Tag Archives: fire chief magazine

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

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Wandering Lessons of Leadership

THE FULL TITLE:
Lessons Learned from a Couple of Happy Wanderers and the People they Wandered Into.

I read with great interest this related tale of two foreign firefighters who recently came to “The States” to learn more about our fire service culture while hoping to raise some much needed funds for their pet projects across the pond.

Read “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Fire Service” by my friend Janet Wilmoth, editorial director for Fire Chief Magazine and stop back here to finish the journey.

INSERT LONG PAUSE HERE………………………………………………….

Welcome back from your side trip. What did you take away from her story?

I was intrigued not only by the firefighters’ journey itself, but also by Janet’s comment on how she was so enthralled by their stories. There’s that word again: STORIES!

I wasn’t surprised by Janet’s reaction as she is who I credit with planting a seed and inspiring me to create this story-sharing site. It’s our stories that link us across the fire service, across the states and even across ‘a pond.”

Then, what really excited me was the lesson she shared in effective leadership as demonstrated by Chief Frank Trout of the Westmont IL Fire Department who talked about turning their organization on its head.

Read more of this post

Storytellers: Janet Wilmoth

Fire Chief Magazine "Editor-in-Chief" Janet Wilmoth

Janet Wilmoth isn’t just a Run-to-the-Curb Kid, she’s the one who I credit with planting a seed in my mind as to the importance of storytelling in the fire service.

This Wednesday night — February 9th, she gets to tell her side of the story.

Click here for the details of: Not Just a Daddy’s Girl! and listen in to Firefighter Storytellers on the FirefighterNetcast Radio Network.

Stop back on Wednesday night at 9pm and you can listen to the show here.

Run-to-the-Curb is Top Story

They say a picture paints a thousand words: The "Firefighter Storytellers" radio show will use a photo as a jumping off point for telling stories that share our experiences in the fire service.

It’s been more than a month since my presentation at FDIC and my live Internet radio talk show on FirefighterNetcast from the show floor, but a lot of exciting things have happened since then. 

Feedback from my show about the importance of storytelling in the fire service with special guest Chief Tom Merrill was tremendous and it’s amazing to see the influence that the Run-to-the-Curb (RttC) concept has had on people. Several firefighters have since shared their own personal stories of growing up in and around the fire service. In fact, so many have responded that it’s tough to keep up with and more of their stories are pending publication here. 

Thanks in part to “FireCritic” Rhett Fleitz’s blog carnival titled: “I am a Firefighter because…” — the light has gone on for several people as they recognize themselves as RttC kids.  Read more of this post

Planting a Seed

Janet Wilmoth - Fire Chief Magazine Editorial Director and Great Story Teller

I had the tremendous opportunity to meet Janet Wilmoth at FDIC last week and was suddenly reminded of what started me down this path of stressing the importance of storytelling in today’s fire service. 

As I was walking by her booth, I took the time to stop and introduce myself and thank her for inspiring my writing and presentations (despite the fact that I spilled a can of pop on the magazines at her booth – I was mortified).  Read more of this post