Tag Archives: firefighternetcast

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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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.

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

How I met Billy D. Hayes … and stuff

This story of how I met Billy D. Hayes (and several other great people) was told when Billy called in during the Firefighter Storytellers Internet Radio Show with special guest Janet Wilmoth on February 9, 2011. It was originally printed  in “The Volunteer Firefighter” magazine from www.fasny.com –  August- 2008

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This article is one in a series of toolkits focusing on recruitment, retention, fire service marketing and leadership.

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My best friend: Chief Dennis Allen

Last month I said we’d take the summer off from talking about clearinghouses and trench work to focus on some other aspects of the fire service as they relate to recruitment and retention.

So, I decided we’d talk about an often mentioned but rarely explored principle of the fire service: Brotherhood. For the purposes of this article, the term “brotherhood” is gender-generic, so I hope the feminist revolution doesn’t show up at my doorstep any time soon.

Already you might be asking yourself what brotherhood has to do with recruitment and retention. But think about it. What is one of the greatest if not somewhat intangible assets we have to offer someone thinking about joining our ranks? That’s right; it’s the real brotherhood of the fire service. 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.

Fire Nerd: Pat Coghlan

Pat Coghlan reflects on the propane explosion that occurred on December 27, 1983 in downtown Buffalo - claiming the lives of five Buffalo Firefighters

Meet retired Lt. Patrick Coghlan from the Buffalo Fire Department, a 34-year veteran of the fire service. Like many firefighters, Patty, as his friends refer to him, is a real character with a bit of a crusty exterior — but when you peel that away — you find a big guy with an even bigger heart and a very special fondness for telling stories and preserving the rich history of the fire service.

A self-proclaimed “nerd” for the fire service (a real “two-hander” as he says), Pat is the Vice President of the Buffalo Fire Historical Society and a hoarder of fire memorabilia. A buff’s buff, Pat has passed down his love for the fire service to his daughter Margaret, the museum’s secretary.

Pat Coghlan is the son of a Buffalo firefighter and a nurse. Like me, he kept a journal of the calls he responded to – except his log starts even before he was a firefighter, chronicling fires and calls that he buffed and took photos at. He buffed 210 runs in 1964 alone.

Appointed to the Buffalo Fire Department in October 1965, his class was the last class appointed for the creation of a new company: Ladder 16. Fresh out of the academy, Pat was first assigned at Ladder 3 on Spring Street where he served as a tiller man. He served as the driver for Chief Harvey Supple from 1969 to 1976. From there he went to Engine 21 and was appointed lieutenant in 1978. Read more of this post

Citizen-Soldier-Firefighter: Dan Frontera

Here’s the link to Dan’s show that aired November 10, 2010 titled: “The Story of a True Serviceman

Soldier Dan Frontera in Iraq

Dan Frontera grew up in the suburbs of Buffalo, NY in a family where service was a way of life.  His father was a Veteran along with most of his uncles. His Dad and one uncle were both volunteer firemen.

 

 So, it’s no surprise that Dan would follow his family’s example of service and grow up to be both a soldier and a firefighter.  Soon after seeing the National Guard in action supporting his community during a blizzard in Buffalo and while still a senior in high school, Dan enlisted in the Army National Guard as a Medic. 

Read more of this post

The Story of a True Serviceman

Dan Frontera grew up in the suburbs of Buffalo, NY in a family where community service was simply a way of life. His Dad was a Veteran along with most of his uncles. Both his Dad and one of his uncles were volunteer firemen too.

Dan grew up to be both a soldier and a firefighter. Tune in to Firefighter Storytellers at 9pm EST on Thursday-November 11, 2010 to hear Dan’s story as he and Tiger Schmittendorf celebrate the contributions of all service men and women in a special Veterans Day tribute.

Listen in, call in, download and follow Dan on his journey from Run-to-the-Curb kid to “Citizen. Soldier. Firefighter.”

Help us promote Firefighter Storytellers and the FirefighterNetcast family of shows by downloading and sharing the show flyer.

Read more of this post

RttC Kid: Nick Martin

Nick Martin, Firefighter and Run-to-the-Curb Kid

Nick Martin has served as a career/volunteer firefighter in Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia; and currently serves in the District of Columbia.

He is a frequent presenter and trainer with www.tradtionstraining.com and is an author of articles dedicated to making us better and safer at what we do. 

Join Nick and Tiger on Firefighter Storytellers on the FirefighterNetcast.com Radio Network at 9pm on Thursday-October 14, 2010.

And check back soon after the show for Nick Martin’s complete story aptly titled: “Chasing Fire.” Read more of this post

Firefighter Storytellers returns with Chief Walt Pieczynski

Instructor Wally Pieczynski teaches tactics to Firefighter 1 Boot Camp students advancing a line on a car fire. Wally is a Run-to-the-Curb kid. Photo by: Tiger Schmittendorf

A regular feature on the FirefighterNetcast Radio Network, Tiger Schmittendorf’sFirefighter Storytellers” radio show returns Wednesday-September 8, 2010 at 9pm EDT with special guest Chief Walter Pieczynski. 

Wally Pieczynski is a firefighter with the Buffalo-Niagara International Airport Fire Department and an assistant chief with the Seneca Hose Fire Department in the Town of West Seneca NY. He also serves as a fire instructor for the Erie County Department of Emergency Services Division of Fire Safety as well as the New York State Office of Fire Prevention and ControlRead more of this post