Wednesday, July 13, 2016

A Great Visit to Maryland

On July 10th, the new Truck 715 was placed in service, and one minute later, ran its first call. A fantastic visit with the third generation of Ryman firefighters, and got to see some old friends.

Captain Michael Ryman and Chief Goldstein

One minute after the ceremony, the first call drops.

The real "baptism." A structure fire that evening.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Beach Read Time

It's almost that season and for some it already is.  Wonderful to see your book on a tropical beach.

Get your copy now.  Mayday! Firefighter Down

Friday, April 1, 2016

More Memories

Cleaning out Dad's house, I came across a treasure trove of pictures.  The old school gear and methods shown warm my heart and bring back memories of when the job was big red trucks, revolving lights flashing, and the undulations of the siren under the officer's foot.  At 8 year old, this was long before I understood the reality of the danger and ugliness at the core of firefighting.  The smell of wood smoke permeating Dad's white duck coat, the three-quarter boots on the floor of the back seat, and the old Cairns helmet resting on top were my companions on every trip in the car.

Going to a live fire training was better than Christmas. And in this one, we made our own snow. Hi-expansion foam wasn't common back then and is less so now.  For a wide-eyed 8 year old, it was an amazing experience. 

Looking past the foam generator toward Dad in the, shall we say, more utilized white coat. 

Our "snow" going into and back out of the building.

Sunday, March 13, 2016


Sorting through old pictures, we discovered a now poignant shot, long forgotten.  The two sets of bunker pants, one real, the other real enough for the owner, sitting side-by-side awaiting a call.  I remember the line advancement with pretend hose and search drills the little guy did in the living room.  The boots,  his, are bigger now and the pants real.  It was a joy watching him grow into them and taking him inside his first time.  Memories are a good thing. 

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

"Living The Dream"

The experience of being a live-in firefighter is one that most who have ever done it would not trade for anything.  “Living the dream,” it is called by many, particularly those who never had the opportunity, and they are not wrong. 
A few things do change, arguably for the better, after you move out and on.  Language is one.  Fire stations are not kind to the vocabulary.  The F-word is not only a noun, verb, and adjective, but in skilled firehouse hands, can be used as punctuation.  I remember having to consciously restrict myself when outside the station in “normal” company to avoid saying things like “pass the f@^*ing potatoes.”   As time passes, so does the propensity to use the F-word in every sentence.  Once or twice a paragraph suffices. 
Sleep improves as well.  When living in the station, I think I slept eight straight hours once a week, maybe.  Between calls, staying up late bullshitting, and calls, three to five hours was a normal night’s sleep.  This experience is excellent practice for the period following the birth of your first and subsequent children.  That amount of sleep would now leave me on a continuous coffee intravenous. 
The live-in opportunity is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Thankfully, it is one you only get to do when you’re young.