Category Archives: Firefighter Storytellers

Dad’s Sidekick: Chief Brian Taylor

10514897_10202278920675104_1695580206_nAs you can see in this photo, being a firefighter was a lifelong dream of mine.

18199333_10213092893940736_8938572403190730248_nAs a child, I went to the fire station with my dad every chance I got. Dad was a volunteer firefighter and EMT in a small Northeast Ohio for 33 years. Read more of this post

Love Story Forged by Fire

Shiloh and ClintonBy Shiloh MacCabe Powell:

This is a story I wrote last year. This is a story about love and friendship, and about the day that Clinton asked me to be his wife, one year ago today:

Our story began long before we met. Shortly after I moved to Alaska, I took a job in aviation at a company called MarkAir. I worked on the ramp, loading cargo and bags on to airplanes- mostly 737’s. Most of my coworkers were male. It was a very physical job, and as a woman- I knew I had to work twice as hard to look half as ‘good’ as the men. So I did. I have never been afraid of hard work. Several of the guys were pretty immature. Many were not. I made some lifelong friendships in the couple of years I worked there (1993-1995). I met one of the greatest men I have ever known during that time. He was my supervisor. He was in charge of making sure we got the airplanes turned around on time and loaded properly. Andy Mullen was his name. Read more of this post

Three Decades and One New Sidewalk.

I just came home from responding to my third second-alarm fire of the week in my role as Deputy Fire Coordinator in the Erie County Department of Emergency Services and have a narrow window of opportunity to write this post. I’ve got about two hours to shower, shave, eat and then report to a law enforcement detail I’m assigned to until 3am. So here goes:

Earlier today I responded to an EMS call for a person with chest pains. Being assigned as Fire/Rescue only, I don’t typically respond to a ton of house calls but I try to help out at my fair share. Today, I was glad I did.

Two of my all-time favorites at the fire station: Angelo Rizzuto and Denny Allen+ at a drill in 2010.

Upon returning to the station I went around to the administrative side of our building to check on the progress of our large parking lot paving project (large, as in square feet and dollars!). The contractors were just finishing the last section of new sidewalk around the perimeter of our assembly hall. Standing there with our President Geordie Sinclair and 53-year active member Angelo Rizzuto, I asked Geordie if I could write my initials in the corner of the concrete, just as I had done when the assembly hall and original sidewalk were built, in 1971.

I remember that event as if it were yesterday, recalling how the contractors paid a few of us neighborhood kids 25 or 50 cents a day to help them pick up materials and debris. I was 8-years old.

I thought that initialing the new sidewalk would only be appropriate, seeing as I’m still here, so many years later. It was then that Geordie reminded me that I have an important anniversary coming up this week. Read more of this post

#MyFireStory Runs-to-the-Curb @FireRescue1

FireRescue1 — a leading fire service news portal has caught on to the importance of storytelling with a Twitter based story-sharing campaign. Using the hashtag #myfirestory, @FireRescue1 entices firefighters to share their story of why they got started in our business with the chance of winning a free FireRescue1 t-shirt.

Taking great interest in their campaign that mirrors the motivation behind @RuntotheCurb, I shared my own story of how “It was in the cards” that I would become a firefighter.

@FireRescue1 retweeted my story, which I assume means that I won an awesome free t-shirt [#canneverhaveenoughfiretshirts], according to the contest rules on their web site.

That also means I’m in the running for the grand prize. I hope I win as it will offer me the opportunity to showcase the importance of storytelling in the fire service by having at www.RuntotheCurb.com and www.FirefighterStorytellers.com mentioned in their online newsletter.

Wish me luck!

URGENT SCHEDULE CHANGE: Firefighter Storytellers

URGENT UPDATE: 

Tonight’s Firefighter Storytellers show has been rescheduled to Thursday night 11/10/11 at 9pm.

We’ve been preempted by a live show from the National Fire Academy with the ever popular Dr. Burton & Carolyn Clark at 9pm EST.

Please listen in to their timely show on Firefighter Netcast as we mourn the loss of fire service and journalism legend Hal Bruno, Executive Director-Emeritus of the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation – www.firehero.org.

Salute to Veterans

UPDATED: 11/7/11
Please join me for a special Veterans Day tribute show on FirefighterStorytellers.com on Wednesday-November 9, 2011 at 9pm EST.

We’ll be joined by a few very special guests who are veterans of both the armed forces and the fire service — my favorite kind of two-hatter — including Vince Pupo Jr., a Marine, Fire Investigator and retired Fire Chief and Sheriffs Department Detective.

In addition to being a well-known fire service “character” — Vince has written and shared his experiences of his military service during the Vietnam War and now writes short stories and poems related to military life and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) affecting veterans.

Tribute to Soldier/Volunteer Firefighter: SSG Matthew Kreiger

The show will be dedicated to Matt Kreiger, a fine young man from my volunteer fire company (Evans Center) who is recovering from being shot in the head while serving in Afghanistan earlier this year. We will also recognize the efforts of WNYHeroes.org — a local organization dedicated to elevating the status of our veterans from desperate back to decorated.

Please help us spread the news of this very special show by downloading, printing and distributing the show flyer and/or sharing a link on your Facebook page or other social network. We hope that you can join us.

Here’s a link to last year’s Veterans Day Special with Citizen-Soldier-Firefighgter Dan Frontera.

Fire Men – Three Generations of Firefighters

EDITOR’S NOTE: Join Tiger Schmittendorf at 9pm EDT tonight (8/10/11) with his special guest: Firefighter and Author Gary Ryman on the next installment of his Firefighter Storytellers radio show on the FirefighterNetcast network. 

Gary is the author of “Fire-Men” – a newly released autobiography of three generations of firefighters in the Ryman family, a tradition that started with Gary’s father and continues today in Gary’s son Michael.

Listen in as Gary and Tiger share their adventures and their stories of life in the fire service.

Tiger will also be introducing a new and exciting relationship with Fireman’s Fund Insurance and their renowned Heritage Program which has awarded more than $28 million to fire departments for needed equipment, firefighter training and community education programs.

Tiger will be giving away copies of the video DVD titled: “Into the Fire” to selected guests who call into the show to share their story. Read more of this post

Will Wyatt: Funny Firefighter

Firefighter/Author Will Wyatt

Will Wyatt is a funny guy, but looks aren’t everything…

Seriously folks, I had a great time interviewing Will on my Firefighter Storytellers show with my partner-in-crime and new co-host: Chief Tom Merrill from the Snyder Fire District here in Erie County NY.

The show airs at May 12, 2011 – 9pm EDT on the FirefighterNetcast Radio Network.

Will is a firefighter in The Village Fire Department near Houston TX and is the author of the great read: “And a Paycheck Too!”

Before I share Will’s Run-to-the-Curb story, I’ll share a story he sent me the day after we taped his show: Read more of this post

Long Time Leader: Doc Moltrup

My Story:

PGFD Division Chief Donald "Doc" Moltrup

I first became interested in the fire service when I was three or four years old. We had a very good family friend near our home town of Beaver Falls, PA, who was the Chief of the Chippewa Township (PA) Volunteer Fire Department. We visited them often and I also looked forward to going to the fire station with him.

He also gave me all of his old issues of “Fireman” magazine, then the official magazine of the NFPA (and probably the only real fire service journal in that era). I poured through these magazines and even traced pictures of fire apparatus in advertisements in them and made up my own fictitious fire department with them.

Although my Dad was never in the fire service, he was kind of a fire buff so I went to fires with him often. I lived in State College (PA) for several of my pre-school years and a volunteer with the Alpha Fire Company in State College lived across from our house. I always saw him rushing off to fire calls and wished I could go too. Read more of this post

Epic Stories from the Beltway

One week after I bunked and rode with Hyattsville Volunteers, the “white cloud” (as they called me because they didn’t catch any work while I was there) was lifted and HVFD caught all the work they could eat this past weekend.

Here’s a few links to their wild fires and wild times to whet your appetite. I can’t wait to hear the back stories of these adventures.

You could even say that this is the story of my life: A week late and a dozen fires short!