Sunday, October 2, 2016

Book Signing

Please join me at the B&B Family Restaurant, Exit 201 off Interstate 81 on Saturday, October 15th from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM. Available will be copies of my new novel Fire In His Bones as well as my earlier books Mayday! Firefighter Down and my memoir Fire Men: Stories From Three Generations of a Firefighting Family. Come out for a great breakfast or lunch and stock up early for Xmas!

Sunday, September 25, 2016

RIP Generation 1, past Chief Richard M. Ryman

From the Eulogy I wrote...


"My father was like the founder of a family business. Not the normal type, a plumbing company, electrician, or an auto mechanic like his father had been. His father, my grandfather, could not begin to comprehend why anyone in their right mind would actually enjoy, downright love, the challenge and experience of going into a burning building. But he was impressed and proud that his son was one of those people.
It became a family business around the time I learned to walk. The fire station was the center of the community in West Corners. It sponsored the little league team I played for. Ice cream and cupcakes were an annual tradition that continues to this day. The older I got, the more I learned about the serious, real side of things; the sometimes very ugly side.
I had the best teacher in the county, if not the state. One that I’m proud to say has had the same influence on at least three generations of Broome County firefighters. By the end of his thirty years as a New York State Fire Instructor, nothing would make his night more than to have a young man or woman approach him at the beginning of a class and say “my Grandfather said to say hello to you.”  He was immensely proud when I put on the white coat and helmet of a chief, and there was no better advisor I could t urn to.
Even better than that for him was when his first grandson joined the family business. As much as he enjoyed it, I had an even better perspective having been able to learn from him and then teach my son. Dad visiting Mike at his station in Montgomery County, Maryland brought out a t spark in him. Seeing the pictures of the county chief hang a medal for valor around his grandson’s neck brought tears to his stoic face. Having his second grandson come into the family business was the cherry on top of the sundae. He lived vicariously through their stories and not surprisingly, was never shy in offering his opinion to them.  He was beyond excited at a multi-day visit Daniel paid to Maryland to ride with his cousin. Having both his boys on the same fire truck was a dream come true.
The girls, his granddaughters, were his sunshine. He delighted and marveled at their educational and professional accomplishments. They wrapped him around their little fingers, and it was a place he was happy to be.  Showing off his granddaughters at his favorite local restaurants was an early day in heaven for him.  Megan and Katie were among the best at getting him to do things he didn’t really want to do.
He outlived the doctor’s projections, and there is only one reason. That is the loving care he received living with Beth, Jack, Katie, and Daniel. The countless sleepless nights, trips to doctors and hospitals, and other medical treatment. Beth Ann never wanted to be a nurse, but going through this, she became one Mom would be proud of. Having a real one there in Katie was priceless. And Jack and Daniel probably know more about the care and treatment of cancer patients than they ever wanted to. No one could have done more to make his last year better than they did, and I will be eternally grateful for that.
Like most men, his family is his legacy, but in the case of my father, it’s not limited to his blood relations. The fire service is a family and his legacy is present throughout this room, this county, this state, and beyond. All those he taught and influenced in his long career.
While he’s no longer with us in person, his spirit will be felt for generations more. And I can tell you from personal experience, God’s fire department just picked up on heck of an incident commander."

Friday, September 16, 2016

It's Out!!!

Fire In His Bones is now available on Amazon


“Dave, we do a great job in this department with every victim we encounter except one, the one in the mirror. You’re a victim and you either don’t know it or won’t admit it,” Chief Mann said. Captain Dave Michaels attained his dream job as the company commander of Rescue Squad 1, one of two such elite units in Fairmont County. But the dream turns into a nightmare, literally, when his crew is first arriving after a North Korean sponsored terrorist bombing of a library slaughters a visiting Kindergarten class. The “old school” Michaels resists help as his life spirals downward. Removed from his company and saddled with a desk, Michaels faces the loss of his job, wife, and family. Assigned to develop a rescue squad training program, the project turns out to be more valuable than imagined, teaching him about himself and helping him deal with the mental trauma. The assignment and the help of a firefighter counselor reopens the fire house door. Restored to command of a truck company, Michaels works through his struggles to reach a stronger place, at the same time wondering if the deadly attack was a lone wolf or are more in the wings?
Paperback

Kindle

Get your copy today


Sunday, September 4, 2016

Coming soon...Fire In His Bones


My new novel and sequel to Mayday! Firefighter Down. 

Fire In His Bones will be released this fall. From the back cover...

“Dave, we do a great job in this department with every victim we encounter except one, the one in the mirror.  You’re a victim and you either don’t know it or won’t admit it,” Chief Mann said. Captain Dave Michaels attained his dream job as the company commander of Rescue Squad 1, one of two such elite units in Fairmont County.  But the dream turns into a nightmare, literally, when his crew is first arriving after a North Korean sponsored terrorist bombing of a library slaughters a visiting Kindergarten class.  The “old school” Michaels resists help as his life spirals downward.  Removed from his company and saddled with a desk, Michaels faces the loss of his job, wife, and family.  Assigned to develop a rescue squad training program, the project turns out to be more valuable than imagined, teaching him about himself and helping him deal with the mental trauma.  The assignment and the help of a firefighter counselor reopens the fire house door.  Restored to command of a truck company, Michaels works through his struggles to reach a stronger place, at the same time wondering if the deadly attack was a lone wolf or are more in the wings?


Friday, September 2, 2016

John T. McNeece, RIP

One of my heroes died this week. I don’t throw the h-word around freely, but this man qualified. John T. McNeece was a truckie’s truckie, the best truck officer I ever rode with. I only had the opportunity to ride with him for a few years, but it was the education of a lifetime.

The memories of one particular fire will never fade. It was an early morning house fire in March of 1982. The second floor popped while we were searching a bedroom, trapping us. I learned how to do the head first ladder slide that morning as John “helped” me out the window. I’ll tell you a secret boys and girls—it doesn’t take much training for that evolution if you need it to stay alive. Comes real natural.


Stories about John have and will be told for years to come. Sitting around the kitchen table in the station or on the back step, they will be passed along. You can’t leave a better legacy than that.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

A Great New 5 Star Review for "Mayday! Firefighter Down."

Gary Ryman’s "Mayday! Firefighter Down" combines the best of Dennis Smith’s premier books on the realities of firefighting, with the artistry of Stephen King’s storytelling. And why not? We love King’s stories because he makes readers care about the characters. So too does Gary Ryman in this page-turning, not-so-much of a whodunit, but a why-they-did-it exploration of the intricacies of jurisprudence, jealousy and greed.

But there’s more. Mr. Ryman captures the essence of those calls in which firefighters risk their lives, a task they take on because, frankly, it’s an exciting job. I know. I’ve been there, and it’s always reassuring to read a book in which the author gets the characters, the shop-talk and the tactics right, as Mr. Ryman does.

A page-turner from beginning to end, "Mayday! Firefighter Down" goes straight to the heart of the matter—and to the heart of the reader. Well done!
 
Mayday! Firefighter Down