Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Now Available for Pre-Order....Mayday! Firefighter Down.

My new novel Mayday! Firefighter Down is now available for pre-order on the publisher's website.  It should be out on Amazon and Barnes & Noble in a few weeks. 

Mayday! Firefighter Down

Monday, August 25, 2014

Coming Soon....Mayday! Firefighter Down

More cover work is underway.  Here's the front, back, and spine. 
And here's what they're saying about the book!
"Ryman hits one out of the park…. In Mayday! Firefighter Down you will see life though a firefighters eyes, but with a new twist. From the first dispatch, to the jaw dropping ending (or is it), Ryman takes you on a thrilling journey as a Truck Officer in a busy fire station, plagued by an arsonist.  Mayday! Firefighter Down is a compelling read; once you start you won’t want to put it down!"
Fred Bales, CFPS, CFI
PA Senior Fire/Public Safety Instructor
“Chief Gary Ryman’s latest book, Mayday! Firefighter Down is an incredible read.  The Chief has blended…all of the elements of a great American novel into this one including; Mystery, Murder, Greed, A Sexy Love Story and Great Fire Fighting Action.  Once I started this book, it was difficult putting it down.  Gary has captured the essence of what a firefighter does in a twenty-four hour shift, better than just about any other description.  The reality is non-fire service folks will be able to understand what we do, without losing the interest of the Firehouse Jake’s and Firehouse Jane's that take this amazing journey in Mayday! Firefighter Down….  This books should be required reading for all aspiring and new fire fighters”.  
Chief Dennis Rubin
"Mayday! Firefighter Down is a great read in the genre of Dennis Smith’s Steely Blue and shouldn’t be missed. Ryman kept the firefighter in me interested and the writer in me waiting to see what happens next." 
Deputy Chief Michael “Mick” Mayers

Friday, August 22, 2014

History Makes a Difference

History to some can be dry and impersonal.  Not in this case.  Michael “Mick” Shay and his 96 year old father knew his great grandfather served with the St. Louis Fire Department for many years, but little else.  His journey through history uncovered a fascinating and tragic story.             

Austin Shay was a skinner, a ladder truck company firefighter of the day, and member of the famed St. Louis Fire Department Pompier Corps.   In 1887, the department established the first Pompier Corps.  These firefighters taught climbing and rescue skills to other departments across the country.  The Pompier Corps used specially developed scaling ladders.  The top of the ladder, with its iron catch would be hooked over a window sill and the firefighter would climb the narrow rungs to the window.  He would then stand on the sill, pull the ladder up, and raise it to the next window; not a simple or safe exercise. 

The younger Mr. Shay also determined his grandfather worked with the legendary Phelim O'Toole   famous for the rescue of over a dozen people at the Southern Hotel fire on April 11, 1887.  Skinner Shay was also present at the fire which cost O’Toole his life, the fire extinguisher he was attempting to use exploding, killing his fellow fireman.        

There were other tragedies from fire as well.  Firefighters in the late 1800s worked long hours with little time off, and many mornings, Austin would walk home for breakfast at 7:00 AM before immediately returning to the station for another shift.  On one such morning, he arrived to find his own home in flames.  His wife, who had risen to make him a hot breakfast, attempted to light the kitchen stove with coal oil, and was fatally burned.  While his five children survived, their home was lost.             

Mr. Shay and his father were able to visit St. Louis and see many of the areas where their ancestor lived and worked.  They also located the Calvary Cemetery graves of Austin Shay, surrounded by his wife and five children.  Moved by the new knowledge of his forefather’s life and challenges in the service of his city, Mr. Shay’s father arranged for a headstone to be erected at the previously unmarked grave site.  History does make a difference. 

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Coming Soon! "Mayday! Firefighter Down"

Working through the final edits and corrections on the draft layout for Mayday! Firefighter Down.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Get Out of Your Comfort Zone: More Advice for the New Fire Officer

Comfort zones are a wonderful thing.  Avoid yours.  One of the most important, and difficult, things to do is get avoid simple acceptance of the status quo.  “We’ve always done it that way” are some of the most dangerous words out there.  On the flip side of the coin, change simply for its own sake, can be just as problematic.  The newest, latest, greatest, hottest change in tactics, tools, or techniques, isn’t always.   

Always what?  Well it’s not always great, or in some cases, actually new.   Recycling old ideas or techniques with new names and calling it progress has been part of the culture for a long time.

So what is a new fire officer (or any fire officer for that matter) to do?  How about this for a radical idea—think.   

Think for yourself.  Don’t blindly accept either the status quo or the latest greatest.  Examine both with a high degree of rigor.  I’m not suggesting blatant disregard of standard operating procedures, whether existing or new, but there’s nothing wrong with looking at them critically.   

Challenge yourself.  Specifically select articles, blogs, and authors to read with whom you inherently disagree, and then try to read them with an open mind.  Evaluate their arguments dispassionately.   Look behind the data.  How was it developed?  Was the methodology valid or do you perceive flaws?   

They may not change your mind, but you will better understand the arguments others are making on a particular topic.  Reading in this way also opens you up to the possibility that in some cases, you might need to acknowledge your own pre-conceived notions may not be correct.   

Try to find a few fellow officers, peers and superiors, with whom you can have a wide ranging, non-judgmental dialogue on fire service issues.  A few adult beverages (the operative word being few) can sometimes help lubricate these discussions.  The response “that’s #($*& stupid and so are you,” is not the type of conversation you are shooting for.  An open and respectful debate can sharpen thought processes, expose unanticipated flaws in policies and procedures, and overall, be valuable for all participants.   

I would be remiss if I didn’t point out; all of this is easier said than done.  Comfort zones are called that for a reason.  They’re nice enjoyable places to stay where you don’t have to think.  Critical thinking in this manner is one of the most important tools of the fire officer and leader.  Get out of your comfort zone and try it. 

Friday, June 20, 2014

Generation 3 Moves Up

From a great post on Facebook....

"A well earned promotion. Lt. Ryman has responded to 602 emergency calls so far this year, logging over 3,500 hours of service and leading over 100 drills/training exercises. He does this while maintaining a full college load, in pursuit o...f his Master's Degree in Emergency Management.

He is a proven unit officer and driver of all apparatus. He has extensive fire service classes, including: Fire Officer III, Fire Service Instructor III, Hazardous Materials Technician, Rope Technical Rescuer I & II, Vehicle and Machinery Technical Rescuer I & II; Confined Space Technical Rescuer I & II; Trench Technical Rescuer I & II; Health and Safety Officer; Incident Safety Officer; Incident Safety Officer-Fire Suppression; Incident Safety Officer-Technical Rescue; Incident Safety Officer-Hazardous Materials; Incident Safety Officer- Emergency Medical Services Operations; and Structural Collapse Technical Rescuer I & II."
From the 1st Battalion page....
"Congratulations Lt. Michael Ryman.
Congratulations to Master Firefighter Michael Ryman of the Burtonsville VFD (Co 15) on his recent promotion to Lieutenant. Lieutenant Ryman has been a member of Burtonsville since 2010 and joined the department after having four years of e...xperience in Pennsylvania.

The Burtonsville VFD is the most active volunteer department in the 1st Battalion and LT Ryman has been one of their most active riding members having completed all of the requirements to drive apparatus and serve as Unit Officer. Congratulations."

Friday, June 6, 2014

Upcoming Novel "Mayday! Firefighter Down"

More announcements in the upcoming months, is the first shot of the cover of my new book the novel Mayday! Firefighter Down tentatively scheduled for release by October of this year. The publisher is thrilled and excited with the work they did on the cover, and I agree with them. Can't wait to hold the first copy in my hands.