At the Curb
Tiger Schmittendorf is the author of “Run to the Curb” — a work-in-progress online book project. My goal is to eventually publish a book of these stories along with some of my insights on recruitment and retention, leadership and the fire service in general.
I consider myself a rookie firefighter with 30 years of experience. That is, I learn something new every day and every day I’m reminded of how much I don’t know (usually by my wife – LOL).
I was a firehouse brat, or what I now call a “Run to the Curb” kind of kid. I spent my entire childhood around the firehouse and never gave up on my dream of being a firefighter. I count my blessings every day that I’ve been fortunate enough to make a career out of it, now having served the Erie County Department of Emergency Services as Deputy Fire Coordinator for more than 10 years.
Firefighting is the best damn job in the world, regardless of whether or not you get paid to do it. I hope to bring my passion and love for the fire service and the brotherhood to light in the stories I tell, and the insights I share herein.
I have the luxury of going around the country meeting and listening to other firefighters, something I take great enjoyment from. I hope to hear your story of how you got started, what drew you to this profession, who influenced you and what keeps you going today.
Who knows, your story may inspire someone else to get involved or may save a fellow firefighter from the brink of burnout, rekindling their flame for what we do.
Either way, we hope you enjoy the stories shared here.