Kilt (click on the names for a link). Kilts are a huge part of Fire Service history here in the USA. Yea … kilts.
In the beginning of our Countries development, being a firefighter (or police officer) wasn’t a highly sought after job. In the big cities, these positions were often filled by Scottish and Irish immigrants. When these members died, their funerals were often traditional of their homeland …. kilts, bagpipes, drums etc.
We wear our kilts out of RESPECT and to HONOR those who came before us. So Brothers and Sisters (or whoever) will ask us why and we can share some of the history and TRADITION of our job. We wear them with PRIDE (plus … we look so damn good in em! LOL)
I get the same thing here at home or around the station. The odds are that if you drop by my house, or see a pic of me from the station; I’m wearing my bunker pants.
No, we are NOT as busy as a Rescue Company in FDNY but I EXPECT to be! The first time our rig rolls out the door (on a run, for training, to the grocery store etc) I have em on. You’ll hardly ever catch me on the rig without them on.
I EXPECT fire. I also wear my seat belt … ALL THE TIME. I don’t want to be out on the road and catch a run without being ready. I can’t undo my belt and stand up to get dressed while responding. I don’t want to roll into a “job” and jump out of the rig to get dressed in the street. I can however slide on my coat and SCBA on with the seat belt secured…. that’s why I wear my bunkers. I’m ready to work.
I don’t get what the big deal with our kilts and bunker pants is. If I wore a baker’s apron and chef hat I could understand it. We are FIREFIGHTERS … it’s what we wear and what we do!
Anyway, I’m back on duty tomorrow but will catch up with ya again as soon as possible. Until then, stay SAFE and in House!
I just returned from the Fire Expo in Harrisburg, Pa. It was another GREAT trip, full of BROTHERHOOD but not without it’s ups and downs. It was almost like a roller coaster ride … let me try to explain.
To begin with, although Harrisburg is a show Rhett and I have been wanting to attend for some time now, it was not on our schedule this year. As it turned out, Zach Green and our MN8 Fox Fire team really needed us so we began scrambling. I was able to work it out but Rhett wasn’t. Once again this year, I would be traveling without him.
The good news was that my wife was able to take some time off so she could go in his place. Donna has never traveled with us (or me) to one of these shows before so I was excited to get to show her what they are like and everything we do.
Donna and I loaded up the “Blog Mobile” and pointed her North….. we wouldn’t make it far though. About 15 miles into the trip, I stopped at the only stop light we would encounter between the house and Harrisburg. When I stopped, smoke was visible from under the hood, right at the windshield.
She says to me (as if I haven’t noticed it) … “I think the van is over heating”. My reply was simple… “nope”.
“We’re never gonna make it …. this thing is over heating already …. I’m telling ya” she says.
As the light turns green, I tell her … “Honey … it’s NOT over heating … IT’S ON FIRE”. You should have seen the look on her face…LOL. I pulled into the store parking lot just through the light and we get out. I popped the hood and she was rolling. Donna was about to panic and asked me “what are we going to do?”.
Calmly, I told her “calm down … I’m a fireman … look in the cooler and get me a beer” (I had a cooler packed for Expo). Then, her panic turned to anger …. “You’re NOT going to stand here and drink a beer while this van burns up!” LMAO. I didn’t pack or have any water (or an extinguisher) …. I need SOMETHING to put this thing out I quickly explained. Get me a beer and start emptying our luggage.
So there I am …. shaking and opening beers to extinguish the fire. You can imaging the look on Captain Week’s face as Roanoke County’s Wagon 10 rolled in!
Turns out, that while sitting in the driveway since FDIC; a bird had decided to use the engine compartment as a place for nesting. It was turning out to be a GREAT start of our trip!
We arranged for a tow truck and switched vehicles to get back on the road. We were running beside a gasoline tanker as it blew a trailer tire and sat for hours in bumper to bumper stopped traffic due to a crash just south of Harrisburg but we eventually made it to our hotel.
The next morning, the MN8 FoxFire Team would assemble on the exhibit hall floor for the first of three busy days.
Once again, we had Andrew Arnold and the Box Alarm LeatherTeam in the booth so it was almost like we were twice as busy.
Box Alarm and MN8 FoxFire have teamed up to deliver yet another GREAT product! With Box Alarm’s quality work (and a LIFETIME GAURANTEE), using 8-10 oz bridle leather (tanned in the USA), 3M’s flame resistant reflective fabric combined with MN8′s advanced illumination technology, these two “by firefighters, for firefighters” companies have delivered one of the best radio strap combination packages on the market! We debuted them at FDIC and SOLD OUT! They were just as popular in Harrisburg. To learn more about this new product, CLICK HERE or HERE.
I’m always VERY busy giving demos while in the booth but I also get to spend a few minutes talking with hundreds of Brother and Sister firefighters. I think that’s one of the things I like the most about working these shows … meeting and making new friends within the Fire Service.
After the show on Friday, I did just that … met and made some GREAT new friends.
Donna and I got to spend the evening and share a meal with the Brothers and Sisters of Colonial Park Fire Company.
I have to tell ya …. these Brothers and Sisters “get it”.
When Lt. Mike Rodkey invited us out, I wasn’t sure if we could pull it off. When “on the road” we (the MN8 FoxFire Team) usually travel as a team and it’s difficult to drop in and visit a company with a crew of 8-10. On top of that, we had about 4 separate invitations / obligations for that evening and we were already worn out from the long days work in the booth. All things considered, Zach and I decided to split the team and try to cover as many obligations as possible. I was glad I made it to Colonial Park!
My visit started off with a tour of their house and rigs. “Cheech”, a Colonial Park “live-in” member; rolled out the red carpet. You could see the PRIDE in the company and it’s members as he showed me every little detail. Everything was neat, clean and in order …. another example of PRIDE.
I also got to meet and talk with Sam Swartz.
Sam is like the 2nd or 3rd most ACTIVE Senior member of the Colonial Park Fire Company with 50 YEARS OF SERVICE!
Sam showed me around their trophy / display room where they housed one of their earlier pieces along with numerous trophies, photos etc.
He also shared some of their HISTORY and TRADITION with me. I could have listened to his stories all week! IT WAS AN HONOR meeting him and having the opportunity to hear his stories!
After the tour, it was time to eat and just like everything else I had seen from Colonial Park, they went all out.
London Broil on the grill …… and I mean MELT IN YOUR MOUTH London Broil!
There’s something very humbling to me to get to sit down at a table with a group of firefighters and their wives, husbands and family and share a meal. A meal that they paid for out of their pockets and yet decided to share with me. It’s humbling because I know the sacrifices they’ve made to be able to do this. I’ve shared in it. It’s like we’ve known each other all along even though we’ve never met. It’s BROTHERHOOD.
We took a few photos and I got the opportunity to shake each of their hands and thank them before Donna and I had to head out to our next meeting. I would like to say to them once again … THANK YOU!
Eventually, we made it back to our hotel room for a few hours sleep. Before we knew it, we were back on the floor at Expo. The 2nd day was as busy as the first. Once again I got to meet several GREAT Brothers and Sisters during and between my demos.
After Saturday’s show, we were off to the “Progress Bash”. Although it wasn’t a F.O.O.L.S Bash, it was very much like one.
This Bash was hosted by the Progress Fire Company … just down the road from Colonial Park.
These Brothers and Sisters know how to throw a party!
The place was PACKED and we had a BLAST!!
I wasn’t the only one wearing a kilt (BunkerKilt.com) but I was shocked to see that I was the only one wearing my helmet (Phenix Helmets) . I do have to admit that I wasn’t the best looking one there in a kilt. I can say that for certain because the Girls of Fire House Dolls were also on hand. We took a few pictures together and I even got to review their 2014 calendar … TRUST me … use the link I provided and look them up … yo’r gonna LOVE the new calendar!
Stan Jaworski was also on hand with his camera. Stan is well known for his photos and I’m personally a big fan. Check out some of his pictures from the 2013 Progress Bash HERE and find him on Face Book HERE .
There were also some Pipes and Drums in attendance. I never caught their name nor learned if they were like a “renegade” bunch or not but either way, they did a very nice job! Here’s some video…
So it was another late night to bed and an early rise for day #3 of Expo. Again we were shocked at just how busy we remained. Just like days 1 and 2, we got to meet so many dedicated Brothers and Sisters.
We also had a very special guest salesman in the booth.
Word got out to 14 year old Ian Swarr that our Team was a little overwhelmed at our first Harrisburg Expo so he came to the Rescue.
Zach and the crew actually got to have dinner with Ian the night before and I thankfully were able to convince him into helping out on Sunday.
Ian is a true inspiration and I’m honored to call him my friend. He even took Donna around the Expo floor to introduce her to all his friends and “show her the ropes”
I’m not sure exactly what they did but they both returned with a sack full of swag and smiles on their faces …lol. If you want to talk about “heart” and meet a GREAT young man… look no further.
There’s NO WAY I can mention everyone I got to see and spend some time with this weekend. I won’t even try because I know I will leave someone out. There are a few however that I want to give a “shout out” to and I think I know a way to encompass the rest.
Once again, we got to spend some time with the guys from Fire Cam. These guys are AWESOME (even Dave Statter hangs out in their booth). Rob Schield and Cris Burch are another example of guys who “get it”. If you’re not familiar with Fire Cam and their products, YOU SHOULD BE.
This is the ONLY Fire Helmet Camera designed by Firefighters. You can learn more and find them on the web by CLICKING HERE . Also find them on Face Book HERE.
Another name I want to drop is Clayton Murphy of Crosstitched. Clayton was also set up at Harrisburg and spent some time with us. For those of you who don’t know, Crosstitched is the designer and supplier of the IronFiremen / Fire Critic “Hey Brother” shirts. Crosstitched is another Firefighter owned company that needs (and deserves) our support. Clayton is a SUPER guys and ALL of his designs ROCK! Wait until you order some of his shirts … as soon as you see the box he ships in, you’ll know he’s a class act! He also does CUSTOM shirts !
Visit their Web site HERE or find them on Face Book HERE
I apologize for not listing everyone I met and spent time with. It is also nearly impossible to include all the pictures we took. I did put together a small photo album on Face Book. Take a look and feel free to TAG YOURSELF if included in one of the shots. Also, please share and / or tag me if you have a photo of us from Expo. Use the link below to view the album …
I have a few more stories to share with from Expo but I’ll catch them in a later post. There have been a couple LODD’s over the weekend and storms are tearing through the several states leaving huge paths of destruction and several dead. Please keep all those affected including the Brothers and Sisters responding to these incidents in your thoughts and prayers.
First off, let me say thank you for the continued support. My last post, “You can’t teach Heart” was very well received and I appreciate it . It’s nice to know that I still have a few readers / followers out there.
I do need to clarify one thing though. I’ve received several e-mails, phone calls, messages etc following that post saying how good it is to have the “old” Captain Wines “back”. They say they are glad I’m past (or over) my grieving etc….and that couldn’t be farther from the truth.
I know I took you folks to some “dark” places over the last 4 months but I felt compelled to do so. I shared with you some of my thoughts’ feeling and lessons learned following my brother’s death by suicide. I tried to be as honest and open as possible.
Just because I’m a little more visible and posting on a more regular basis doesn’t mean I’m “past” or “over” anything. I NEVER will be. There’s a hole in my heart that will never be filled.
There’s not an hour that goes by that I don’t think of Jackson. The reminders are EVERYWHERE and I can’t hide or run from them. I’m slowly learning to embrace them but it’s hard.
I’m fighting depression every minute I’m awake and I still grieve his death. It’s getting better but, it’s been an uphill struggle. I never knew or understood what a horrible illness / disease depression was (is) before the events of December 30th.
I haven’t told ya in a while so I’ll remind you now that we are ALL “climbing”. We are ALL fighting demons of one sort or another. I’ll also remind you that we are NOT alone … there ARE folks out there who know and understand what we are going through and they stand ready to help us through whatever challenges we face.
If you’re like me and need someone to talk to or lean on, PLEASE try one of the links below …. there’s no shame in it. It’s working for me and it can for you too …
Ok ….lets move on. So around where I work, it’s promotional testing time. That equates to “silly season” for me!
I call it that because everything required to participate in the process and because of all the “jockeying for position” that’s already started.
We will be testing for Lieutenant, 1st Lieutenant, Captain, and Battalion Chief. There will also be a Deputy Chief of Operations appointed due to an upcoming retirement. As far as the other positions, we don’t even know how many are open yet (around here, it all depends on who’s counting).
Promotional testing can be one of the most stressful events of a firefighter’s career. Usually, there’s a huge reading list, hours upon hours of study (additional times away from family), the testing process itself and then the waiting game.
We have a written test to narrow the field of candidates (Lieutenant-Captain) followed by a practical portion. For the Lt. candidates, the practicals are made up of a 10 minute presentation (on the same subject / topic which is announced following the written test), a driving course / evaluation, a pumping evolution and an IMS / Fire scenario.
The 1st Lt., Captain and Battalion candidates will also face a fire / IMS scenario, a “problem employee” situation and a presentation. Battalion Chief candidates will work an “in basket” scenario instead of the presentation. Again …. all very stressful.
Rhett actually took his written test on Wednesday. He take the practicals next week. Being that he is already a Lieutenant, he has the option to test for 1st Lt and / or Captain. He is testing for both.
GOOD LUCK to all of our candidates (at every level). As a Company Officer, I hope you’ll remember to take can of your members. If you do, you’ll have a long and enjoyable career. If you don’t …. LMAO … well lets just say that they can make you life hell.
That brings me to recruitment. I HATE that word. I guess it’s not so much the word as it is how many Departments go about it (“recruitment”). They’re doing it WRONG!!
I’ve always said that if someone has to come out looking for you, and then try to convince you that “this” is what you want to do or who you want to work for … THEN I DON’T WANT YOU. We’re FIREFIGHTERS ….. we deal with lives not files, folders or boxes!
I hear of Departments complaining about a lowered number of applicants all the time. They look at all these “outside” reasons in search for a reason /solution and always miss the issues core.
To me, it’s an internal issue. An issue within that Department. In my opinion, it shows a lack of (or poor) leadership / management (or something along those lines). Either way, I’d bet that the members of that Department are NOT happy. That’s sad because our MEMBERS are our best recruiters and it’s so easy to keep firefighters happy!
Think about it. When the members are happy, they reflect a positive image of their Department. When they’re out in the community and someone asks them about “what they do” or where / who they work for, a happy employee is eager to share that information and does so in a positive manner.
On the other hand, an unhappy or disgruntled employee’s response will most likely be “you don’t want to work here”…. OUR MEMBERS ARE OUR BEST RECRUITERS!
My good friend and Brother Tiger Schmittendorf is one of (if not “the”) our Nation’s top fire recruiters. He’s pictured on the far left in the photo above left (with Me, Rhett and Dave Statter). Tiger runs several web sites worth visiting and if you’re having recruitment issues / problems then he’s the man you want to see.
Despite having to drive 8 hours in the pouring rain, we made it home safely. I hope everyone else did as well.
I’m worn out … mentally and physically. Spent some time with the Buckaroo and my beautiful bride before heading out to the hot tub for a little “unwind” time while thinking over everything we experienced this week.
Can you tell by the pic? You can take the fireman out of FDIC but you can’t take FDIC out of the fireman! LOL
What I mean by that is FDIC is so huge and all encompassing that there’s no way you can attend and not come away with something. A full week of training and Brotherhood shared by the absolute BEST in our business! I’ll share with ya a little of what I experienced and brought home …
Unfortunately, Rhett and I did not attend any of the training this year. Our schedule simply wouldn’t allow it.
This year, we represented 2 GREAT companies and friends of the Fire Service while working their booths on the exhibit floor.
Black Diamond Boots asked us to be in their booth this year and we couldn’t have been more pleased. Rhett and I are both big fans of Black Diamond and the X2 Boot. We wear them in our gear and have for years.
That’s what makes it easy for us to be in a booth like Black Diamonds (that and the “Booth Babes”) …. it’s a great product and we use it daily. We believe in it and can talk to potential buyers in an up front and honest manner.
When we’re standing there selling these boots, we are WEARING them. We wear them ALL DAY LONG … 3 days in a row! We work in them, we climb in them. We can do this because they are a great boot …. they fit well and they’re comfortable.
Would you trust a fire boot salesman wearing Nike tennis shoes? I didn’t think so. Anyway, we got to meet a lot of great Brothers and Sisters shopping for boots. We (Black Diamond) even gave a pair away each day. Thanks to everyone who stopped by to try on a pair. It was GREAT meeting you all. We know you’re gonna love this boot so be sure to visit their web site or find them on Face Book to locate your local dealer.
We only spent 4 hours with Black Diamond. The rest of our time on the floor was spent with Zach Green in the MN8 FoxFire booth.
Rhett and I have been part of the FoxFire Family for several years now. We’re a natural fit!
It’s another product that we use every day on the job. It’s a product geared toward firefighter safety and accountability …. AND IT WORKS!
By firefighters for firefighters … who understands us better?
This year was VERY exciting for Zach and our team as we unveiled several NEW PRODUCTS at the show. One of those products is a SCBA Identifier Tag. Another GREAT “Illuminating” product to aid us in visibility and accountability.
We also had our good friends from Box Alarm Leather in the booth to help promote our Illuminating Radio Straps.
That’s right …. made right here in the USA by Box Alarm Leather, they come with a lifetime warranty and THEY GLOW!
Rhett and I have been big fans of Box Alarm for years as well. GREAT quality with quick and reliable service. They are the company who made our custom fronts as well.
You can purchase the Radio Strap, a universal radio case and anti-sway strap as a complete kit or purchase them separately (they ALL “Illuminate”!!!). Be sure to visit these links to learn more and order yours today!
It’s a GREAT event! “Over the past ten years, Stop, Drop, Rock ‘n’ Roll has played an important part in helping us honor America’s fallen firefighters. It is a chance for firefighters to give back to the fire service and have fun at the same time. Through a small donation at the door you have all helped the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation honor and support the families of firefighters who have died in the line of duty.”
This years entertainment was none other than Darryl Worley and he did ONE HELL OF A JOB!
He played acoustic and sounded GREAT and even took the time to sign autographs and pose for pictures afterwards. He ended the show with one of his hits, “Have you forgotten?”
The only thing better than listening to Darryl sing was getting to dance to his music with the CEO of Phenix Helmets, Nicole Clesceri ! I’m not sure of the final numbers but I think the auction went ok as well this year. I do know that everyone in attendance had a good time and we can only hope we raised a LOT of money for the NFFF and our surviving families.
Another event we attended was the Fire Rescue, Fire / EMS Blog Network and Firefighter Nation “Meet Up”.
For those of you who don’t know, Rhett, Dave Statter and I (along with SEVERAL others) have our sites hosted by the Fire / EMS Blog Network. The Network is FULL of many great writers providing us all with a variety of resources related to the job.
Fire Rescue Magazine Editor in Chief, Tim Sendelbach recognized several of our writers for their contributions this year. I was honored to have been one of those recognized. It was totally unexpected … I was humbled and HONORED.
Afterwards, we headed over to dinner with our MN8 FoxFire family.
Every year at FDIC, Zach treats the team to dinner on Friday night.
It amazed me to think back over the past few years and realize just how much (and quickly) our team / family has grown.
Speaking of renting out an entire Building …. later that evening, Rhett and I also hosted our very own “Meet-Up” at the Hard Rock Cafe and it too was a HUGE success!
WOW! There were 100-150 people who came out to share a few drinks and some Brotherhood with us. We have always wanted to do something like this but for one reason or another haven’t been able to pull it off.
For me, beyond the attendance; there were several highlights of the evening. The first, was a special presentation made to me by Erin and Stephen Foster of Ayden’s Gifts .
“Our missions are to bring handmade memorials to those who are grieving the loss of their loved ones. Our goal is to paint something for you to cherish for years to come! Whether it is a plate, mug or figurine!”
This presentation was totally unexpected and caught me off guard. HONORED and HUMBLED doesn’t even begin to define what (or how) I felt. I’ve spoken here on the site many times of late about showing and sharing emotions (despite the outer appearance of being “tough” firefighters) …. Erin and Stephen brought me to tears that night and it happened in front of a huge crowd.
Im still not quite sure what to say.
The quote above is from their site and as far as I’m concerned, they have succeeded in accomplishing their mission! Just look at the detail here.
It’s in Carolina Blue … Jackson’s favorite team / color. It has the Carolina logo. The foot, to me; symbolizes all the “foot prints” Jackson left in my life and on my heart. The quote on the outer rim is from an Allison Krauss song that I posted about just a few weeks back in a post called “Positional Awareness … Where the Hell am I ??” .
PLEASE …. take the time to check out their site. Read the story of why they do what they do and look at some of their art work. Be sure to like and follow them as well.
Another highlight for the night was having FDNY’s Rescue 2 member Rob Wiedmann stop by.
You may remember Rob (and Firefighter Gersbeck) was seriously burned in a December 19, 2011 Crown Heights fire in Brooklyn, Ny. It was an unimaginable event that was caught on video. Dave Statter still has it up over on Statter911.com CLICK HERE for the video .
Rhett, Zach(MN8 FoxFire) and I teamed up to collect money for Rescue 2′s MayDay Fund which supported the families of Rob and James. Our reader support for the fund raiser was nothing short of amazing AMAZING and we soon hand delivered a check to Captain Flaherty and the members of rescue 2.
Rob actually dropped by our booth on the exhibit floor of FDIC. We said he simply wanted to stop by to say hello and thanks us once again for our efforts following his injury.
He also wanted to assure his gratitude was passed along to all of you who gave support (including thoughts, prayers etc).
Rob is a GREAT guy who for me, defines the meaning of HEART. I have a saying I use often … “You can’t teach heart” and Rob is a prime example.
His training and instinct played a huge role in getting him out of that building BUT … it was also “HEART”. Heart has kept him going throughout his healing process (28 months now with more surgeries scheduled). Heart drives him to continue to get out and promote the Fire Service and our Brotherhood. I’ll have more on “Heart” in an upcoming post ….
Rob was there with a few Brothers from Sons of the Flag Burn Foundation , Ryan “Birdman” Parrott, Zane, and Nathan.
You’re going to start hearing a lot about these guys and their efforts here on Ironfiremen.com in the future. We asked Ryan (the group’s founder) to say a few words at the Meet-Up and then we passed my boot around for their cause. We raised $730.00 in about 10 minutes! Be sure to check out the links below to learn more about these guys …
Again I’ll add that what really “made” the meet-up was everyone who attended. We got (and continue to get) so many comments about how much we (Rhett and I) are doing for the Brotherhood. I explained to several of the folks there that night …. we didn’t do anything. We rented a room and bought some beer. YOU GUYS … you Brothers and Sisters are the ones who showed up. You’re the ones who sacrificed your time and made the decision to attend. YOU are the the ones who “made” the event …. THAT Brothers and Sisters was the display of Brotherhood that night! Thanks again for attending!
Rhett did a little “name dropping” and shared his views on our Meet-Up and FDIC in general over on the Fire Critic. He also has links to some great pictures … read that post in the link below
There is so much more I want to share about our Meet-Up but I think I’m going to work it into one of my next posts. All in all, FDIC was a huge success for us and we can’t wait until our next event.
Thanks to EVERYONE who took the time to come up and speak to us. Be sure to follow us on Face Book to find more pictures and info on FDIC and more! Be sure to keep check back and THANKS for following …
Support has really been building for our Brothers and Sisters in and around the town of West, Texas following last week’s devastating and fatal blast.
The National Fallen Firefighter’s Foundation has set up a special, National fund for the survivors.
“In light of the tragic event in West, Texas on Wednesday and in cooperation with local support efforts, the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation has established a national fund to accept monetary donations to assist the survivors and coworkers of the fire and EMS personnel who died in the line of duty”.
Tim made our local news tonight due to his efforts to assist the West, Texas Fire Department.
Chief Smith left Virginia this morning at 09:00 am. They will be traveling down I-85 to Atlanta Georgia and then following I-20 into Texas.
They will be making as many stops as possible along the way to collect donations for West Texas.
They are accepting any and all donations … money, supplies, equipment etc.
If you, your Department or business would like to host Tim and his crew or have them stop at your location to pick up a donation, you can contact them through the Climax VFD site HERE(their itinerary is also listed on that site) .
There is also a Memorial Service planned for this Thursday (April 25th) in Waco Texas. Rhett has all the details over on Fire Critic (I’ll include the link) and if they get a live stream out, we will do our best to have it up on both of our sites for those unable to attend in person.
Once again I have a lot of catching up to do but this time, it’s not entirely my fault. The server for our network has been up and down over the past several days so we haven’t been able to get a post up. Hopefully, the situation is corrected now and we can get back to business as normal.
So, to catch ya up … it’s been a long week.
We worked the Thursday, Saturday, Monday cycle this week (24hr tours).
Goerge (my Lt) is off on vacation and Boots is still out on sick leave (he’s recovering well). That left just me and our newest member, Jerry Thompson at the station. Instead of calling in OT for the entire shift, the Company was placed out of service and Jerry and I detailed out to fill other vacancies for the day.
Jerry went to “The Green House” … aka Station #3 and I went down to Station #5 and rode the Ladder.
Yea… an Engine Captain on a Ladder. Well, around here; you never know what you may end up doing. I’ve explained it a few times here on the site that due to our staffing etc. an Engine Company can easily be assigned “Truck work” and vice versa.
I’ve also talked about having been assigned to a Ladder a couple times during my career. The truth of the matter is … I LOVE truck work! Especially now that 2 of our Trucks have the added responsibility of performing vehicle extrication for the City (Ladder 5 being one of them).
It was a good day with the Brothers and Sisters at Station #5. That evening, I got an over time man and put Lucky #13 back into service.
Turned out our OT man was none other than Captain Chris Trussler from down at “The Deuce” on B-shift.
Captain Trussler and I go way back….way … way … WAY back actually.
I call him “Lucky”. 1.) Because he’s got a little leprechaun in him and 2.) Because he’s so damn “lucky”.
We were both assigned to Ladder #2 as Privates back in the day (on different shifts). Like many Crusty Old Jakes, there are hundreds of stories involving / surrounding Captain Trussler. I was even involved in a few of em.
I always remember the one about a working fire in the projects near the station. There were reports of people trapped on the second floor and “Lucky” was assigned the search. The Brothers are going to work and here comes Trussler falling /rolling down the interior steps and out the front door. He had a victim. A 350 pound lady wearing her nightgown and a pair of gorilla slippers. They end up in the front yard with the lady on top of him. So a couple of the boys run over to make sure he’s still alive and he tells them … “I got the little one, her sister is still up there!” … LMAO!
Lucky’s a “Good Jake” and we had a BLAST reminiscing over old stories. He’ll be testing for Battalion Chief in the next few weeks and I hope he does well …. I’ll work for him ANY day.
Our middle day turned out MUCH busier. Instead of overtime, they transferred a man from the South Side. Keith Snead from Station #1-A was trading time with a C-shift Brother and drew the short straw. He hadn’t been here 10 minutes before we caught a working fire. Nothing says thanks for working on a beautiful Saturday morning like catching work at 07:30am. Unfortunately, the runs kept coming all day long. The saddest incident we ran was a vehicle fire. Nothing breaks your heart like rolling in on a 1967 Camaro that’s on fire. Here’s some video ….
The car was obviously custom. A good training point from this video … something to keep in your mind is just how custom it was. Even the engine was customized…. so much so that it had Nitrous aka Nitrous Oxide system. Yea …NOS… a 20lb bottle mounted beside the driver’s seat! Good thing Snead got a good knock on the fire.
I’ll let ya know how our Monday tour goes a little later but until then, I have plenty more to share.
To begin with … set your clocks, DVRs, VCR’s and whatever else you have. The Fire Critic, Rhett Fleitz; and I will be on Prime Time TV Sunday night at 7pm (April 28th)! That’s right … Rhett and I will appear on MSNBC’s 100th Episode of “Extreme Caught on Camera”. Check your local listings and be sure to check us out! Here’s the trailer …..
It should be pretty evident that I’ve taken some time off … a lot of time actually.
I wasn’t sure how long I’d be away … I wasn’t even sure if I’d come back at all.
When I say “away”, I’m speaking mostly of my social media presence … posting here on Ironfiremen.com and staying active on my Face Book pages. I even though about going away physically … packing up and moving. I just wanted to get away … to forget and leave the events of the last 3 months behind me. To start over somewhere new. It wouldn’t have worked and I knew it.
Looking back, I think I was just trying to avoid those awkward situations. Most people didn’t know what to say to me or how to say it. Many that tried would often say the wrong thing. Here’s some helpful hints …
Yes, I’m still grieving but, slowly and surely I’m climbing my way out of this hole.
It’s the “power of people”. You guys haven’t left my side. Even though I haven’t responded, the e-mails, letters, phone calls and messages keep coming in. You’ve stood by me with sympathy and support like I’ve never experienced. People like Peggy Sweeney (The Sweeney Alliance) and Shannon Pennington (Firefighter Veteran) have picked me up on a daily basis.
In the last two weeks, I’ve seen some daylight. I’ve been getting out and around other people some and it’s helping. I’ll share some of those events with ya in this post …
It started with 2 days of teaching our recruit Class #16.
I taught Fire Behavior and Control along with Salem Senior Firefighter / Medic Chris Smith aka.. “Smitty”.
That happened just at the time my wife had a lump removed from behind her breast (surgery went well … results are back and was not cancer). My mind really wasn’t focused on firefighting but it proved to be a welcome and needed “distraction”.
I seen a lot of potential in this group of recruits but it’s still early in their training and that have a way to go yet. They were attentive and seemed eager to learn. They asked several great questions and I think (hope) they all learned something over the 2 days I got to spend with them. They are lucky to have the caliber of instructors they have scheduled for their academy. I reminded them that THEY asked to be here. I hope they WANT to. They were given the opportunity and now it’s up to them to prove they belong. It’s up to them to EARN that position … nobody will “give” it to them. It takes dedication and heart and we can’t teach either of them! Good luck to Recruit Class #16.
All the teams are non-profit and play for various charities local to their perspective cities.
The Rampage won by a score of 20-2 and moved to 2-0 in their division. Their complete schedule can be found in the links above. Be sure to also check out the NPSFL site to find the team nearest you and lend your support. The next two game for the Rampage are away games but I’m hoping to attend at least one of them. Follow the Rampage on Face Book … click HERE !
We did a little pre-game tailgating for this one.
Of course we did it “Ironfiremen.com” style and set the camper up.
Several folks made it by to share in the food, beverages and Brotherhood.
We even had a celebrity hang out for the day. Team Hunter was on hand and in full force. The Buckaroo and Hunter had as much fun (if not more) than most of the adults. If you’re not familiar with Team Hunter, check them out on Face Book by clicking HERE or the link above. Hunter’s a GREAT kid and your support has made (and continues to make) a difference in his life. Be sure to “Like” his page and send in a photo …. it really makes his day.
It was a great time and I really enjoyed seeing and talking to everyone who stopped by. Hunter’s dad, Baron; took hundreds of photos and I’ll try to get a few up on my Face Book page later on.
Andrew is a good friend and a Brother Firefighter from Kingsport Tenn. Andrew was one of the guys who went with me and Rhett to FDIC last year. Andrew is one the guys who “gets it”. He’s very active in many aspects of the fire service and he’s making a positive impression on many of the people he’s reaching.
Beyond his Blog (linked above) and many other things, he is also very active with the National Firefighter’s Endowment. If you noticed the job shirt I was wearing in the second picture of this post, it’s from the NFE and Andrew was very instrumental in their development. Learn more about Andrew by clicking HERE and return the support by following his blog “The Model City Firefighter”. You can find / follow him on Face Book by clicking HERE .
Andrew and his family (Rachel and Issac) made a trip up to Roanoke to see the sites and check in on me and Rhett. I always tease Andrew by calling Rachel his “sister”…. I tell him there’s no other way a gal that pretty would hang out with him …. LOL.
He knows I’m just kidding but Rachel actually believed I though she was his sister for a while …LMAO.
Well, she’s prettier in person and Issac and me hit it off from minute one!
We had a GREAT visit. We hung out at station #13 for a while before heading down to Historic Station #1 and our Fallen Firefighter Memorial.
Later that evening, they visited the Mill Mountain Zoo / overlook before heading to Blacksburg for dinner with Andrew’s brother. I think and hope they had a good visit … I know I enjoyed it. You’ll be seeing more of Andrew soon as he will once again be traveling with us to FDIC in a few weeks.
Another good friend and Brother Firefighter stopped in later that evening as well.
Nate Camfiordtook the time out of his busy schedule to check in on me. You guys may know Nate from his AWESOME photography. He was the one behind the camera for our Ironfiremen / Fire Critic.com “Hey Brother” tee-shirt promotion. He’s also the Brother who started the “Boot” campaign in my healing process as well as many other projects including Team Hunter.
Nate will become even more well know and famous following FDIC this year as one of his photos will be on the cover of one of PennWell’s latest publications (more on this in a future post).
It was another great visit with many laughs shared. Be sure to click his name above as I linked it to his Face Book page … you’ll LOVE his photos!
Most recently, I’ve spent some time camping with friends. I’m ruined! LOL
On Friday, Kevin and I pulled the Buckaroo out of school early and headed to Claytor Lake to set up.
Later that day, Roanoke County Firefighter Brandon Sheppard (and his family) along with Radford Fire Department’s Henry Barnett (and his family) joined our group.
It was a GREAT weekend and very relaxing!!
Lazy days spent watching the Buckaroo and Hunter play while just taking it easy and enjoying where we were.
Walks through the woods …. to the lake, play ground and beach.
There’s just “something” about getting out and camping that’s refreshing.
Everything seems “better” when you’re camping.
Even the food. Yea …. that’s Brandon Sheppard cooking breakfast!
We’re going to be doing a LOT more camping this year… a LOT LOT more. Even if we just set up by the creek on the farm, we’re gonna be camping somewhere.
Of course it’s not all about “getting away” either.
Sometimes, as it was at Claytor Lake this weekend; it’s good to be around other people.
I still have my long johns on yet their were people laying out on the beach! Now that’s the kind of people I like to be around … the ones wearing bikinis! LMAO
If you have a camper or tent and want to join (or invite) us for a camping trip, just hit me up. We’ll be somewhere pretty much every weekend and would love the company. You’ll have a BLAST!
So, thanks to EVERYONE for the continued support. It feels good to be getting out again and you’ll be seeing a lot more of me from this point on. Rhett and I have FDIC coming up in two weeks and I have a ton of other stuff to share as well. Keep checking back here and following on Face Book for all the details.
I’m gonna try getting out again for a little while. I’ll be heading North to attend the Long Island Fire, Rescue and EMS Mega Showon Feb 23rd and 24th. I think it will make for the perfect “distraction” from everything else going on in my life.
I’ll be up there with my MN8 FoxFire family working the booth. I’m not sure what our booth “number” is but we’re never hard to find. We’re the guys with the “glow in the dark” stuff and there’s usually a huge crowd gathered around …. look for us and stop by to say hello if you’re at the show.
I feel like it’s going to be a good trip…. I know it’s a much needed one for me.
As far as the show / booth goes, we’re bringing some new products with us…. our newest actually.
MN8 FoxFire has started making 1 x 3 inch helmet “bars” (as opposed to tetrahedrons) for those of you not wearing a leather helmet (of course we’ll have plenty of our tetrahedrons available as well).
In true firefighter fashion, the bars have proven to be useful in other applications as well …. be sure to drop by and check em out…. I know you’ll love em!
We’ll have all of our other great products on hand as well …. Helmet Bands, Equipment bands, Grip Wrap, Epoxy, Tee-shirts, hats etc. and I’ll be on hand to give ya a personal demo. If you’re not familiar with our Products, visit our Web Site HEREor find and follow us on Face Book HERE .
We’re also going to have a special guest / visitor in the booth with us this weekend. My little sister, Marci; is gonna make the ride up with me !
EASY fellas…. EASY. Like I said … she’s my SISTER.
I’m not gonna call her a “booth babe” but she will be hanging out at the show with us. Be sure to to say hello and give her a chance to tell ya how awesome she thinks our product and the entire MN8 FoxFire team is.
We’ll be leaving out first thing in the morning (Thursday) and arriving in Long Island sometime late evening.
Our travel route will take us straight up I-81 from Roanoke to I-78 to I95 and the Lincoln Tunnel (most likely). If you’re on the way and wouldn’t mind a visit, just let me know … we LOVE stopping by and visiting Firehouses when we travel (who knows, you may even make the pages of Ironfiremen.com). Marci and I both will be checking and updating Face Book as we travel so hit us up if you want us to drop by and / or meet up.
We’ll be staying at the Sheratonon Motor Parkway in Hauppauge, Long Island. We’ll be looking for something to “get into” so if you’re close by or have any good suggestions, let us know. I know we’ll head into the City on Friday sometime (or maybe just one evening) but we’re flexable.
I think this trip will be just what I need to get back in the swing of things.
It’s gonna feel good to be back in New York, in my kilt and working. I’m excited! Hell, just being able to wear my kilt will make the trip worth while (of course I’ll wear my kilt ANYWHERE).
Wearing it around the farm draws too much attention (it distracts the cows …LOL). I had the chance to slide back into it down in Florida for 2013 Fire / Rescue East but I really wasn’t “there” yet. This trip feels more “normal” … like it should be.
The only thing that will be missing on this trip will be my “little buddy” …. the “Buckaroo #2″ … aka Rhett Fleitz (The Fire Critic). Yea …. once again, Rhett will be unable to make the trip. He’s afraid the hotels gym wont meet his needs / specs.
I’ve nicknamed him “WTA” (While Tony Atlas).
You see, Rhett’s been on a STRICT diet and workout program lately …. he’s “bulking up”.
He’s been drinking all the “muscle juice” he can find. Eating egg whites laid by a hen with only 3 tail feathers who sits on her nest facing east.
For lunch, the leaf of lettuce in his salads was grown on a glacier at the base of Mount Everest.
For dinner, a single green bean, uncooked and grown in only the purest of soils.
For desert, he can down a 12 pack of creamy, delicious probiotic Activia yogurt faster than the cookie monster can eat a sleeve of Chips Ahoy. Of course he can “snack” on protein bars and such as long as he just eats the cardboard wrapper they’re contained in.
You see, Rhett in preparing to enter his 1st bikini contest …. no kidding ! A BIKINI CONTEST!
His wife Becky has been training for over a year now to participate in her first fitness / figure / bikini contest. She doesn’t need the training … she’s already HOT (blind … but HOT ..LOL). Well, Rhett decided he’d support her by being be her side in her endeavor … as in RIGHT by her side.
In all seriousness, Rhett’s been VERY disciplined in sticking to his diet / workout.
He’s sticking to it and it’s paying off …. HE LOOKS GREAT (although still not as good as Becky).
What he doesn’t realize is that like everything else in his life, he STILL wont surpass Dave Statter!
As hard as Rhett is trying, Dave does double the effort by accident. It just come natural to him and once again, “Fire Boy” is left playing “catch up”.
LMAO …. all kidding aside, Rhett has some family obligations keeping him from making this trip. We have PLENTY more scheduled for 2013 so it wont be long before we’re back on the road, together again.
So, I’ll try to keep ya posted as much as possible throughout the weekend. Once again, if you’re on our route or will be attending the show, be sure to let me know so we can meet up. Until I get back to ya ….
Following the tragic events of Christmas Eve, the Fire Service is in shock. Having lost 2 Brothers in a senseless act of violence, it’s difficult for those of us on the job to be “merry” about anything. Our hearts are heavy while our thoughts and prayers are with the friends and families of our fallen and injured.
photo from democratandchronicle.com
Firefighters Michael Chiapperini and Tomasz Kaczówka were killed by a sniper after arriving at a house fire in West Webster, NY yesterday.
Firefighters Theodore Scardino and Joseph Hofstetter were also shot in the incident and remain hospitalized.
An on-duty Greece police officer John Ritter, was injured by shrapnel in the attacks as well.
The Fire Critic and Statter 911 has full and continuing coverage of the incident, arrangements and more over on their sites…
The front says “Captain Wines” while the back says “IronFiremen.com”. The anti-sway strap even has “Buckaroo” stamped into it!
Wolfpak is the guys who made our custom suspenders as well. They also personalized those to include the Buckaroo’s name. These guys do GREAT work and it’s evident in their finished product. The fact that offer the option and that Rhett thought enough to include the extra stamping is AWESOME. It was the PERFECT gift!
In return, I got Rhett an APRON …. LOL..yea…. an APRON!
It turned out AWESOME! It was WELL ABOVE my expectations.
The material is actually PBI (the same stuff our Turnout Gear is made of).
It has the reflective stripping just like our gear. The same buckles, snaps and even has pockets!
As much as Rhett LOVES cooking, this should make a great gift.
I even had em put our patch in the center (in case he gets lost at the grocery store).
If nothing else, he’ll stand out in the kitchen.
We’ve already had several folks ask where and how to get one. Even though this was a custom job, Jamie and I discussed the possible demand for them once we got some pictures out.
If you’re interested, use the link above (or just CLICK HERE) and let Jamie know ….
So, I got off duty this morning and headed home.
As it turns out, I was better than I thought I had been and old Santa made a stop in Catawba!
This is where I received my best gifts of the season.
I arrived home to be surrounded by family.
The Buckaroo, my girls (Donna, Randi and Reba), my sister Marci (and Aaron) and even my mom and step father were in from North Carolina.
The stockings were hung and packages under the tree… it made for a peaceful morning.
The Buckaroo had a BLAST and that’s what it’s all about.
I hope that all of you had just a memorable Christmas as I did.
I hope that yours was spent with friends and family as well.
Thanks for all the well wishes, cards etc that we’ve received through the site, Face Book and even “snail mail” ….. it’s humbling.
For those of you who pulled a tour (or has to tomorrow) THANK YOU for the service. Thank you for covering the shift so that the rest of us can be at home, protected with our families.
We wrapped up the 2012 FireCritic / Ironfiremen 12 Days of Christmas Give-A-Way yesterday (we actually released the final winners this morning HERE). Congratulations to all of our winners and THANKS to our contributors!
The 2012 installments of the Ironfiremen.com’s Santa’s Sexy Helpers ends today. We worked our way up to see what ol Santa would find under the tree and I don’t think he was disappointed. Actually, I think Mrs Claus was also pretty happy.
Here is the final installment of Santa’s Sexy Helpers for 2012 … one for the guys and gals… ENJOY!
(NOTE: This post was delayed out of respect for our fallen Brothers who were ambushed and murdered in West Webster, NY yesterday 12/24/2012. Please continue to keep their sacrifice along with their friends and families in your thoughts and prayers)
Today ends the 2012 Fire Critic / Ironfiremen 12 Days of Christmas Give-A-Way!
For the last 12 days, with the help of our contributors; we’ve given away 44 prizes great prizes. It’s been a huge success and we hope you’ve enjoyed it!
PLEASE take the time to visit our contributors to say “thanks” for giving back to the fire service.
For use with Windows or MAC. This winner receives training technology aimed to help instructors rapidly create realistic, localized experiences they can use to train on and discuss.
Winner: Bryce Beuerlein
Special thanks as well to Rhett Fleitz aka the “Fire Critic” for pulling it all together. We believe this to have been the largest Give-A-Way held by Fire Service Bloggers EVER!
Be sure to keep up with us throughout the year … you never know where we may be or what we will be into next. Of course you can always find us here on FireCritic.com or Ironfiremen.com. You can also follow us via Face Book by using the links below …
Well, even though the 12 Days of Christmas Give-A-Way is over, we still have 2 days remaining in the 2012 Ironfiremen.com’s Santa’s Sexy Helper installments. I guess since we have just 2 days remaining, ol Santa may need 2 helpers! And, I’ll add in one extra for our female fans / followers. I hope Santa finds ya under the mistletoe and that everyone has a SAFE and MERRY Christmas!
Here’s our Christmas Eve installment ….. I’ll have a “regular” post up later and don’t forget to check back tomorrow to see what ol Santa will find under the Ironfiremen.com Christmas tree!
There are just 2 day’s remaining in the 2012 FireCritic / Ironfiremen 12 Days of Christmas but it’s not too late.
You still have time to score some FREE SWAG from our AWESOME Give-A-Way. The 12 Days of Christmas could possibly be the largest Give-A-Way held by Fire Service Bloggers EVER!
When it’s all said and done, we will have given away 44 prizes! None of this would have been possible without our outstanding sponsors. If you haven’t yet, please take a minute to find out who they are and what they’re all about. Be sure to use the links, visit and “like” their pages and THANK them for their support (unless you don’t like FREE STUFF that is..LOL).
It’s day #10 of the 2012 Fire Critic / Ironfiremen 12 Days of Christmas Give-A-Way and the prizes keep coming!
12 days of FREE SWAG from The Fire Critic, Ironfiremen.com and our awesome contributors! It’s FREE and EASY to enter and it’s not too late. All you need is a valid e-mail address and you could win too!
It’s the first day of winter and here on the east coast, old man winter is making an entrance. It’s windy and cold but the Fire Critic and I can warm ya up with some FREE SWAG and another installment of Santa’s Sexy Helpers!
It’s Day #9 of the Fire Critic / Ironfiremen 12 Days of Christmas Give-A-Way and we have plenty of great prizes left to pass out! We started with 44 AWESOME prizes and have already seen 28 WINNERS!
It’s still not too late to enter for your chance to WIN. All you need is a valid e-mail address….
Windows or MAC. Training technology aimed to help instructors rapidly create realistic, localized experiences they can use to train on and discuss.
Winner : Jeremy McKim
CONGRATULATIONS to all of our WINNERS! Please take the time to use the links provided and visit our contributors. Without them, these great prizes would not be available (and there’s MORE to come!).
With only 4 days remaining, it’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas. It’s a good day to stay inside the house and curl up by the fire. Can’t do that ??? No worries, maybe today’s installment of the 2012 Ironfiremen.com’s Santa’s Sexy Helpers will warm ya up a bit … ENJOY!
4 days remaining ….. 4 presents under the tree … how good am I? The tree … the Christmas tree … on the left! There’s presents under it …. ON THE LEFT! LMAO
As I mentioned above, we have 44 awesome prizes in all. The only thing better than our prizes are the contributors who supplied them. Use the links below to learn more about our contributors, the prizes and to see their schedule of release ….
This prize is Windows or MAC. Training technology aimed to help instructors rapidly create realistic, localized experiences they can use to train on and discuss.
CONGRATULATIONS to all our winners! Don’t forget, it’s NOT TOO LATE to enter for your chance to win. Submit your e-mail address in the link above to register!
Today is also day #8 of the 2012 Ironfiremen.com Santa’s Sexy Helpers! A little something I’ve done for the last few years to help but a smile on your face and maybe take your mind off the hustle and bustle of the Holidays even if only for a minute.
This year, I’ve receive a little negative feedback. One of my Face Book followers called our Sexy helpers “trash” . Another demanded to “keep it off Face Book”. Some are asking for more “skin” but my biggest comment / complaint has been that I’m forgetting my female readers, followers and fans.
My apologies ladies … here’s a special installment for Day #8 … enjoy!
It’s day #7 of the Fire Critic / IronFiremen 12 Days of Christmas and the prizes keep coming!
Rhett and I have teamed up with some great companies to allow us to give away 44 prizes during our count down to Christmas. This could be the largest Christmas Give-A-Way by Fire Service Bloggers in history!
We have given away 20 prizes already with 4 more going out today! The prizes are as awesome as the companies providing them. Use the links below to learn more about our prizes, the schedule of release and our contributors.
Windows or MAC. Training technology aimed to help instructors rapidly create realistic, localized experiences they can use to train on and discuss.
Winner : Lee Powell
Congratulations to today’s and all of our winners!
Christmas will be here before ya know it …. I hope you’ve gotten all your shopping done. Better yet, I hope ol Santa is ready. Just in case he isn’t I’ve been rounding up some “helpers” to keep him motivated and going. Here’s the latest installment of the 2012 Ironfiremen.com’s Santa’s Sexy Helpers …. ENJOY!
(Just “click” on the thumbnail to get the full image.)
Today is also the 6th installment of the 2012 Ironfiremen.com Santa’s Sexy Helpers! With only a week left until Christmas, I’m sure Santa can use all the help he can get.
I’ve kinda taken it upon myself over the past few years to help the big fella out and conduct a search for suitable “helpers”. Since I’m the one doing the searching, I figured they may as well be “easy on the eyes”. Better yet, maybe I’ll find some “sexy” helpers…. in hooker boots …. YEA … in hooker boots!
This may very well be the largest Give-A-Way by Fire Service Bloggers EVER! What else would you expect from The Fire Critic and IronFiremen.com? It’s HOW WE ROLL …..LOL!
In case you missed em, here are our 12 winners to date …Tim O’Connor,Rachel Deel,Doug Baker,Dan Miller,Peter Grocholski,Eric Klein,Ben Coffman,Jennifer Bolick,Miles Silk Jr, Cliff Phillips, Matt Johnson and David Walls.
Windows or MAC. Training technology aimed to help instructors rapidly create realistic, localized experiences they can use to train on and discuss.
Winner: Colt Eberling
CONGRATULATIONS to our 4 newest WINNERS!
It’s also Day #5 of the 2012 IronFiremen.com Santa’s Sexy Helper installment! With ONLY 8 Days until Christmas, I’m sure ol Santa has his hands full. Of course if these gals were actually his helpers, I’d have to worry about what his hands were full of …LOL.
Every day until Christmas, we’ll bring ya another Sexy Helper. Maybe if for only a second, they will distract you from all the hustle and bustle of the Holidays and put a smile on your face … or at least a grin!
They’re getting better every day and I can’t wait to see what Santa will find under the tree on the 25th. You guys might outta keep checking back and find out as well …. enjoy Day #5….